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In re Terry

Supreme Court of New Jersey

June 8, 2018

IN THE MATTER OF LOGAN M. TERRY AN ATTORNEY AT LAW

          Argued: February 15, 2018

         District Docket No. XIV-2016-0368E

          Joseph Glyn appeared on behalf of the Office of Attorney Ethics.

          Respondent appeared pro se.

          DECISION

          BONNIE C. FROST, CHAIRMAN

         To the Honorable Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

         This matter was before us pursuant to R. 1:20-6(c) (1), which provides that a "hearing shall be held only if the pleadings raise genuine disputes of material fact, if the respondent's answer requests an opportunity to be heard in mitigation, or if the presenter requests to be heard in aggravation." Respondent's answer admitted the allegations of the ethics complaint, which charged him with engaging in a conflict of interest (RFC 1.7(a)(2)) and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice (RPC 8.4(d)). We determine to impose a censure.

         Respondent was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 2003. He has no history of discipline.

         In his November 8, 2017 answer to the formal ethics complaint, respondent admitted all of the essential facts of the complaint, as follows. In June 2016, respondent represented AM in criminal charges, including sexual assault upon four minors under the age of thirteen, pending against him in Superior Court of New Jersey, Burlington County.

         In the days immediately prior to a jury trial scheduled for June 7, 2016, respondent communicated with his client in an attempt to collect outstanding fees, informing AM that respondent could not "provide an adequate defense" unless AM paid respondent's legal fees.[1]

         Furthermore, in a text message, respondent warned AM that he would not prepare for the trial during the weekend immediately preceding it, unless he was first paid. He then wrote, "HAVE FUN IN PRISON." The maximum sentence that AM could have received exceeded 200 years.

         At the inception of the trial, AM informed the judge that he no longer trusted respondent as his attorney and that he wanted to terminate their attorney/client relationship. He showed the judge screenshots of various communications from respondent and a transcript of the offending text message. The judge then granted the application for new counsel, and dismissed the jury in order to reschedule the trial for a future date, once subsequent counsel was in place.

         In a July 9, 2016 letter to the OAE, respondent admitted that his actions had been unethical, and asserted that, during the fourteen-month representation, AM had been uncooperative in preparing a defense to the charges and had refused a plea offer that respondent considered favorable.

         Thereafter, respondent entered into an Agreement in Lieu of Discipline (ALD) with the OAE. In it, respondent admitted that he ...


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