On Wednesday, September 13, 2023, the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued an order reprimanding attorney Evan D. Weiner for violating several rules of professional conduct. The Disciplinary Review Board had concluded that Weiner had engaged in fee overreaching, negligent misappropriation of client funds, failure to comply with recordkeeping requirements, and impermissible firm name or letterhead.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Evan D. Weiner,” with case no. 088208.
The charges cited New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct 1.5(a), 1.15(a), 1.15(d), and 7.5(e) which states:
Negligent misappropriation of client funds.
Failure to comply with the recordkeeping requirements.
Impermissible firm name or letterhead.
The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
In a Decision dated May 9, 2023, it was stated that Weiner faced allegations of professional misconduct. The District IX Ethics Committee (DEC) recommended an admonition, but the court decided to consider greater discipline based on the severity of the charges.
During an audit in 2016, conducted by the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE), it was revealed that Weiner had miscalculated legal fees in contingent-fee matters, resulting in overcharging 47 clients by $22,245.12. Additionally, financial records revealed an attorney trust account (ATA) shortage of $15,946.44 due to improper disbursements and lack of proper recordkeeping.
Weiner admitted to most allegations but contested some elements of the charges. He argued against the violation of R. 1:21-6(c)(1), stating it was redundant given his earlier admissions. He also maintained that the firm name, “Weiner Legal Group,” accurately reflected the nature of his practice. While he did hire another attorney, the expected partnership never materialized.
Weiner expressed remorse for his actions and cooperated fully with the OAE investigation. He acknowledged his inexperience in financial management and accepted responsibility for the consequences of his actions.
The OAE maintained that the charges were substantiated and emphasized Weiner’s failure to maintain and retain required records. They also pointed out that the firm name “Weiner Legal Group” could be misleading to clients. The OAE recommended a reprimand and called for the disbursement of the remaining ATA funds.
The Decision states:
“Thus, identifying his law firm as a “legal group,” while he was the firm’s only practicing attorney, had the capacity to mislead others into believing the firm was staffed by more than one attorney.”
In light of these foregoing matters, the court ordered to reprimand Weiner. He was also instructed to disburse all remaining funds in his Attorney Trust Account to the Superior Court Trust Fund Unit in accordance with Rule 1:21-6(j). Additionally, he must close all associated bank accounts, including those linked to his former law office, Weiner Legal Group, LLC.
According to avvo.com, Mr. Weiner is a personal injury attorney in Manalapan, New Jersey. He attended the Seton Hall University School of Law, graduating in 2014. He acquired his law license in New Jersey in 2012.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.