On Friday, July 21, 2023, the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued an amended order suspending attorney Edan E. Pinkas for assisting a lawyer who is unauthorized to practice law.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Edan E. Pinkas,” with case no. 087239.
The charges cited violations of New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct rules 5.5(a)(2) and 8.3(a) which state:
Assisting another in the unauthorized practice of law.
Failing to report another lawyer’s RPC violations that raise a substantial question as to that lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness.
The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
On March 15, 2023, the Supreme Court of New Jersey suspended Pinkas for his misconduct after he was suspended by the New York Supreme Court on April 6, 2021, for a duration of 18 months. This suspension was imposed due to the Pinkas’ involvement in aiding another lawyer who lacked authorization to practice law, as well as for not reporting violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct committed by a colleague. These actions are connected to the Pinkas’ support provided to Mr. Gonchar, a colleague who had been previously suspended. Mr. Gonchar had faced disciplinary action for maintaining a separate law practice without his firm’s awareness and against the stipulations of his employment agreement.
The report states:
“Gonchar also asked the respondent and Friedberg if he could obtain employment with the Firm during his period of suspension. Following Gonchar’s inquiry, the respondent contended that he had spent ‘quite a good deal of time’ researching whether the Firm could employ Gonchar and allow him, as a suspended attorney, to perform work. However, the Firm did not maintain a subscription to LexisNexis or Westlaw, so the respondent conducted internet research regarding the permissibility of employing Gonchar. The respondent also inquired with Gonchar’s ethics counsel regarding what work Gonchar could perform during his term of suspension. Neither respondent nor Friedberg retained outside counsel to determine the proper scope of employment, if any, for a suspended attorney.”
The report continues:
“The board stated that in the current matter, neither Mr. Gonchar nor the respondent informed Gonchar’s former clients that he had been suspended. That omission led the clients to believe that Gonchar was still permitted to practice law and offer legal opinions. The respondent’s misconduct, as per the OED, is undoubtedly more severe and analogous to cases where sanctioned lawyers received suspensions. Based on the foregoing facts, the board determined that the respondent’s misconduct warrants a baseline suspension of six months.”
The report further states:
“After the Disciplinary Review Board forwarded its decision to the Supreme Court of New Jersey, the latter decided to adopt the conclusion of the board, thereby suspending the respondent for a period of six months as reciprocal discipline in the State of New Jersey.”
The Disciplinary Review Board, having filed its decision with the Supreme Court of New Jersey, prompted the court to issue an amended order suspending Pinkas from the practice of law.
The Amended Order states:
“It is ORDERED that Edan E. Pinkas is suspended from the practice of law for a period of six months retroactive to May 7, 2021, and until further order of the Court.”
Mr. Pinkas attended Brooklyn Law School, graduating in 2004. He practices in New York, New York. He is licensed in New York as well as in New Jersey. Mr. Pinkas’s info can be found on Linkedin.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.