On Monday, January 29, 2024, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued an order reprimanding attorney Richard Donnell Robinson for violating ethics rules related to his noncooperation with a disciplinary investigation.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Richard Donnell Robinson,” with case no. 088408.

The charges cited New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct 8.1(b), which states:

Failing to cooperate with disciplinary authorities.

The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.

According to records from the Disciplinary Review Board (DRB), Robinson was charged in 2022 with lack of diligence in handling a client matter, and with failing to cooperate when the District IIIB Ethics Committee initiated an investigation in response to a grievance filed by that client. Robinson did not file an answer to the ethics complaint, leading to a default on the charges.

The DRB reviewed the record in the matter and determined that while there was insufficient evidence Robinson lacked diligence, he did violate Rules of Professional Conduct by twice failing to cooperate with disciplinary authorities. The Board dismissed lack of diligence and other charged rule violations.

Despite a timely notice to respond, Robinson did not file a motion to vacate the default until after the deadline. The Board denied the motion, finding Robinson did not provide reasonable explanations for his failure to respond to the complaint or subsequent correspondence regarding the case.

In recommending discipline, the Board considered Robinson’s previous reprimand in another default matter, issued in March 2023, as an aggravating factor. However, the Board did not view progressive discipline as applicable since Robinson’s prior offense occurred after the conduct at issue in this matter.

After weighing the violation, default, and Robinson’s ethics history, the DRB recommended to the Supreme Court that he receive a reprimand. The Court accepted the recommendation, issuing the order reprimanding Robinson and requiring him to pay administrative costs associated with the prosecution.

According to avvo.com, Mr. Robinson is an attorney in Burlington, New Jersey. He acquired his law license in New Jersey in 2004.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.