New Jersey Disclaimer – LegalWhistler

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Important Read Carefully

New Jersey Disclaimer

EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 10, 2018: Important bar grievance procedures as they apply to all licensed attorneys in the State of New Jersey. Read this carefully to know what to expect before, during and after the filing process. The LegalWhistler does not provide legal advice. We do not make lawyer referrals.

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What to Expect in the Early Stages
of the Process

General Time Frames

It generally takes between 3 to 6 months to fully resolve a grievance that is not dismissed before the hearing stage.

Definitions to Know

The grievant is the person who filed the grievance against the attorney. A grievance is also known as a bar complaint.

Disciplinary Authority

NJ Office of Attorney Ethics is the investigative/disciplinary arm of the Supreme Court of NJ. The OAE Secretary reviews all newly submitted grievances and decides if they have merit.

General Procedures

All grievances must be filed in writing. A specific grievance form is provided by the NJ Office of Attorney Ethics. The original form with proof + 2 copies must be submitted.

What to Expect During the Investigation and Beyond

What Happens?

If the grievance appears to have merit, it will be put on the docket and assigned to an investigator. The investigator will be a staff attorney. The attorney may, or may not, reach out to the grievant during the investigation.

What Happens Next?

The investigator will present the results to an ethics committee which consists of volunteers (2 lawyers and 1 non-lawyer). The committee will decide to move forward or not. If they move forward, the accused attorney will have 21 days to respond.

About the Rules

The grievant has immunity (within limits) during the process. We highly recommend the grievant keep the matter confidential until after the final decision has been made. Keep in mind, the client/attorney privilege is usually waived during the investigation.

How Does the Process Conclude?

If Dismissed?

If the committee rules to dismiss the grievance, the grievant can appeal the decision but time restrictions may apply.

If Not Dismissed?

There could be a public hearing at this stage. If the attorney loses, the Supreme Court of NJ will decide on punishment. The attorney can appeal. Possible punishments include: admonition, reprimand, censure, suspension or disbarment.

Need More Details

Visit the NJ State Bar website for the full rules. The LegalWhistler does not provide legal advice. The LegalWhistler does not make lawyer referrals.