In The Matter Of Daniel James Fox An Attorney At Law
Docket No. XIV-2017-0433E
A. Brodsky Chief Counsel.
C. Frost, Chair.
Honorable Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme
Court of New Jersey.
matter was before us on a certification of the record, filed
by the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE), pursuant to R:
1:20-4(f). The formal ethics complaint charged respondent
with failure to cooperate with the OAE (RPC 8.1(b)) in its
investigation of a grievance. For the reasons set forth
below, we determine that respondent violated the
Rule and impose a censure on him.
was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1986 and to the New
York bar in 1987. At the relevant times, he maintained an
office for the practice of law in Orange.
February 1, 2010, after respondent pleaded guilty to one
count of making a false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement
to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001 and 2, he was
temporarily suspended, pending the final resolution of ethics
proceedings against him. In re Fox, 201 N.J. 158
(2010). Subsequently, on April 23, 2015, the Court imposed a
one-year suspension on respondent, based on his federal
criminal conviction. In re Fox. 221 N.J. 263 (2015).
The suspension was retroactive to February 1, 2010, the
effective date of respondent's temporary suspension.
Ibid. Respondent remains suspended.
7, 2012, respondent was censured, in a default matter, for
failure to cooperate with disciplinary authorities and
conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. In
re Fox, 210 N.J. 255 (2012). Specifically, he had failed
to file an affidavit of compliance with R. 1:20-20 after the
2010 temporary suspension, which remained in effect.
of process was proper. On June 28, 2018, the OAE sent a copy
of an amended formal ethics complaint to respondent's
home address, by regular and certified mail, return receipt
requested. The letter sent by regular mail was not
is no proof that the United States Postal Service (USPS)
attempted to deliver the certified letter. As of August 9,
2018, the date of the certification of the record, the most
recent entry on the USPS tracking system stated that, as of
July 3, 2018, the item was "currently in transit to the
next facility." As of the date of this decision, the
USPS tracking system contained no further update.
the USPS may not have even attempted to deliver the certified
letter has no bearing on whether the OAE effected service of
the amended complaint. Service was effected on mailing of the
letter by regular mail, which was not returned to the OAE. R.
25, 2018, the OAE sent another letter to respondent, at the
same address, by regular mail. The letter informed respondent
that, if he failed to file an answer within five days, the
allegations of the amended complaint would be deemed
admitted, the record would be certified directly to us for
the imposition of a sanction, and the amended complaint would
be deemed amended to include a charge of a violation of
certification of the record does not state whether the letter
sent by regular mail was returned. Because the letter was
sent to the address listed in the records of the New Jersey
Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection, service was complete
August 9, 2018, respondent had not filed an answer to the
complaint, and the time within which he was required to do so
had expired. Accordingly, ...