In the Matter of Robert Arthur Plagmann An Attorney At Law
Argued: January 17, 2019
Docket No. XIV-2018-0333E
A. Racz appeared on behalf of the Office of Attorney Ethics.
Respondent did not appear, despite proper notice.
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 motion for reciprocal discipline
filed by the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE), pursuant to R.
1:20-14, following the United States Department of the
Navy's imposition of an indefinite suspension on
respondent for his violation of Navy RPC 8.4a(3),
equivalent to New Jersey RPC 8.4(c). That
Rule prohibits Navy and United States Marine Corps
(USMC) attorneys from engaging in conduct
involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.
recommends the imposition of a censure for respondent's
misconduct. Respondent does not challenge the recommendation.
reasons set forth below, we determine to grant the motion for
reciprocal discipline and impose a reprimand on respondent
for his violation of New Jersey RPC 8.4(c).
was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 2006, the District of
Columbia bar in 2009, and the Arizona bar in 2017. At the
relevant times, he served as a Deputy Station Judge Advocate
in the USMC. Respondent has no history of discipline in New
October 2014, respondent was a Major in the USMC, and Deputy
Staff Judge Advocate and Senior Defense Counsel at Marine
Corps Air Station Miramar (MCAS Miramar) in San Diego,
California. Sometime that month, he and Lieutenant Colonel
Melanie J. Mann, USMC, agreed that, due to a "tremendous
amount of stress" and a heavy case load, he
'"needed a break' from his intense defense
November 17, 2014, respondent was reassigned to Deputy
Station Judge Advocate. In this position, he provided legal
advice to the MCAS Miramar Commander and subordinate commands
December 17, 2014, respondent's brother, Staff Sergeant
James L. Plagmann, Jr., was placed in the Pre-Trial
Confinement Facility (brig) aboard MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, where
he remained for six days. During Staff Sergeant
Plagmann's confinement, respondent was neither his
attorney, nor authorized to form or establish an
attorney-client relationship with him.
brig procedure, telephone calls to a detainee could not be
accepted unless the calls were from a lawyer or the
detainee's immediate command, or of a medical nature. All
other callers were required to leave a message for the
detainee, who would be permitted to return the call via
payphone at a ...