IN THE MATTER OF ROBERT S. SHIEKMAN AN ATTORNEY AT LAW
Argued: October 19, 2017
District Docket No. XIV-2016-0441E
A. Glyn appeared on behalf of the Office of Attorney Ethics.
E. Ramsey appeared on behalf of respondent.
A. Brodsky g Chief Counsel
C. Frost, Chair
Honorable Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme
Court of New Jersey.
matter was before us on a motion for final discipline filed
by the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE), pursuant to R.
1:20-13(c)(2), following respondent's guilty plea to an
accusation charging him with fourth degree assault by auto
and driving while intoxicated, violations of N.J.S.A.
2C:12-1c(2) and N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, respectively. The OAE
recommends that we impose a reprimand. Respondent agrees with
that recommendation. For the reasons expressed below, we
determine to impose a reprimand.
was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 2008. He practices law
in Tenafly, New Jersey. He has no history of
22, 2016, respondent was arrested on the New Jersey Turnpike
in Woodbridge Township after rear-ending a car. A state
police officer detected alcohol on respondent's breath,
and observed that his eyes were bloodshot and watery, and
that his speech was slurred. Respondent, however, denied
consuming alcohol. The officer administered standard field
sobriety tests, which were discontinued after respondent
claimed that his neck, back, and arms hurt. The officer then
placed respondent under arrest, after which he was
transported to the Raritan Bay Medical Center for treatment.
At the hospital, respondent again denied that he had consumed
alcohol or taken any drugs and he refused to sign a consent
form to have his blood drawn and tested. The officer, thus,
obtained a telephonic search warrant for blood samples. After
technicians drew respondent's blood, the officer
transported respondent to the Cranbury police station for
processing. The certified toxicology analysis, dated June 30,
2016, showed that respondent's blood alcohol level was
was charged with fourth-degree assault by auto, in violation
of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1c(2); being under the influence of a
controlled dangerous substance for a purpose other than the
treatment of sickness or injury as lawfully prescribed or
administered by a physician, a disorderly persons offense, in
violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10b; and driving while
intoxicated, in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50. He was issued
the following traffic citations: operating a vehicle while
under the influence of liquor or drugs, in violation of
N.J.S.A. 39:4-50; reckless driving, in violation of N.J.S.A.
39:4-96; careless driving, likely to endanger person or
property, in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-97; following too
closely, in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-89; unsafe lane
change, in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-88B, and failure to
obey traffic signs or signals, in violation of N.J.S.A.
January 9, 2016, respondent's attorney executed
a waiver of indictment. Thereafter, the Middlesex County
Prosecutor's Office filed an accusation, charging
respondent with fourth-degree causing bodily injury to two
individuals by driving a vehicle while under the influence.
January 9, 2017, respondent entered a guilty plea before the
Honorable Pedro J. Jimenez, Jr., J.S.C., Superior Court of
New Jersey, Law Division, Criminal Part, Middlesex County.
Respondent admitted that he was guilty of the charges that
had been filed against him. Specifically, he admitted that,
on the day of the accident, he had been drinking beer
"and spirits" and that approximately ninety minutes
had elapsed between the time he had been drinking and his
operation of the vehicle. The accident occurred after he had
exited the Garden State Parkway and was entering the New
Jersey Turnpike. He obtained a turnpike "billet to pay
the toll," then accelerated, and struck the vehicle in
front of him. Respondent conceded that he had consumed
sufficient quantities of alcohol that day such that it was
unsafe for him to be driving. Respondent admitted having a
blood alcohol level of .19 - more than twice the legal limit
under New Jersey law. He admitted further that, as a result
of the accident, three individuals from the other vehicle
were transported to the hospital with non-serious injuries.
April 7, 2017, Judge Jimenez sentenced respondent to three
years' probation, with the possibility of its termination
after one year, at the discretion of the probation
department, if respondent paid all fines, completed drug and
alcohol evaluation, submitted to random urine monitoring, and
otherwise complied with probation's requirements. The