Wednesday, September 3, 2014

North Haledon lawyer charged in attorney ethics complaint

On February 18, 2014, the New Jersey Supreme Court's Office of Attorney Ethics filed a formal Disciplinary Action Complaint against Frank Catania, Jr. a partner in the firm Catania & Ehrlich,PC.  According to meeting minutes of the Hackensack City Council, Frank Catania, Jr. serves as municipal prosecutor there.

The complaint alleged that on December 21, 2010, Catania wrote a $15,000 check out of his client trust fund account to Cattino Fitness Corp, which the complaint says in Catania's business.  The complaint further alleged that Catania wrote another $10,000 check out of his trust account on December 30, 2010 to the law firm of Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis for legal fees "related to [Catania's] personal business."

In his filed Answer to the Complaint, Catania claims that his client, Charles and Patricia Amorosi, authorized Catania to borrow $15,000 and $10,000 from their escrow balance and produced two handwritten receipts as evidence.  The Office of Attorney Ethics, however, argued that Catania's explanation involving the handwritten receipts is inconsistent with a defense that Catania previously raised in a July 5, 2012 letter.

The complaint and answer are on-line here.