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In re Farmer

Supreme Court of New Jersey

January 15, 2019

In The Matter Of George Louis Farmer An Attorney At Law

          Argued: October 18, 2018

         District Docket No. I-2016-0001E

          Dorothy F. McCrosson appeared on behalf of the District I Ethics Committee.

          Respondent appeared pro se, via telephone.

          DECISION

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

         This matter was before us on a recommendation for an admonition filed by the District I Ethics Committee (DEC). We determined to treat the matter as a recommendation for greater discipline, in accordance with R. 1:20-15(f)(4). The formal ethics complaint charged respondent with violating RPC 8.4(g) (engaging, in a professional capacity, in conduct involving discrimination).

         For the reasons detailed below, we determine to impose a reprimand.

         Respondent earned admission to the New Jersey and Pennsylvania bars in 1996, and to the Colorado bar in 1999. In 2012, he received an admonition for engaging in a conflict of interest. In the Matter of George Louis Farmer, DRB 11-438 (March 27, 2012). During the relevant time frame, respondent maintained an office for the practice of law in Northfield, Atlantic County, New Jersey.

         In April 2013, Al Ciccone retained respondent to pursue a medical malpractice claim against Dr. Jun Huang, an optometrist who had performed surgeries on Ciccone's eye. On July 24, 2013, in connection with the malpractice claim and in response to certain prior communications between them, respondent sent an e-mail to Dr. Huang, stating "I have read your letter. The only thing I can suggest is that you are either: delusional, a pathological liar, in denial, a psychopath, or all of the above."

         Dr. Huang ultimately retained attorney Richard Amdur to defend Ciccone's malpractice claim. Respondent's October 13, 2013 letter to Amdur forms the basis for this disciplinary action. In the letter, respondent wrote, in pertinent part:

As you are aware, your client has been accused of doing some serious, serious deeds of deception and improprieties. There is no doubt in my mind that he is a pathological liar. He is a doctor who is held to a higher standard than the normal person on the street. He has been accused of altering records in a post hoc effort to lie to try to get away with his mistakes. As time goes on, it only gets worse for him. The documents produced in discovery bear this out. He may think that he is smart and skilled, but his efforts are clearly transparent.
One recent example is the contrived letter that his employee purportedly wrote and signed that was produced during discovery. It is so obvious that Dr. Huang wrote the letter (as it is written in broken English) and forced/cajoled his employee to sign it. It is signed by a Jacqueline Pyle. However, according to the document produced in discovery as 1-1, JP (Jacqueline Pyle) was assisting on 8/17/11, but not 8/8/11. A different employee whose initials are PF was assisting on August 8, 2011. See attached ....
Putting aside for the moment that I am still somewhat idealistic - even in my old age, his efforts initially baffled me in light of the fact that I did not / cannot comprehend how someone who worked so hard to achieve what he has achieved in his life would risk it all by lying and attempting to cover up his misdoing. However, I am/was not a student of Chinese culture. So I did a little research and found that "In fact, lying to achieve some business or social aim, and getting away with it, is considered to be a sign of intelligence and social skill among many Chinese." See/25/http://thelinguafranca.wordpress.com/2008/03d o-the-chinese-lie-that-depends/. Also, in the Chinese culture, "lying has become a means to an end." See http://EzineArticles.com/1435598.
Having read those articles as well as other related articles, it is starting to make sense to me. Your client's only problem is that even though he is a doctor, and he thinks that he can lie his way through this matter, he is not going to get away with it. I am someone who is smarter than the average person on the street, and am wise to his nonsense, ...

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