On Tuesday, March 7, 2023, the Supreme Court of New Jersey reprimanded attorney Andrew Michael Carroll for failing to comply with record-keeping requirements.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Andrew Michael Carroll,” and was brought by the District I Ethics Committee with case no. 087438.
The charges cited New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15(d) which states:
Failure to comply with the record-keeping requirements of Rule 1:21-6.
The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
In a decision by the Disciplinary Review Board, dated August 18, 2022, it was stated that the respondent already received prior sanctions from the court. His first reprimand was due to an alleged sexual relationship with his client while serving as her appointed counsel, thereby constituting a conflict of interest. On the second discipline, the respondent was admonished for failing to produce a copy of the retainer’s agreement when he represented a married couple in a bankruptcy petition.
In the current matter, the respondent failed to comply with the record-keeping requirements by (1) improper designation of the attorney trust account on bank statements, checks, and deposit slips: (2) no monthly trust account reconciliation with client ledgers, journals, and checkbook; (3) attorney trust account receipts and disbursements journal not maintained; (4) ledger cards not fully descriptive; (5) failure to maintain a separate ledger sheet for each client; (6) improper electronic transfers from the ATA without the appropriate documentation; (7) personal funds were commingled with client trust funds, and;(8) no running checkbook balance and improper designation of the attorney business account on deposit slips.
The filing states:
“In the letter, the respondent explained that he was surprised to learn about the $813.98 overdraft and learned that “the entity which had been trying to get paid the 813.98 was the bank for my business credit card, used for business expenses.” Respondent explained that, after he established his ATA with BB&T, there had been many updates over the years and believed that he had, in error, “repopulated [his] bank account online to make a payment and included [his] ATA instead of [his] business account.” The OAE later confirmed that the $813.98 was a payment for the respondent’s business credit card, which typically was paid by funds drawn from his ABA.”
The filing continues:
“Respondent also acknowledged the importance of complying with the recordkeeping Rules and conceded that he was deficient in his recordkeeping. Based upon the respondent’s February 27, 2020 letter, the OAE conducted a demand audit of the respondent’s attorney accounts, which revealed several recordkeeping deficiencies. “
In deciding on the appropriate sanction, the board stated that although record-keeping irregularities are usually met with an admonition, the attorney’s recordkeeping failures were neglectful, and not purposeful. According to the board, a reprimand may be imposed if the attorney has failed to correct recordkeeping deficiencies despite the matter being already brought to his knowledge several times. Moreover, the board emphasized that a reprimand against the respondent is the appropriate discipline necessary to protect the public and preserve confidence in the bar.
In consideration of these findings, the Supreme Court of New Jersey decided to reprimand the respondent.
The Disposition states:
“It is ORDERED that Andrew Michael Carroll is hereby reprimanded, and it is further ORDERED that the entire record of this matter be made a permanent part of respondent’s file as an attorney at law of this State; and it is further ORDERED that respondent reimburse the Disciplinary Oversight Committee for appropriate administrative costs and actual expenses incurred in the prosecution of this matter, as provided in Rule 1:20-17.”
Mr. Caroll attended Temple University, graduating in 2003. He practices in Hammonton, New Jersey. He is licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with licensed no. 028602003. His info can be found on martindale.com.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.