IN THE MATTER OF HERCULES PAPPAS AN ATTORNEY AT LAW
Docket No. IV-2016-0037E
C. Frost, Chair Ellen A. Brodsky, Chief Counsel.
Honorable Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme
Court of New Jersey.
matter was before us by way of default filed by the District
IV Ethics Committee (DEC), pursuant to ‰ l:2O-4(f).
The complaint charged respondent with violations of
RFC 5.5(a)(1) (engaging in the unauthorized practice
of law) and RPC 8.1(b) (failure to cooperate). For
the reasons set forth below, we determine to impose a
was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1997, to the
Pennsylvania bar in 1998, and to the New York bar in 2009. He
has no history of discipline in New Jersey.
of process was proper in this matter. On May 16, 2017, the
DEC sent a copy of the complaint to respondent's law
office, in Haddonfield, New Jersey, by both regular and
certified mail, return receipt requested. On May 17, 2017,
Alice Bider signed for the certified mail. The regular mail
was not returned.
13, 2017, the DEC sent respondent a letter, by regular mail,
informing him that, if he failed to file a verified answer to
the complaint within five days of the date of the letter, the
allegations of the complaint would be deemed admitted, the
entire record would be certified directly to us for the
imposition of discipline, and the complaint would be deemed
amended to include a violation of RPC 8.1(b). The
regular mail was not returned.
time within which respondent may have answered has expired.
As of the date of the certification of the record, no answer
had been filed by or on behalf of respondent.
facts, as alleged in the complaint, are as follows. In 2014,
respondent represented an individual in a bankruptcy
proceeding in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern
District of Pennsylvania (EDPA). On September 10, 2014, in
connection with a motion filed by the trustee, the bankruptcy
judge issued an order requiring respondent to complete six
hours of continuing legal education (CLE) credits within the
bankruptcy subject matter, with at least one of those credits
related to bankruptcy ethics.
order further enjoined respondent from filing bankruptcy
cases or otherwise participating in bankruptcy cases "in
the District, or any other District where he may be licensed.
(Although he shall be permitted to complete and participate
in the above caption [sic] matter.)" That prohibition
was to remain in place until respondent certified to the
court that he had completed the required CLE credits.
on October 28, 2015, respondent filed a Chapter 7 petition in
the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of New Jersey,
in Camden (DNJ). Thereafter, on March 30, 2016, also in the
DNJ, respondent filed a Chapter 11 petition. At the time he
filed these two petitions in New Jersey, respondent had not
yet complied with the order entered by the bankruptcy court
in the EDPA. According to the terms of the order,
respondent's failure to comply with the CLE requirements
set forth therein rendered him ineligible to practice in the
September 30, 2016, the DEC sent a letter to respondent,
notifying him of the investigation of the grievance filed
against him, and requesting a written reply, along with any
documents that would assist in the investigation. On November
4, 2016, respondent telephoned the investigator, indicating
that he was having telephone problems and had been ill.
During that call, he provided the investigator with general
information pertaining to the grievance, but stated he would
provide a written response.
weeks later, the investigator, by letter, reminded respondent
that his reply was required and set a deadline of seven days
for respondent to submit it. On January 19, 2017, having
received nothing from respondent, the investigator sent a
follow up letter regarding his failure to cooperate and, once
again, giving him seven days to comply. Respondent made no
further contact with the investigator after ...