On Friday, February 2, 2024, the Supreme Court of New Jersey reprimanded attorney Robert P. Weinberg for violating ethical rules related to client trust accounts and supervision of support staff.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Robert P. Weinberg,” with case number DRB 23-035.

According to the court’s order, Weinberg received a public reprimand based on a disciplinary stipulation he entered with the Office of Attorney Ethics regarding his misconduct. The stipulation stemmed from a 2019 audit of Weinberg’s attorney trust and business accounts covering 2012 through 2019.

The audit revealed that Weinberg’s longtime paralegal, Bernadette Rodriguez, had stolen over $595,000 from the accounts by issuing unauthorized checks to herself. Weinberg admitted to the Disciplinary Review Board that he failed to properly supervise Rodriguez and did not review the bank records.

As outlined in the Board’s July 2023 decision, Weinberg’s misconduct constituted violations of New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct regarding financial recordkeeping requirements and supervision of non-lawyer employees. Specifically, he was found to have commingled personal and client funds, failed to comply with rules governing the maintenance of ledgers and balances, and did not make reasonable efforts to ensure Rodriguez’s conduct complied with his ethical duties.

Although no client funds were misappropriated as a result, the Board stressed the seriousness of Weinberg’s abdication of his non-delegable obligations related to oversight of the accounts. His prior disciplinary history, which included sanctions in 2009 for similar misconduct, was cited as an aggravating factor.

However, the Board noted factors mitigating punishment including Weinberg’s cooperation, acknowledgment of wrongdoing, and remedial actions like hiring an accountant. Ultimately, a public reprimand was imposed in light of precedent for comparable offenses. The Supreme Court issued its order adopting the discipline recommended by the Board.

The Disposition states:

“It is ORDERED that Robert P. Weinberg 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.”

According to Avvo, Mr. Weinberg is an attorney in Bayonne, New Jersey. He graduated from Seton Hall University. He obtained his law license in New Jersey in 1967.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.