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Monday, July 9, 2007

Carole Brundage v. Estate of Carl Carambio

07-03-07 A-5017-05T2

In this appeal, we must decide whether a lawyer, in the
context of opposing a motion for leave to appeal, has a duty to
disclose the existence of a pending appeal in which the lawyer
is counsel of record, when the pending appeal involves the
identical legal issue the appellate tribunal is being asked to
consider in the motion for leave to appeal.

We held that under the provisions of R.P.C. 3.3(a)(5),
plaintiff's counsel had an affirmative duty to inform the
appellate panel considering the motion for leave to appeal of a
pending appeal involving a material issue that was substantially
similar or related to a material issue raised in the motion for
leave to appeal in which the attorney was involved. This lawyer
violated this duty because, as attorney of record, he was
actually aware of the existence of such an appeal and failed to
inform the appellate panel of its existence.

Guided by the principles articulated by the Supreme Court
in In re Seelig, 180 N.J. 234 (2004), we set aside a settlement
that was tainted by such sharp practices, as the only way to
restore the essential elements of good faith and fair dealing
which are implicit parts of all contracts in this State.