In the Matter of Charles H. Lee
Docket No. XIV-2018-0196E
C. FROST, ESQ., CHAIR
W. CLARK, ESQ., VICE-CHAIR
PEI'ER J. BOYER, ESQ.
MAURICE J. GALLIPOLI
WAYNES JOSEPH, ESQ.
C. SINGER, ESQ.
A. BRODSKY CHIEF COUNSEL MELISSA URBAN DEPUTY COUNSEL TIMOTHY
M. ELLIS LILLIAN LEW1N BARRY R. PETERSEN, JR. COLIN T. TAS
KATHRYN ANN WINTERLE ASSISTANT COUNSEL
Disciplinary Review Board reviewed the motion for discipline
by consent (three-month suspension or such lesser discipline
as the Board may deem appropriate) filed by the Office of
Attorney Ethics (OAE), pursuant to K 1:20-10(b). Following a
review of the record, the Board determined to grant the
motion. In the Board's view, a three-month suspension is
the appropriate measure of discipline for respondent's
violations of RPC 1.5(a) (unreasonable fee),
RPC 1.5(c) (improper contingent fee), RPC
1.7(a)(2) (conflict of interest, personal interest of the
lawyer), RPC 1.8(a) (improper business transaction
with the client), RPC 1.15(a) (commingling),
RPC 1.15(d) and R, 1:21-6 (recordkeeping
violations), RPC 5.5(a)(1) (practicing law while
ineligible), RPC 7.5(c) (improper law firm name),
RPC 7.5(d) (improper law partnership), RPC
8.1(b) (failure to cooperate with ethics authorities), and
RPC 8.4(c) (conduct involving dishonesty, fraud,
deceit or misrepresentation).
respect of the Board's concern over a potential knowing
misappropriation violation, the OAE obtained a certification
from respondent's former law partner, Barry Fredericks,
Esq. Respondent and Fredericks were partners for about one
year in a firm known as Fredericks & Lee, LLP (F&L).
Fredericks explained that a $2, 500 payment from respondent,
which had raised concern to the Board, represented
respondent's repayment to Fredericks of a loan, rather
than a distribution of partnership funds. In short, no
evidence was adduced that respondent had knowingly
misappropriated law firm funds.
April 2014, respondent represented Hana Clark and Unji Jeong
(the Clark and Jeong matter) in an employment action against
United Dental Group, LLC (UDG). On April 23, 2014, the matter
settled with UDG agreeing to pay ...