Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC.

Latest from Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC.

The New Jersey Supreme Court will hear a case with interesting implications for lawyers in private firms who are conscripted to represent indigent litigants. The Office of the Public Defender, through the staff attorneys and assigned (“pool”) attorneys, provide indigent criminal defendants with representation. Legislation has expanded their arena to include parents who are targets in termination of parental rights cases. A wrongfully convicted defendant is suing his former Public Defender in Case: A-69-18, Antonio…
One of the areas I like to address for my fellow New Jersey/New York attorneys is the differences between how things work in each state, including the rules governing the conduct of attorneys.  With New York and New Jersey now allowing reciprocity (also known as admission on motion), there are some great opportunities for attorneys who want to expand their physical presence to the other side of the Hudson. But we need to be on…
States have struggled with advising lawyers admitted to their bars as to whether and to what extent they can advise their clients on cannabis-related issues knowing that federal law still forbids the possession, distribution, sale, or use of marijuana.  The concern is that under the Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2(d) “A lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct that the lawyer knows is illegal or fraudulent except that…
The Supreme Court of New Jersey reversed the “ethical pronouncements” from the 2018 decision in Cige v. Balducci, pursuant to which an appellate panel found that a retainer agreement entitling the attorney to the greater of three fee calculation methods was invalid. Although the Court upheld the finding that the retainer agreement was unenforceable, it ruled that ethical obligations imposed by the appellate court in fee-shifting cases were either too broad, unsound or “worthy of…
It’s estimated that almost 90% of the judges in the United States are elected. In New Jersey, they are not, with the exception of the County Surrogate, a quasi-judicial position with jurisdiction over Probate cases. Elected judges tend to be on social media more than non-elected judges, probably due to campaign demands. The Passaic County Surrogate has become embroiled in ethics charges over her appointment of a Facebook friend to administer an estate over the…
Firms often serve as escrow agents for clients, and sometimes the adversary as well — real estate closings, corporate transaction down payments, environmental clean-up and settlement agreements in litigation are just a few examples.  But is your firm protected?  Do you have a detailed escrow agreement that explicitly sets forth your obligations and spells out under what circumstances exactly you can disburse the funds and to whom?  If all you do is put the money…