On Wednesday, September 13, 2023, the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued a reprimand to attorney Brian M. Miranda. The Disciplinary Review Board determined that Miranda violated the Rules of Professional Conduct by misappropriating client funds.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Brian M. Miranda,” with case no. 088081.
The matter originated from Miranda’s mishandling of client funds and inadequate recordkeeping practices. Despite numerous notifications and extensions, Miranda failed to produce the required financial records, resulting in an incomplete audit. Subsequently, Miranda hired an accountant to assist with record reconstruction.
The Decision states:
“On November 14, 2019, the respondent appeared for the audit. His document production, however, was incomplete as follows: his ATA and ABA designations were improper; he failed to submit proof that he did not maintain overdraft production on his AT A; failed to maintain individual client ledger cards; failed to perform monthly three-way reconciliations; failed to maintain ATA or ABA receipts and disbursement journals; failed to maintain his records for seven years; and failed to provide his attorney bank disclosure form.”
The Disciplinary Review Board considered several mitigating factors, including Miranda’s admission of wrongdoing, cooperation with authorities, and efforts to rectify the deficiencies. The absence of intentional misconduct and lack of harm to clients were also taken into account. Two character witnesses testified in favor of Miranda, attesting to his honesty and trustworthiness.
Given the totality of the circumstances, the court determined that a reprimand, with a condition, was an appropriate sanction for Miranda’s misconduct. This decision considered Miranda’s unblemished prior disciplinary record and the steps taken towards compliance. The court emphasized the significance of ongoing compliance with recordkeeping requirements.
As part of the disciplinary action, Miranda was required to complete two recordkeeping courses approved by the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE) within the next ninety days. The OAE oversees ethical standards for attorneys in New Jersey.
The court has ordered that the entire record of this matter be permanently included in Miranda’s file as an attorney in the state. Additionally, Miranda is obligated to reimburse the Disciplinary Oversight Committee for necessary administrative costs and actual expenses associated with the case, in accordance with Rule 1:20-17.
The Disposition states:
“It is ORDERED that Brian M. Miranda, is hereby reprimanded; and it is further ORDERED that the respondent submits to the OAE proof of two completed recordkeeping courses approved by the OAE within ninety days of this order.”
According to avvo.com, Mr. Miranda is an attorney in Westfield, New Jersey. He attended the New York Law School. He acquired his law license in New Jersey in 2015.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.