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In re Nadel

Supreme Court of Delaware

December 4, 2013

In the Matter of Raymond S. NADEL, Respondent.

Submitted: Dec. 4, 2013.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Board Case Nos. 2012-0139-B and 2012-0253-B.

Disciplinary Proceeding Upon Final Report of the Board on Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court. SUSPENSION IMPOSED.

Patricia Bartley Schwarz, Esquire, Office of Disciplinary Counsel, Wilmington, Delaware.

Charles Slanina, Esquire, Finger & Slanina, LLC, Hockessin, Delaware, for Respondent.

Before HOLLAND, BERGER and RIDGELY, Justices.

PER CURIAM

This is a disciplinary proceeding filed by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (" ODC" ) against the Respondent, Raymond S. Nadel (" Nadel" ). On June 10, 2013, a Panel of the Board on Professional Responsibility (the " Panel" ) filed a Report (the " Panel's Report" ) finding that Nadel engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. The Panel recommended that: Nadel be suspended from practicing law for one year; prohibited from providing advice to any Delaware clients for a period of one year; prohibited from any admission pro hac vice for a period of three years; be publicly sanctioned; and pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings.

Nadel raises three objections to the Panel's Report. Nadel first argues that he was prejudiced by the ODC's decision to prosecute Nadel by the Board on Professional Responsibility instead of the Board on the Unauthorized Practice of Law (" BUPL" ). Nadel also contends that the Panel's recommended sanctions violate Equal Protection and exceed the goals of attorney discipline.

We have concluded that Nadel's objections are without merit. We have determined that the factual findings set forth in the Panel's Report are supported by the record. We have independently concluded that the sanctions recommended in the Panel's Report are appropriate.

Facts and Procedural History [1]

Nadel is not a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of Delaware. He was admitted to the Bars of the State of New Jersey and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1982. Nadel currently practices in a private firm located in Cherry Hill and Pennsauken, New Jersey.

From April 2009 through September 21, 2012, Nadel engaged in the unauthorized practice of law in Delaware. After he was

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initially asked to help a patient by a Delaware doctor, Dr. Morris Peterzell, Nadel met with more than seventy-five Delaware residents who were involved in auto accidents. These accidents occurred in Delaware and involved Delaware insurance policies governed by Delaware law. Nadel met with roughly half of his Delaware clients at Dr. Peterzell's medical office in Wilmington. But in each instance, Nadel would attempt to settle the insurance claims on behalf of his Delaware clients. If settlement proved unsuccessful, Nadel would turn the case over to local Delaware counsel to pursue the litigation.

Nadel never filed a lawsuit in Delaware or made any representations to a Delaware court. Further, Nadel never advertised or actively solicited clients. Nor did he ever represent to a Delaware citizen that he was a member of the Delaware bar. But Nadel does admit that by meeting with his Delaware clients in Delaware, he could have unintentionally created the impression that he was licensed to practice law in Delaware. No actual harm resulted ...


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