Recently, a New Jersey attorney, Jared Stolz, was suspended for three months. He made inappropriate comments to opposing counsel and allegedly played golf instead of reviewing files.
“Sarcastic and Sophomoric” Comments
The New Jersey Supreme Court suspended Stolz on September 4, 2014. Part of the decision was because of “sarcastic and sophomoric” comments made to opposing counsel on several occasions.
In 2009 and 2010, Stolz wrote several inappropriate comments in emails and faxes to another attorney. In a face to face encounter, the victimized attorney asked Stolz not to touch him. Stolz replied, “Why would I want to touch a fag like you?”
Under bar association rules, attorneys must act in a respectful manner to clients and other attorneys. By acting offensively, an attorney reflects poorly on the profession as a whole. Additionally, the attorney may harm the productivity and effectiveness of the matter at hand. Such behavior may cause opposing counsel or clients to bristle at working with the offensive attorney.
Everyone is entitled to a vacation, but it is generally advisable to make arrangements. Time off should not impact the business or clients. Apparently, Mr. Stolz did not agree. At his disciplinary hearing, he noted he neglected files, played too much golf, and went to Punta Cana. This led him to make mistakes in his clients’ cases.
As a result of the errors, the attorney hired two new attorneys to help him manage his case load. The attorney still has the golf bug. He later noted, “Am I going to get lazy again and play more golf? I hope so.”
If you have questions about legal malpractice, contact our attorneys at (312) 223-1699. If you have experienced possible legal malpractice, you may have a serious claim. Your claim can help to ensure that legal ethical standards are upheld within your community.