On Tuesday, January 24, 2023, the Supreme Court of New Jersey ruled on the motion for reciprocal discipline filed by the Office of Attorney Ethics against Rocky Hill Attorney Jami Segota concerning Segota’s discipline on consent in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for unauthorized practice of law.
The case is styled In the Matter of Jamie Segota and was brought by the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE), case no. DRB 21-241.
The charges cited Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct, Pa. RPC 5.5(a), 5.5(b)(1), and 5.5(b)(2), which state:
A lawyer shall not practice law in a jurisdiction in violation of the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction.
A lawyer not admitted in a jurisdiction is prohibited from establishing an office or other systematic and continuous presence in the jurisdiction for the practice of law.
A lawyer not admitted in a jurisdiction is prohibited from holding out to the public or otherwise that lawyer is admitted to practice.
The Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct can be found on The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania website.
Segota was administratively suspended in Pennsylvania on September 26, 2017, for failure to pay her annual registration fee. While administratively suspended, Segota engaged in the practice of law in that jurisdiction.
The filing states:
“Respondent worked as in-house counsel for Ricoh from September 2013 through January 2020. She initially served as assistant general counsel, handling employment law matters. . . In September 2017, she was promoted to senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary for Ricoh, a position she occupied until January 2020.”
The filing continues:
“Respondent failed to notify anyone, including her employer Ricoh, of her administrative suspension. Further, respondent failed to maintain records of the steps she took to comply with the Pennsylvania disciplinary rules governing suspended attorneys.”
By these acts, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania suspended Segota on consent from the practice of law in that jurisdiction over the unauthorized practice of law pursuant to the joint petition in support of discipline filed by Segota and the Pennsylvania Office of Disciplinary Counsel which set for Segota’s admitted violations of the above-cited Rules of Professional Conduct.
The filing further alleges:
“On December 14, 2020, respondent submitted a copy of the November 2020 Pennsylvania suspension order to our Court. Respondent did not, however, send a copy to the OAE, as R. 1:20-14(a)(1) requires.”
The filing additionally notes:
“On November 29, 2021, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania reinstated respondent to inactive status in Pennsylvania.”
The OAE asserted that Segota’s violation in Pennsylvania is tantamount to a violation of New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct RPC 5.5(a) (practicing law while ineligible) and warrants lesser discipline than the six-month suspension imposed in Pennsylvania.
The Disciplinary Review Board, after considering all the mitigating and none aggravating factors determined that a reciprocal discipline of reprimand is necessary to protect the public and preserve confidence in the bar.
With all the foregoing facts and discussion, the Supreme Court of New Jersey affirmed the Disciplinary Review Board’s decision and ordered the reprimand of Segota in relation to her unethical conduct in Pennsylvania.
The disposition reads:
“IT IS ORDERED that Jami Segota 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.”
Ms. Jami Segota attended Georgetown University Law Center graduating in 1993. She had been licensed in New Jersey, license no. 026481993, as well as in Pennsylvania. Her info can be found on LinkedIn.
A copy of the Order of Reprimand can be found here.