IN THE MATTER OF ROBERT GEOFFREY BRODERICK AN ATTORNEY AT LAW
March 15, 2018
Garcia appeared on behalf of the Office of Attorney Ethics.
A. Brodsky, Chief Counsel
Respondent appeared pro se, via telephone.
C. FROST, CHAIR
Honorable Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme
Court of New Jersey.
matter was before us on a motion for reciprocal discipline
filed by the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE), following
respondent's one-year suspension in Connecticut, for his
violation of the Connecticut equivalent of New Jersey
RPC 1.17(c)(2) (improper sale of a law
office) and RPC 8.4(c) (conduct involving
dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation).
seeks a six-month suspension. Although respondent does not
specifically dispute the OAE's recommendation, he
requests that we consider a shorter duration. For the reasons
stated below, we determine to impose a censure.
was admitted to the New Jersey and Connecticut bars in
2010. He has no history of discipline in New
Jersey. According to the Central Attorney Management System
(CAMS), as of February 28, 2018, respondent has been retired
from the practice of law in New Jersey.
February 25, 2016, Disciplinary Counsel for the Connecticut
Statewide Grievance Committee (CSGC) filed a presentment,
charging respondent with four counts of violating Rules
1.17(c)(1), 1.17(c)(2) and 8.4(3) of the Connecticut
Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct (CLRPC). Prior
thereto, on January 29, 2016, respondent submitted an
affidavit, admitting the charged violations.
respondent admitted that he failed to give four separate
clients written notice of the sale of his law firm, failed to
inform them of their right to retain other counsel, and
failed to inform them that they could take possession of
their files before the sale of his firm, all in violation of
CLRPC 1.17(c)(1) and (2). He also admitted that he violated-
CLRPC 8.4(3) when those four clients retained him for
mortgage relief services, in violation of state and federal
August 1, 2014, respondent's law firm, The Resolution Law
Group, and its successor, the Berger Law Group, were placed
in receivership by the United States District Court for the
Middle District of Florida - Tampa Division (USFLA). That
action was based on allegations by the Florida and
Connecticut Attorneys General that both firms had generated
millions of dollars in illegal upfront fees by convincing
consumers to pay to be included as plaintiffs in
"mass-joinder" lawsuits against mortgage lenders
Respondent and his partners promised that the litigation
would induce banks to give modifications or other types of
mortgage relief. They charged individuals a $6, 000 upfront
"investigation fee" and a $500 per month
conduct violated Chapter 501, Part II, Florida Statutes and
Conn. Gen. Stat., Chapter 735a (deceptive trade practices),
and the federal Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule
(MARS), 12 C.F.R. Part 1015 (2012) (Regulation 0). The record
does not disclose the resolution of the federal matter.
August 20, 2016, respondent was suspended for one year in
Connecticut. On September 1, 2016, the District of Columbia
Court of Appeals entered an order suspending respondent from
the practice of law for a period of one year, nunc pro
tunc to August 7, 2016.
Connecticut and the District of Columbia suspensions were
based on respondent's violations of CLRPC 1.17(c)(1),
1.17(c)(2) and 8.4(3). Respondent's unethical conduct in