IN THE MATTER OF STEPHANIE A, HAND AN ATTORNEY AT LAW
Argued: April 19, 2018
District Docket No. XIV-2015-0477E
Hillary K. Horton appeared on behalf of the Office of
Respondent waived appearance for oral argument.
A. Brodsky Chief Counsel
Disciplinary Review Board Bonnie C. Frost, Chair
Honorable Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme
Court of New Jersey.
matter was before us on a motion for final discipline filed
by the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE), pursuant to ]R.
1:20-13(c)(2). On September 29, 2015, respondent entered a
guilty plea in the United States District Court, District of
New Jersey, to two misdemeanor counts of failure to file
income tax returns, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7203.
Both the OAE and respondent requested the imposition of a
six-month prospective suspension.
reasons set forth below, we determined to grant the motion
for final discipline and impose a one-year prospective
earned admission to the New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New
York bars in 1994. She is engaged in the practice of law in
Newark, Essex County, New Jersey.
2010, respondent received an admonition for violating
RPC 1.3 (lack of diligence) and RPC 8.4(d)
(conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice). In
that matter, respondent proceeded with her client's real
estate purchase, despite her knowledge that the seller had
filed a bankruptcy petition and, thus, the sale required the
prior approval of the bankruptcy court. Respondent relied
solely on the seller's representation that the bankruptcy
court had approved the sale, which was not true. Eventually,
the bankruptcy court approved the sale. In addition to
imposing the admonition, we required respondent to return her
fee to her client, in the Matter of Stephanie A.
Hand, DRB 10-196 (September 29, 2010).
2015, respondent received a second admonition for lack of
diligence and failure to communicate with a client, in
violation of RPC 1.4(b). Specifically, between July
23, 2012 and April 26, 2013, she failed to perform work on
her client's matter or to inform him that an
arbitrator's decision in favor of his contractor was not
appealable. Rather, she continued to allow the client to
believe that she would complete and file a complaint on his
behalf. In the Matter of Stephanie A. Hand, DRB
14-291 (January 20, 2015).
December 1, 2015, respondent was temporarily suspended from
the practice of law, as a result of her guilty plea to the
criminal offenses that are the subject of this motion for
final discipline. In re Hand, 223 N.J. 362 (2015).
On December 9, 2015, she was reinstated to the practice of
law, without objection by the QAE, presumably because her
federal offenses were misdemeanors, rather than felonies.
In re Hand, 223 N.J. 401 (2015).
5, 2017, respondent was temporarily suspended from the
practice of law, after a jury in the Superior Court of New
Jersey found her guilty of the second-degree crimes of
financial facilitation of criminal activity and theft by