Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Garagozzo

Supreme Court of New Jersey

March 25, 2019

In The Matter Of John Joseph Garagozzo An Attorney At Law

          Argued: November 15, 2018

          District Docket No. XIV-2017-0643E

          Eugene A. Racz appeared on behalf of the Office of Attorney Ethics.

          Respondent failed to appear, despite proper notice.

          Ellen A. Brodsky Chief Counsel

          DECISION

          Bonnie C. Frost, Chair

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

         This matter was before us on a motion for reciprocal discipline filed by the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE), pursuant to IL 1:20-14(a), following an order from the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania suspending respondent for two years, effective October 6, 2017. Respondent was found guilty of violating the equivalents of New Jersey RPC 5.5(a)(1) (unauthorized practice of law); RPC 7.1(a) (false or misleading communication about the lawyer, the lawyer's services, or any matter in which the lawyer has or seeks a professional involvement); RPC 8.1(a) (knowingly making a false statement of material fact in connection with a disciplinary matter); RPC 8.4(c) (conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation); and RPC 8.4(d) (conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice).

         The OAE alleges that respondent is further guilty of violating the equivalents of New Jersey RPC 1.4(d) (failure to advise a client of the limitations of the lawyer's conduct, when a client expects assistance not permitted by the Rules); RPC 1.16(a)(1) (failure to withdraw when the representation will result in a violation of the RPCs); and RPC 7.5(a) (improper use of a professional designation that violates RPC 7.1).

         The OAE recommends the imposition of a censure. Respondent made no submission for our consideration. For the reasons set forth below, we determine to impose a censure.

         Respondent earned admission to the New Jersey bar in 1983, the Pennsylvania bar in 1982, and the Arizona bar in 1994. He has no prior discipline in New Jersey. On September 12, 2016, however, the Court entered an Order declaring respondent ineligible to practice, based on his failure to pay his annual registration fee to the New Jersey Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection (CPF). On November 21, 2016, he also became ineligible to practice for failure to comply with New Jersey continuing legal education (CLE) requirements. He remains ineligible, on both counts, to date.

         The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued a report (DBR), dated August 8, 2017, on which the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania relied in determining to suspend respondent. The facts of the case are as follows.

         Effective January 8, 2014, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued an order suspending respondent from the practice of law for noncompliance with Pennsylvania CLE requirements.[1] During the six months prior to the effective date, the Pennsylvania CLE Board had twice warned respondent, in writing, of his impending suspension. Despite receiving the warning letters, respondent failed to correct his CLE deficiency. Subsequently, the Pennsylvania Attorney Registrar served respondent with a copy of his suspension order, along with copies of the applicable Pennsylvania rules, guidance on complying with his administrative suspension, and instructions on rectifying his CLE status. Respondent received the Attorney Registrar's letter, and, thus, knew of his suspended status.

         Despite that knowledge, respondent (i) failed to comply with Pennsylvania's rules governing suspended attorneys; (ii) continued to maintain an office for the practice of law; (iii) continued to hold himself out as eligible to practice law, through the use of attorney letterhead; and (iv) practiced law, while ineligible to do so, in at least four matters, on behalf of three clients.

         Specifically, in October 2014, Reynaldo Cruz retained respondent in connection with a Philadelphia Municipal Court matter. Respondent appeared in that court on behalf of Cruz on December 4, 2014, and March 4, April 15, and May 21, 2015, resulting in a guilty plea by Cruz and admission into a diversionary program.

         In April 2015, James Jones retained respondent in connection with a Philadelphia Municipal Court matter. Respondent appeared in that court on behalf of Jones on April 16, May 1, and June 3, 2015, resulting in a ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.