Roger Plawker Quoted in the New Jersey Law Journal, article titled "Lawyer Discipline Cases Expected to Spike Amid COVID-Related Stress."
Roger Plawker, Chair of the of the Attorney Ethics & Professional Misconduct practice group at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, was quoted in an article in the New Jersey Law Journal, “Lawyer Discipline Cases Expected to Spike Amid COVID-Related Stress.” The article discusses how financial stresses from a downturn in revenue during the pandemic and the stresses of working remotely with less supervision are expected to trigger more ethics complaints against lawyers.
“But stress and financial hardship—two ingredients that often lead to bad management decisions by lawyers—have been in abundant supply in the past year, said Roger Plawker, chairman of the attorney ethics and professional misconduct practice group at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden in Hackensack, New Jersey.
"The good news: No surge from COVID-19 has been felt yet in disciplinary circles. Cases that are just now emerging from investigation by New Jersey disciplinary authorities stem from grievances filed in 2018 or 2019, so any impact from COVID-19 hasn’t made itself known yet," he said. “It will not surprise me” if the adversity of the pandemic leads to more attorney ethics cases in the future," he said.
“In a challenging economic environment, you’re more likely to see people exercise poor judgment with regard to maintaining their trust accounts. The temptation to borrow from the trust account when there’s financial stress has to be that much greater,” Plawker said.
"Lawyers who miss a deadline for COVID-related reasons might receive some understanding from disciplinary authorities, but in terms of misappropriation, I don’t see the pandemic providing any saving grace to practitioners,” he said.
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