Suchanoff, Matter of

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
Citation93 N.J. 226,460 A.2d 642
PartiesIn the Matter of Peter F. SUCHANOFF, An Attorney at Law.
Decision Date23 May 1983

Page 226

93 N.J. 226
460 A.2d 642
In the Matter of Peter F. SUCHANOFF, An Attorney at Law.
Supreme Court of New Jersey.
May 23, 1983.

Lawrence J. DiStefano, Jr., Millville, for Dist. I Ethics committee.

Edwin J. Jacobs, Jr., Atlantic City, for respondent.

ORDER

The Disciplinary Review Board having filed a report with the Supreme Court recommending that PETER F. SUCHANOFF of AVALON be disciplined for violations of DR. 1-102(A)(4) and (6) arising out of his improper utilization of an escrow account of the title company where he was employed, and good cause appearing;

It is ORDERED that the report of the Disciplinary Review Board is hereby adopted and that, substantially for the reasons appearing in that report, PETER F. SUCHANOFF is suspended from the practice of law for a period of three years and until the further order of this Court, effective March 26, 1981; and it is further

Page 227

ORDERED that respondent reimburse the Administrative Office of the Courts for the administrative costs incurred in this matter, including the production of transcripts; and it is further

ORDERED that respondent continue to be restrained and enjoined during the period of his suspension and that he continue to comply with all the regulations of the Disciplinary Review Board governing suspended, disbarred or resigned attorneys.

Decision and Recommendation of the Disciplinary Review Board

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

This matter is before the Board based upon a presentment, captioned "Report of the Findings of Hearing Panel" filed by the District I Ethics Committee. The presentment details four instances of improper utilization of an escrow account of the Jersey Commonwealth Abstract Company, where respondent was employed as "settlement clerk".

Respondent began his employment in 1973 following graduation from law school. His employer, the complainant herein, maintained a law office in Avalon, New Jersey and simultaneously acted as agent for Chelsea Title and Guaranty Company, trading as Jersey Commonwealth Abstract Company (hereinafter Commonwealth). Respondent received limited training prior to assuming the bulk of the responsibility for settlements involving Commonwealth, although his employer was available for consultation when necessary.

Over time, respondent's workload increased to a point where he handled between ten and twenty settlements per week. This required that he work about twelve hours per day, six days a week. In 1978, he became a partner in his employer's law firm, and in the title company, although he continued to work exclusively on title company matters.

The four transactions which form the basis for the ethics complaint may be summarized as follows:

Page 228

I. DILLER

Respondent, together with his two law partners, purchased property from William [460 A.2d 643] J. Diller, Jr., a Stone Harbor realtor for $75,000. $50,000 of that purchase price was secured by a purchase money mortgage taken back by Diller, which was payable in three years or at resale of the property. The purchasers intended and did, indeed, sell that property to a third party within several months of purchase. Although respondent, who acted as settlement clerk at the June 21, 1980 sale, prepared the settlement sheet, reference to the Diller mortgage was erased by respondent. The closing proceeds of $67,214.14 were put into respondent's personal account, and were utilized in other real estate transactions. It was, therefore, necessary for Diller to badger the respondent for several weeks for payment of the $50,000 owed to him. In mid-July,...

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20 practice notes
  • Part II
    • United States
    • Federal Register December 12, 2003
    • December 12, 2003
    ...to the practice of law or that the offense is not committed in the attorney's professional capacity is immaterial. In re Suchanoff, 460 A.2d 642 (N.J. 1983); In re Franklin, 365 A.2d 1361 (N.J. Section 11.6, like current Sec. 10.6, would provide for registration of individuals to practice b......
  • Practice and procedure: Patent and trademark cases rules of practice; representation of others before Patent and Trademark Office,
    • United States
    • Federal Register December 12, 2003
    • December 12, 2003
    ...to the practice of law or that the offense is not committed in the attorney's professional capacity is immaterial. In re Suchanoff, 460 A.2d 642 (N.J. 1983); In re Franklin, 365 A.2d 1361 (N.J. Section 11.6, like current Sec. 10.6, would provide for registration of individuals to practice b......
  • Hasbrouck, Matter of
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • January 30, 1998
    ...discipline. Hasbrouck, supra, 140 N.J. at 167, 657 A.2d 878; In re Schaffer, 140 N.J. 148, 156, 657 A.2d 871 (1995); In re Suchanoff, 93 N.J. 226, 230, 460 A.2d 642 (1983). Some criminal conduct is so utterly incompatible with the standard of honesty and integrity that we require of attorne......
  • Hasbrouck, Matter of
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • May 12, 1995
    ...her behavior was not related to the practice of law or that her offense was not committed in her professional capacity. In re Suchanoff, 93 N.J. 226, 230, 460 A.2d 642 (1983); In re Kinnear, supra, 105 N.J. at 395, 522 A.2d 414. Any misbehavior, private or professional, that reveals a lack ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Hasbrouck, Matter of
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • January 30, 1998
    ...discipline. Hasbrouck, supra, 140 N.J. at 167, 657 A.2d 878; In re Schaffer, 140 N.J. 148, 156, 657 A.2d 871 (1995); In re Suchanoff, 93 N.J. 226, 230, 460 A.2d 642 (1983). Some criminal conduct is so utterly incompatible with the standard of honesty and integrity that we require of attorne......
  • Hasbrouck, Matter of
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • May 12, 1995
    ...her behavior was not related to the practice of law or that her offense was not committed in her professional capacity. In re Suchanoff, 93 N.J. 226, 230, 460 A.2d 642 (1983); In re Kinnear, supra, 105 N.J. at 395, 522 A.2d 414. Any misbehavior, private or professional, that reveals a lack ......
  • McCann, Matter of
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • June 7, 1988
    ...of law. Matter of Rutledge, 101 N.J. 493, 498, 502 A.2d 569 (1986); Matter of Huber, 101 N.J. 1, 4, 499 A.2d 220 (1985); In re Suchanoff, 93 N.J. 226, 230, 460 A.2d 642 (1983); In re Page 502 Franklin, 71 N.J. 425, 429, 365 A.2d 1361 (1976); In re Carlson, 17 N.J. 338, 347, 111 A.2d 393 (19......
  • Pepe, Matter of
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • June 30, 1995
    ...clients. In re Rutledge, 101 N.J. 493, 498, 502 A.2d 569 (1986); In re Huber, 101 N.J. 1, 4, 499 A.2d 220 (1985); In re Suchanoff, 93 N.J. 226, 230, 460 A.2d 642 (1983); In re Franklin, supra, 71 N.J. at 429, 365 A.2d 1361. The Court's central concern in the administration of attorney disci......
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