Attorney is suspended for providing false information on employment paperwork.
Seth Asher Nadler, a New Jersey Supreme Court attorney, falsified a law school transcript in an effort to secure a job with the law firm Williams & Connolly. He reportedly listed grades higher than what he had actually earned, and as a result, received a one-year suspension as a recommendation by the state’s supreme court’s disciplinary review board. Nadler is currently an associate with Imbesi Law in New York City and reported a cumulative grade-point average of 3.825 at the University of Minnesota Law School, when his actual GPA was 3.269.
Nadler’s resumé also stated he had received “honors in legal writing,” while the course listed was actually graded simply as a pass-fail and he had passed. Nadler even listed a research article that he submitted with three other people without listing the co-authors. The attorney argued his legal writing professor told him he “could truthfully represent that he received honors in legal writing because of his arguments in the appellate advocacy section of the course.” He also said he “was told that he could cite the article without reference to the co-authors.”
During mitigation, Nadler had said his “unblemished disciplinary history, volunteer work and pro bono” cases were testament to his reputable character. According to records, the majority of the disciplinary review board had recommended a two-year suspension. One member recommended a one-year suspension, and another recommended a three-month suspension.
Many experts have recommended leaving one’s GPA off of the resume if the candidate feels it is two low to broadcast. Of course, a company can subsequently ask for it or require a GPA on an internal application as part of the hiring process. If an offer is going to be extended, chances are good the employer will ask for an official transcript if it is relevant to the position sought, so the truth will eventually be revealed. When applying for certain programs, especially academic degree programs, official transcripts are commonly required. So, it is best to either leave the cumulative score out until it is directly requested or share the truth.
In Nadler’s case, the board determined, he not only falsified his score, but took additional steps to manipulate his accomplishments, which demonstrated purposeful deceit extending beyond one mistype. “Inexperience may serve as mitigation for some shortcomings, but not for engaging in repeated acts of dishonesty, deception, and fabrication of documents,” the board responded, “Moreover, although respondent was an inexperienced attorney at the time of these events, one need not have experience to know that one should not lie.”
Thus, it stated, “We recognize that a two-year suspension is beyond the quantum of discipline that precedent suggests is appropriate in this case. In our view, however, this type of conduct and its degree and scope, committed by an attorney so early in his career for no purpose other than to promote his self-interest, call into question the core of his character.”
Not only will Nadler receive a one-year suspension, but the board stated, “We further determine to require respondent to reimburse the Disciplinary Oversight Committee for administrative costs and actual expenses incurred in the prosecution of this matter.”