On Friday, May 17, 2024, the New Jersey Supreme Court reprimanded attorney Rodrigo Sanchez for improper recordkeeping and trust account management.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Rodrigo Sanchez,” with case no. 089155.

The charges cited New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15(a) and 1.15(d) which states:

Negligently misappropriating entrusted client funds.

Failing to comply with the recordkeeping requirements of Rule 1:21.

The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.

According to a document from the Supreme Court of New Jersey Disciplinary Review Board, Sanchez maintained four bank accounts in connection with his law practice, including two attorney trust accounts (ATAs) and two business accounts. In April 2021, one of Sanchez’s ATAs was overdrawn by $10.57 after a series of wire transfers related to a home sale.

This led the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE) to launch an investigation and audit of Sanchez’s accounts from January 2020 through June 2021. The audit uncovered deficiencies in Sanchez’s client ledger cards, lack of running balances, missing bank statements, and canceled checks. Sanchez was unable to fully reconcile his records on multiple occasions when asked by the OAE.

The audit also found that in February 2019, Sanchez’s office manager had erroneously transferred $7,300 from one of his ATAs to a business savings account, invading client funds held in 14 matters. Sanchez did not correct this error until July 2020. On two other occasions in late 2019, Sanchez incurred bank fees that also led to invasions of client funds when he did not properly maintain balances for bank charges.

Based on these facts, the Disciplinary Review Board determined that Sanchez had negligently misappropriated entrusted client funds and failed to comply with proper recordkeeping. However, no clients suffered financial losses as a result.

In its Order dated May 17, 2024, the New Jersey Supreme Court approved the Disciplinary Review Board’s recommendation to reprimand Sanchez for his misconduct. The Court also required Sanchez to complete a pre-approved recordkeeping course within 60 days and provide quarterly reconciliations of all accounts to the OAE for two years.

According to avvo.com, Mr. Sanchez is an antitrust & trade law attorney in Elizabeth, New Jersey. 

A copy of the original filing can be found here.