On Wednesday, November 22, 2023, the Disciplinary Review Board of the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued a letter of admonition to attorney Hayes R. Young for violations of rules regulating diligence, communication, and fees that occurred while handling a medical malpractice case in 2017.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Hayes R. Young,” with case no. 23-215.
The charges cited New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3, 1.4(b), and 1.5(b).
According to the Board’s letter of admonition, Mr. Young was retained by client Grace Nancy Boffa in 2017 to pursue a potential medical malpractice matter. However, he failed to put the basis for his legal fees in writing. In October 2018, without obtaining the required affidavit of merit, Mr. Young filed a medical malpractice lawsuit on Ms. Boffa’s behalf in Superior Court.
The lawsuit was dismissed seven months later in May 2019 for lack of prosecution, and Mr. Young did not notify Ms. Boffa of either the filing or dismissal. Over several months in 2019, Ms. Boffa emailed Mr. Young several times asking about the status of her case but received no response.
The Board found that Mr. Young’s failures to prosecute the lawsuit and respond to Ms. Boffa’s status inquiries violated rules requiring diligence and communication. His omission of a written fee agreement also broke the rules. In issuing an admonition, the lowest level of discipline, the Board considered mitigating factors like Mr. Young’s lack of past issues, admission of mistakes, cooperation with authorities, and circumstances of his wife’s illness and death.
The November 22nd letter constituted formal advice that this single incident was improper conduct and that any further issues would be factored into future disciplinary decisions. Mr. Young was also ordered to pay the costs of the investigation and review process.
According to avvo.com, Mr. Young is an attorney in Jersey City, New Jersey. He acquired his law license in New Jersey in 1984.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.