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For immediate release: September 20, 2006
For further information contact
Winnie Comfort,
Tammy Kendig

Volunteers in Attorney Ethics System Conclude Terms of Service


The Supreme Court will issue certificates thanking 117 volunteers who are concluding their four-year terms on the state's 17 district ethics committees, announced David E. Johnson Jr., director of the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE). The district ethics committees investigate and prosecute ethics cases involving New Jersey attorneys.

"Because of your selfless and untiring contribution of time and talent in the performance of your duties, the Judiciary, the legal profession and the citizens of New Jersey are assured a higher degree of accountability, legal competence and ethical conduct from those who serve the public in the practice of law," the certificate reads in part.

Currently there are 491 volunteers serving on the committees. Please see the attached list for the names and hometowns of the departing members.

The district ethics committees are made up of attorneys and public members. Attorney members investigate and, if necessary, prosecute grievances docketed with the committee. Public members serve together with two attorneys on three-member panels that decide cases where formal complaints have been filed after investigations. The committees are overseen by the OAE, and any recommended sanction is review by the state's Disciplinary Review Board. Final discipline is imposed by the New Jersey Supreme Court, which reviews sanctions recommended from below.

The OAE maintains a comprehensive Web site, which can be accessed through the Judiciary Web site at njcourtsonline.com. In addition, clients wishing to file a grievance can call the automated OAE hotline at 1-800-406-8594. Callers need to enter the attorney's office zip code to receive contact information for the secretary of the appropriate district committee.

The Supreme Court imposed final discipline on 145 attorneys last year. In addition, the Court issued 33 emergent sanctions to protect the public while discipline charges were pending.

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