On Tuesday, October 24, 2023, the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued an order reprimanding Stuart Thomas Cottee, a suspended attorney, for violating the Rules of Professional Conduct. Cottee was found guilty of failing to cooperate with disciplinary authorities and engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Stuart Thomas Cottee,” with case no. 088307.

On June 14, 2023, the Disciplinary Review Board recommended that Cottee be censured for failing to comply with a court order requiring him to file an affidavit as a suspended attorney.

Cottee had been suspended from practicing law in New Jersey for three months starting in October 2021. He was then obligated to file an affidavit detailing his compliance with rules around notifying clients and handling cases.

However, after the Office of Attorney Ethics contacted Cottee twice in late 2021 reminding him of the requirement, he still did not submit the required affidavit. This prompted the OAE to file an ethics complaint against Cottee in June 2022, to which he did not respond.

In its review, the Disciplinary Review Board found clear evidence that Cottee violated the court order and rules on cooperating with disciplinary authorities. Considering precedent and Cottee’s prior suspension, the Board recommended a censure.

On October 19, 2023, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued an order in the matter of Cottee. While the Court acknowledged the Board’s recommendation of a censure, it determined based on recent similar cases that a reprimand was the appropriate discipline.

The Court thus reprimanded Cottee for his unethical conduct in violating RPC 8.1(b) and RPC 8.4(d) by failing to comply with the requirement to file the affidavit as a suspended attorney. Cottee will remain suspended and must comply with rules for suspended attorneys. He was also ordered to pay administrative costs of the disciplinary proceeding.

According to avvo.com, Mr. Cottee is a personal injury attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He earned admission to the New Jersey bar in 1999 and to the Pennsylvania bar in 2002.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.