N.J. Lawyer Suspended in Delaware For His Unauthorized Practice There
Nadel's lawyer, Charles Slanina of Finger & Slanina in Hockessin, Del., argued that Nadel was prejudiced by the choice of the Board on Professional Responsibility, and said the case should have gone to the Board on Unauthorized Practice of Law, which he said would have issued a lighter penalty.
The court rejected that argument, saying the decision to send the case to the professional responsibility panel was within Schwarz's authority.
The court arrived at the one-year suspension after applying the American Bar Association Standards on the Unauthorized Practice of Law.
The standards say suspension is appropriate when a lawyer knowingly engages in conduct that is a violation of a duty owed as a professional, with the intent to obtain a benefit for the lawyer or another, and causes serious or potentially serious injury to a client, the public or the legal system.
The court said there was no injury to clients but found a potential for injury if Nadel were confronted with a unique issue of Delaware law.
Nadel was admitted to practice in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in 1982. In 1997, he received a public reprimand in New Jersey for representing the driver and passenger in an auto accident case despite a conflict.
New Jersey disciplinary authorities are expected to review the case for reciprocal discipline.
They are not bound by a foreign jurisdiction's ethics findings, says Bennett Wasserman of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon in Teaneck, who practices professional responsibility law.
Any proceedings for Nadel in New Jersey would take into consideration factors such as his prior ethics record and the severity of his offense, Wasserman adds.■