Law Lessons from ANGELA M. ROPER, ESQ., ET AL. VS. MICHAEL STEIN, ESQ., ET AL., App. Div., A-2932-11T2, March 11, 2013:
In 1984, the Supreme Court determined, as a matter of policy, to re-establish the rule of immunity for the filing of ethics grievances against attorneys. In re Hearing on Immunity for Ethics Complainants, 96 N.J. 669 (1984); see Toft v. Ketchum, 18 N.J. 280, cert. denied, 350 U.S. 887, 76 S. Ct. 141, 100 L. Ed. 782 (1955). Accordingly, pursuant to Rule 1:20-7(f), a person who files or cooperates in the investigation of an ethics grievance is absolutely immune from suit. The investigators and other employees of the OAE are likewise absolutely immune from suit. R. 1:20-7(e). While lawsuits are barred, an attorney who believes that the OAE has acted improperly in filing or investigating an ethics grievance may file a grievance with the Disciplinary Review Board or the Clerk of the Supreme Court. R. 1:20-7(j)(1), -7(j)(2).
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