On June 20, 2023, the Supreme Court of New Jersey censured Clifton attorney Nabil Nadim Kassem for recordkeeping violations and improper calculation of contingent fees.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Nabil Nadim Kassem,” and was brought by the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE), under case nos. DRB 22-216 and DRB 22-231.

The charges cited RPC 1.15(d) (failure to comply with the recordkeeping requirements), RPC 8.1(b) (failure to cooperate with disciplinary authorities), and RPC 8.4(d) (conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice).

The New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.

The charges stemmed from deficiencies identified during an audit conducted by the OAE regarding the deficiencies and the opportunities given to Kassem to address them, but the latter did not fully resolve the issues. The OAE provided examples of specific client matters where Kassem allegedly mishandled client funds, failed to maintain proper financial records improperly designated his Attorney Business Account, improperly calculated contingent fees, and failed to refund the overcharge amount.

Kassem was further alleged to have failed to file a verified answer to the ethics complaint within the specified timeframe. In addition, as a suspended attorney, Kassem failed to timely file a detailed affidavit of compliance, in relation to a December 9, 2021 order of suspension following his conviction for possession of cocaine, a controlled dangerous substance.

On review, the Disciplinary Review Board determined to dismiss the charge that Kassem failed to issue a refund without asking the client whether he could retain the overcharged amount, recommending to the Court that censure is the appropriate discipline for Kassem’s misconduct.

Accordingly, the Court, upon consideration of the Disciplinary Review Board’s decision on the matter, ruled against Kassem and entered an order censuring him for his misconduct.

The Disposition reads:

“It is ORDERED that Nabil Nadim Kassem is hereby censured; 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.”

Mr. Nabil Nadim Kassem is listed as the managing partner at Kassem & Associates, PC, and practiced as a criminal defense attorney in Clifton, prior to the suspension. He attended Seton Hall University, graduating in 1994. Kassem has been admitted to practice in New Jersey since 1995, license no. 045761994. His info can be found on Avvo.com.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.