In the Matter of Ciatta Z. Baysah An Attorney At Law
Docket No. VI-2018-0030E
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 District VI Ethics Committee (DEC), pursuant to R.
1:20-4(f). The formal ethics complaint charged respondent
with violations of RPC 1.4, presumably (c) (failure
to explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary for
the client to make informed decisions about the
representation) and RPC 8.4, presumably (c) (conduct
involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation).
reasons set forth below, we determine to impose a censure.
was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 2006, New York in 2007
and the District of Columbia in 2009. She has no prior
discipline. On August 28, 2017, respondent was declared
ineligible to practice law for failure to pay the annual
attorney assessment to the New Jersey Lawyers' Fund for
Client Protection. She remains ineligible to date.
of process was proper in this matter. On May 22, 2018,
respondent verified her correct home address in e-mail
correspondence with the Office of Attorney Ethics. By letter
of the same date, the DEC sent a copy of the complaint, by
certified and regular mail, to that address. The United
States Postal Service (USPS) website indicated delivery of
the certified mail to a post office box in New York, for
pickup on May 29, 2018. Neither the certified mail receipt
card nor the regular mail was returned.
September 5, 2018, the DEC sent a letter to respondent, at
the same home address, also by regular and certified mail,
informing her that, if she failed to file an answer to the
complaint within five days of the date of the letter, the
allegations of the complaint would be deemed admitted, the
record would be certified directly to us for the imposition
of discipline, and the complaint would be amended to include
a charge of a violation of RPC 8.1(b). The USPS
website indicated delivery of the certified mail to a New
York post office box on September 7, 2018. Neither the
certified mail receipt card nor the regular mail was
September 27, 2018, respondent had not filed an answer to the
complaint, and the time within which he was required to do so
had expired. Accordingly, the OAE certified this matter to
the Board as a default. We now turn to the allegations of the
2006 through October 2010, respondent was employed as an
associate attorney in the Akin law firm. On September 17,
2006, Jacqueline Bissah retained the law firm to represent
her in a divorce. In 2007, Bissah's case was assigned to
respondent, who handled it under partner supervision.
at the Akin firm, respondent filed two motions to enforce
litigant's rights. The court decided the first motion in
August 2008, and the second one in January
2010. In October 2010, respondent left the Akin
firm to take an associate position with the Dimentman law
firm. Bissah transferred her matter to the Dimentman firm so
that respondent could continue to work on her divorce.
to the complaint, respondent made multiple e-mail
misrepresentations, presumably to Bissah, that she had filed
a third motion to enforce litigant's rights in late 2010,
and that the court had scheduled the matter for consideration
in early 2011. Respondent, however, had not filed a third
complaint charged that respondent's "failure to keep
her client adequately and accurately informed and her deceit
and misrepresentation of the facts constituted a violation of