On February 23, 2016, the District IIIB Ethics Committee filed a formal ethics complaint against an Atlantic County lawyer who allegedly threw a tantrum when court staff at the county courthouse wouldn’t accept his landlord-tenant case paperwork for filing.

According to the complaint, lawyer Jonathan Diego, who is listed in the complaint as having an office in Linwood, engaged in a “heated argument” on April 25, 2014 when he tried to file papers at the Atlantic County courthouse in Atlantic City.  According to the complaint, Diego “demanded to speak to a supervisor” and tried to intimidate the clerk by making reference to “his standing as an attorney and his relationship to Superior Court Judge [Julio L.] Mendez.”

Diego allegedly said that “I’m tired of this racist ghetto BS” and his conduct caused one witness to reportedly say that he “was acting as if he were on steroids.”

The complaint charges Diego with failure to “treat with courtesy and consideration all persons involved in the legal process” and for uttering a racially and socioeconomically divisive comment.

The charges are only allegations–nothing has yet been proven–and Diego, whose answer is not yet due, has an opportunity to contest the charge and have the matter heard by an ethics panel.  According to an April 11, 2016 e-mail from the District IIIB Ethics Committee, Diego had not yet filed a response to the complaint.

Diego has been invited to provide a copy of his answer and a link to it will be posted here if and when it is received.

Anyone who is interested in being notified in advance of any hearings on this matter may complete and send a hearing request form to District IIIB Ethics Committee in care of Cynthia Earl, Esq. via fax to 856-642-7471.  Since 1995, attorney disciplinary hearings have been open to the public.

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project. Please send all comments to [email protected]