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In re Wianecki

Supreme Court of New Jersey

February 21, 2018

In the Matter of Robert A. Wianecki, Jr.

          Bonnie C. Frost, Esq., Chair, Edna Y. Baugh, Esq., Vice-Chair, Peter J. Boyer, Esq., Bruce W. Clark, Esq., Hon. Maurice J. Gallipoli, Thomas J. Hoberman, Eileen Rivera, Anne C. Singer, Esq., Robert C. Zmirich.

          Ellen A. Brodsky CHIEF COUNSEL.

          Paula T. Granuzzo deputy chief counsel.

          Melissa Urban First Assistant counsel.

          Timothy M. Ellis, Lillian Lewin, Barry R. Petersen, Jr., Colin T. Tams, Kathryn Anne Winterle assistant counsel.

         Dear Mr. Neary:

         The Disciplinary Review Board has reviewed the motion for discipline by consent (reprimand or such lesser discipline as the Board deems warranted), filed by the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE), pursuant to IL. 1:20-10(b) (1). Following its review of the record, the Board determined to grant the motion and to impose a reprimand on respondent for his violation of RPC 1.15(d) (failure to comply with the recordkeeping requirements set forth in R, 1:21-6).

         Specifically, on May 18, 2016, the OAE conducted an audit of respondent's attorney books and records. The audit uncovered the following recordkeeping deficiencies:

• Electronic transfers made without proper authorization, in violation of R. 1:21-6(C)(1)(a);
• Inactive balances, totaling $10, 196.07, left in attorney trust account, in violation of R. 1:21-6(d);
• Thirty old outstanding checks and one recorded wire transfer, totaling $6, 196.52, in violation of R. 1:21-6(d); and
. improper designation on attorney business account checks, in violation of R. 1:21-6(a)(2).

         Previously, during a June 2012 audit, the OAE had uncovered the same recordkeeping violations. In November 2012, respondent certified to the OAE that he had resolved the deficiencies. Although respondent did resolve the inactive balances and old outstanding checks uncovered during the 2012 audit, the 2016 audit uncovered different inactive balances and old outstanding checks. Further, contrary to respondent's November 2012 certification to the OAE, he continued to make electronic transfers without proper authorization and to use the improperly-designated business account checks. For example, on April 8, 2015, respondent issued an "operating account" check. Further, his records reflected multiple electronic transfers into his trust account, but no evidence that he had provided signed written instructions to the bank prior to each transfer.

         RPC 1.15(d) requires an attorney to comply with the recordkeeping requirements set forth in R. 1:21-6. Thus, as the parties stipulated, respondent's violation of R., 1:21-6(a)(2), FL 1:21-6(c) (1) ...


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