IN THE MATTER OF WAYNE A. AUTRY AN ATTORNEY AT LAW
A. Brodsky Chief Counsel
District Docket Nos. XIV-2016-048QE; XIV-2016-0432E; and
Honorable Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme
Court of New Jersey.
matters were before us on two separate certifications of
default filed by the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE),
pursuant to R. 1:20-4(f). We determined to consolidate them
for disposition. In DRB 17-343, a one-count complaint charged
respondent with having failed to comply with the OAE's
requests for information about a trust account overdraft and
failure to appear for a demand audit, in violation of
RPC 8.1(b) (failure to cooperate with an ethics
investigation). In DRB 17-354, a one-count complaint alleged
that respondent violated RPC 8.1(b) and RPC
8.4(d) (conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice)
for his failure to file the required R. 1:20-20 affidavit,
following his temporary suspension from the practice of law.
determine to impose a three-month suspension for the totality
of respondent's misconduct in these two matters.
was admitted to the New York and New Jersey bars in 2001. On
July 2, 2015, he was reprimanded in a default matter for
recordkeeping violations and for failure to respond to ethics
authorities" requests for information. In re
Autry, 222 N.J. 5 (2015).
April 11, 2016, respondent was temporarily suspended for
failure to pay administrative costs associated with the above
reprimand matter, In re Autry, 224 N.J. 385 (2016).
March 1, 2017, respondent was again temporarily suspended,
this time for failure to cooperate in the matter under DRB
17-343. In re Autry, 228 N.J. 109 (2017). He remains
suspended to date.
of process was proper in this matter. On July 6, 2017, the
OAE sent respondent a copy of the complaint at his last known
home address listed in the attorney registration records, by
certified mail, return receipt requested, and by regular
mail. The certified mail receipt was returned, marked
"Return to Sender, Not Deliverable As Addressed Unable
to Forward." The regular mail was not returned.
August 22, 2017, the OAE sent a second mailing to respondent,
to the same home address, also by certified and regular mail,
notifying him that, unless he filed an answer to the
complaint within five days of the date of the letter, the
allegations of the complaint would be deemed admitted; that,
pursuant to BL. 1:20-4(f) and R. 1:20-6 (c) (1), the record
in the matter would be certified directly to us for
imposition of sanction; and that the complaint would be
amended to include a charge of a violation of RPC
green certified mail return receipt was returned signed,
indicating delivery on August 25, 2017. The signature is
illegible. The regular mail was not returned.
time within which respondent was required to answer the
complaint has expired. As of September 18, 2017, the date of
the certification of the record, respondent had not filed an
turn to the allegations of the complaint. On August 4, 2016,
TD Bank notified the OAE that respondent's attorney trust
account had been overdrawn on August 3, 2016. Accordingly, by
letters dated August 11 and September 8, 2016, the OAE
directed respondent to provide a written explanation for the
overdraft. Respondent failed to do so.
October 3, 2016, the OAE sent respondent a letter directing
him to appear at the OAE's offices for an October 24,
2016 demand audit. Respondent failed to appear on the audit
the OAE subpoenaed respondent's attorney account records
from TD Bank. Meanwhile, on August 11, 2016, respondent filed
for bankruptcy, listing the same home address ...