Attorney William Timothy Howes was censured by the Supreme Court of New Jersey on June 27, 2023, for not following recordkeeping rules and not cooperating with disciplinary authorities.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of William Timothy Howes,” and was bought by the District IV Ethics Committee with case no. 088026.
The Supreme Court of New Jersey’s Disciplinary Review Board has determined that the respondent violated RPC 1.15(d) and RPC 8.1(b) in two instances. The violations relate to Howes’ failure to comply with recordkeeping requirements and failure to cooperate with disciplinary authorities. It’s important to note that this is Howes’ third disciplinary proceeding, indicating a pattern of misconduct.
The Decision states:
“Based on the demand audit and the incomplete records received during its investigation, the OAE identified numerous recordkeeping deficiencies. Specifically, it concluded that respondent failed to (1) perform three-way reconciliations of his client ledgers, journals, and checkbook, as R. 1:21- 6(c)(1)(H) requires; (2) maintain ATA and ABA receipts and disbursements journals, as R. 1:21-6(c)(1)(A) requires; (3) maintain client ledger cards, as R. 1:21-6(c)(1)(B) requires; and (4) maintain a correct ABA account designation, as R. 1:21-6(a)(2) requires.
The Decision continues:
“Notwithstanding the respondent’s satisfactory response to the OAE’s February 2021 inquiry into the overdraft, he subsequently failed repeatedly, over a prolonged period, to cooperate with the OAE’s request for his R. 1:21-6 books and records. The OAE sent the respondent six requests by letter; further addressed the matter with him by e-mail and telephone communications; and discussed the missing records with him at the demand audit. Despite extensions that ultimately totaled seven months, the respondent never fully replied to the OAE’s requests, thus violating RPC 8.1(b).”
Considering the severity of the violations and Howes’ prior disciplinary history, the Board has decided to impose a censure on Howes. This disciplinary action is further enhanced by the fact that the case was handled as a default since Howes failed to timely file a response to the formal ethics complaint. As part of the disciplinary action, Howes is required to complete a recordkeeping course pre-approved by the Office of Attorney Ethics, submit all outstanding financial records requested, and provide quarterly reconciliations of his attorney accounts for two years. Additionally, Howes must reimburse the Disciplinary Oversight Committee for administrative costs and expenses incurred during the prosecution of this matter.
The Disposition states:
“It is ORDERED that William Timothy Howes is hereby censured, and it is further ORDERED that respondent shall submit to the Office of Attorney Ethics within sixty days of this order (1) proof of a completed recordkeeping course pre-approved by the Office of Attorney Ethics, (2) all outstanding previously requested financial records, and (3) monthly reconciliations of his attorney accounts, on a quarterly basis, for a two-year period.”
Mr. Howes practices in Raritan, New Jersey. He is licensed in New Jersey. His info can be found on avvo.com.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.