Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf Senior Litigation Partner Dominic J. Aprile successfully represented an attorney before the Supreme Court of New Jersey in a matter where disbarment was sought. The client’s goal was to be spared the ignominy and finality of disbarment.
The circumstances of the matter are as follows. In February 2011, 30-year-old Regan Kenyon, Esq., was an up-and-coming associate at a respected Mercer County law firm. He was, however, about to engage in an activity that would put his law license at risk.
From his computer, Regan “visited” an online chat room for adults, where he began a conversation with a person who subsequently identified herself as a 14-year old female. The “female” was, in fact, an undercover male law enforcement officer. Over the next five months, Regan engaged in chats of a sexual nature with the officer, who continued to pose as a female minor. Regan also sent sexually explicit adult images and links to adult pornography sites to “her.” The undercover officer ultimately proposed that Regan travel to meet “her” on June 24, 2011. Regan replied that he would, but he did not do so. He was arrested later that day at his suburban home, where he then resided with his wife and two young daughters.
Within a month, he was indicted on the charge of attempted endangering of the welfare of a child based upon the transmittal of sexually explicit adult images and pornography, a third degree offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1. On June 27, 2013, Regan pled guilty in Superior Court. Other than the conduct at issue, Regan had a clean record, expeditiously sought counseling and accepted responsibility for his actions. Regan was sentenced to a three-year suspended sentence, and is subject to Parole Supervision for Life and Megan’s Law registration/notification requirements. He lost his job and his home.
In October 2015, the Office of Attorney Ethics filed a Motion for Final Discipline with the Disciplinary Review Board seeking disbarment. Regan was represented by another law firm in that proceeding. On April 4, 2016, the DRB recommended that the Supreme Court disbar Regan. Regan’s case was consolidated by the Supreme Court with two other matters wherein attorneys were similarly convicted of sexual misconduct with minors.
Regan then came to Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf seeking representation. Senior Litigation Partner Dominic J. Aprile, who has handled attorney disciplinary defense and legal ethics matters for more than 30 years, briefed and argued the case on Regan’s behalf.
The Court rendered its decision on May 24, 2017, and imposed an indeterminate suspension rather than disbarment. The result is a positive step for Regan as he endeavors to move forward with his life. Regan has continued his rehabilitation through counseling, and the suspension provides Regan with the opportunity to resume the practice of law in the future upon application to the Court. Regan has expressed his gratitude for Mr. Aprile’s diligence and for the result achieved on his behalf.
Via the link below, you can watch the 30-minute video of the Supreme Court hearing.
Mr. Aprile has been has been a partner with Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf, P.C. since 1989. He has handled multi-million dollar litigation matters for numerous corporate and individual clients, has successfully obtained verdicts in numerous jury and non-jury trials, and has successfully negotiated and obtained settlements in excess of $10 million. Mr. Aprile can be reached at 732-363-0666 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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