On Wednesday, September 13, 2023, the Supreme Court of New Jersey censured attorney Santo V. Artusa, Jr., for breaches of ethical conduct.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Santo V. Artusa, Jr.,” with case no. 088210.
The charges cited New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15(d) and 8.1(b) which states:
Failing to comply with the recordkeeping requirements of Rule 1:21-6.
Failing to cooperate with disciplinary authorities.
The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
In a decision dated May 2, 2023, it was stated that this recent case follows Artusa’s prior censure in May 2021, in which he failed to maintain an attorney trust account and passed bad checks amounting to $3,353 to the Superior Court.
In August 2022, the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE) attempted to serve Artusa with a formal ethics complaint. However, due to an incorrect office address, the initial attempt failed. Subsequently, on September 19, 2022, the complaint was reissued to Artusa’s home address. Despite multiple notifications and ample time provided for Artusa to respond, no answer was filed. As a result, on November 9, 2022, the case was certified to the Disciplinary Review Board (DRB) as a default.
The DRB, considering the record, found that Artusa did not misappropriate funds. Typically, recordkeeping irregularities merit an admonition. However, Artusa’s failure to cooperate with the disciplinary process led to an enhanced censure. This decision took into account Artusa’s prior censure, his persistent failure to address recordkeeping issues, and allowing the case to proceed as a default.
As part of the conditions for the censure, Artusa is required to complete a recordkeeping course, rectify his recordkeeping practices, and provide quarterly reconciliations for the next two years. In response to the decision, Artusa expressed remorse for his actions and affirmed his commitment to rectifying the situation. He stated, “I take full responsibility for my past mistakes and am fully committed to rectifying these issues. I will ensure that my recordkeeping practices meet the highest ethical standards going forward.”
After reviewing the case, the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the DRB.
The Disposition states:
“It is ORDERED that Santo V. Artusa, Jr., is hereby censured; and it is further ORDERED that the respondent shall (1) complete a recordkeeping course pre-approved by the OAE within sixty days of this order, (2) bring all of the respondent’s records into compliance within sixty days of this order, and (3) provide to the OAE monthly reconciliations of the respondent’s attorney accounts, on a quarterly basis, for a two-year period.”
According to his LinkedIn profile, Mr. Artusa, Jr. is a Jersey City divorce, personal injury lawyer, and New Jersey family law attorney. He is the owner and founder of the Artusa Law Firm. He attended the Rutgers Law School, graduating in 2009.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.