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In re Schram

Supreme Court of New York, Second Department

June 20, 2018

In the Matter of Marc Bruce Schram, an attorney and counselor-at-law. Attorney Registration No. 1904549

         D54684 G/htr

          Diana Maxfield Kearse, Brooklyn, NY (David W. Chandler of counsel), for the Grievance Committee for the Second, Eleventh, and Thirteenth Judicial Districts.

          Marc Bruce Schram, Hazlet, New Jersey, respondent pro se.

          WILLIAM F. MASTRO, J.P. MARK C. DILLON JOHN M. LEVENTHAL CHERYL E. CHAMBERS LEONARD B. AUSTIN, JJ.

          OPINION & ORDER

          PER CURIAM.

         The respondent, Marc Bruce Schram, was admitted to the Bar at a term of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the Second Judicial Department on March 7, 1984. By order to show cause dated October 20, 2017, this Court directed the respondent to show cause why discipline should or should not be imposed on him in this State pursuant to 22 NYCRR 1240.13, based on the misconduct underlying the discipline imposed by an order of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, filed July 7, 2017.

         By order filed July 7, 2017, the Supreme Court of New Jersey censured the respondent for violating New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct (hereinafter RPC) rule 8.4(b) (commission of a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer) (see Matter of Schram, 229 N.J. 519, 163 A.3d 874). The order was predicated on a Decision decided January 23, 2017, of the Disciplinary Review Board (hereinafter the DRB) of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, in connection with Docket No. DRB 16198.

         As revealed in the DRB's decision, the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics (hereinafter the OAE) and the respondent executed a stipulation dated May 12, 2016. Pursuant to the stipulation, the respondent admitted, inter alia, as follows:

On February 25, 2015, Arthur Alte IV, a TD Bank customer, cashed a check for $1, 185.65 at the drive-up window of the Hazlet, New Jersey, branch of TD Bank. Mr. Alte became distracted while on his cell phone and left the drive-up window without retrieving from the transaction tube the bank envelope containing $1, 185.65 in cash and his driver's license. A few minutes later, Mr. Alte realized his error and returned to the bank, and saw the transaction tube still sitting in place with a white envelope inside. When he opened the envelope, he found his driver's license and 65 cents. He immediately alerted bank personnel about the missing $1, 185, and contacted local police.

         The Hazlet police reviewed the bank's surveillance video for the drive-up area, and observed the driver of a white BMW automobile, the very next automobile to move through that lane after Alte, taking cash out of the transaction tube, counting it, and returning the envelope containing Alte's driver's license and 65 cents. The driver of that vehicle then drove away without conducting a transaction.

         Two weeks later, on March 10, 2015, police received information from TD Bank identifying the respondent as the driver of the white BMW. The respondent had not returned the cash to TD Bank. Once contacted by police, the respondent went to the police station, cooperated fully with police, and admitted having taken the $1, 185 on February 25, 2015. The respondent explained that he "had a momentary lapse of reason, '' made a bad decision, and took the money.

         On March 15, 2015, the respondent reported the matter to the OAE, as required by N.J. Stat Ann Rule 1:20-13(a)(1). Subsequently, on March 23, 2015, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office notified the OAE of a pending criminal charge against the respondent, specifically, theft of mislaid property (NJ Stat Ann 2C:20-6), a third-degree crime.

         On September 15, 2015, the respondent submitted his written reply to the OAE grievance, wherein he acknowledged the accuracy of the police report and the statements that he had provided to police.

         The respondent was admitted into, and successfully completed, the Pretrial Intervention Program (hereinafter the PTI), ...


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