The Law School Authority

Matter of Vincenti Case Brief

Summary of Matter of Vincenti, 92 N.J. 591 (1983)

Relevant Facts: The respondent atty, represented the Df in a child abuse case regarding Df’s four children.  During the proceedings the atty in and out of ct conduct became outrageous.  The atty accused the judge of bias, prejudice, racism, participation in extortion, religious bigotry during the trial w/o any basis in fact.  He went so far as to write a letter continuing the personal attack on the judge. The atty also verbally abused the public defender, deputy attorney general, and another atty outside the courtroom.

Legal Issue(s): Whether the attorney’s conduct can be determined as permissibly vigorous advocacy or an ethical violation?

Court’s Holding: Ethical violation.

Procedure: Respondent was suspended from the practice of law for one year.

Law or Rule(s): Advocacy of the client’s constitutional guarantees to ‘life, liberty, and property,’ are the professional keeping of lawyers.

Court Rationale: The atty’s conduct is so bizarre, so outrageous, that discipline is in order.  The lawyer’s responsibility in our society is that he stands as a shield in defense of the right to ward off wrong.  The legal profession is charged with the responsibility to exact the qualities of truth-seeking, high sense of honor, granite discretion, the strictest observance of fiduciary responsibility, so as to retain moral character.

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