On Monday, February 13, 2023, attorney Peter J. Cresci, Esq filed a motion before the Supreme Court of Texas Board of Disciplinary Appeals to continue or withdraw the reciprocal disciplinary action, relating to his initial discipline in the state of New Jersey.

The case is entitled “In the matter of Peter J. Cresci, Esq” with case no. 65262,

On March 12, 2021, a Petition for Reciprocal Discipline was filed by the Commission for Lawyer Discipline praying that the court issue a show cause order against the respondent. It was for the latter to answer why the imposition of the identical discipline in the State of Texas would be unwarranted. This is in regard to the disbarment of the respondent in New Jersey due to his continuous practice despite a temporary suspension.

The filing states:

“We note that few of the allegations in the first count of the complaint relate to the OAE’s claim that the respondent practiced while suspended. Instead, they pertain to the respondent’s failure to comply with R. 1:20-20, which imposes several obligations on suspended attorneys, and which resulted in the censure recently imposed by the Court. For example, following the respondent’s November 17, 2016, temporary suspension, the Cresci firm continued to represent clients in several matters, albeit through attorneys other than the respondent. Yet, between November 21, 2016, and March 20, 2017, no fewer than thirteen letters, in seven client matters, were written to adversaries, judges, and courts on letterhead that contained the following banner”

The Second Amended Order to show cause on Petition for Reciprocal Discipline was filed on February 23, 2022. On the said order, the respondent was mandated to show cause within 30 days from the date of service of the second amended order to answer why he shouldn’t be sanctioned accordingly in the State of Texas.

The filing continues:

“It is, therefore, ORDERED that Respondent Peter Jonathan Cresci shall, within thirty (30) days from the date of service of this Second Amended Order to Show Cause on Petition for Reciprocal Discipline, show cause why the imposition of identical discipline, to the extent practicable, in Texas by the Board of Disciplinary Appeals pursuant to Texas Rule of Disciplinary Procedure 9.02 would be unwarranted. Respondent should consult Part IX of the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure regarding the failure to file an answer. Failure to file a timely answer may waive Respondent’s right to raise the defenses set forth in Texas Rule of Disciplinary Procedure 9.04 and limit the scope of the hearing to exclude the presentation of any such defenses.”

In the Respondent’s Response and Answer dated February 13, 2023, the respondent stated that the misconduct for which he was disciplined in the other jurisdiction does not constitute professional misconduct in the State of Texas. He further argued that he has no prior disciplinary history, that he cooperated accordingly to the investigation against him, and he enjoys a good reputation and character. He added that he admits to poor record-keeping and accepted the responsibility for record-keeping deficiencies.

Attached with the respondent’s answer to the show cause order is his motion to continue or withdraw.

The Motion to Continue or Withdraw states:

“Respondent moved the Board for Withdrawal or Continuance of the Reciprocal Disciplinary Action for the reasons as stated:

  1. The evidence in this matter, including sworn declarations, indicates this matter is: a). premature as the other states’ action is neither complete nor final; b). the T. action did not meet a modicum of the due process required and set forth in Tx.R.D.P. Part IX, 9.04, et seq.; Retroactivity, or post facto application, is not permissive of the newly approved amendment to the Texas Rule of Disciplinary Procedure.

2. Prejudice. The Request for Withdrawal or Continuance will not prejudice the State Bar of Texas. Respondent Cresci has been a licensed Texas Attorney since July Feb. 13, 2023, 2 10, 1998. Respondent Cresci has received no grievances, or claims of malpractice, nor been subject to a disciplinary hearing in all the legal activities within Texas in almost 25 years. This Request for Continuance will not unduly inconvenience the Court because the B ODA (Board of Disciplinary Appeals) addresses the docket on a quarterly basis. As such Withdrawal or Continuance would be without prejudice to BODA

The respondent stated that the Board has the power to withdraw or Continue the matter of reciprocal discipline. He argued that the procedure in the other jurisdiction was so lacking in notice or opportunity to be heard that the attorney was deprived of due process. Thus, an imposition of identical discipline would result in grave injustice.

The Respondent’s request states:

“WHEREFORE, Respondent Cresci respectfully requests that the Board Withdraw or in the alternative C continue submission of this matter to the full Board. The Board of Disciplinary Appeals should determine that one or more of the foregoing defenses have been established, and it shall enter such orders as it deems necessary and appropriate.” Rule 9.04 – Defenses, Tex. R. Disc. P. 9.04.”

Mr. Cresci attended the New York Law School, graduating in 1992. He practices in Bayonne, New Jersey. He is licensed in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas as well. His info can be found on lawyers.justia.com.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.