New York Lawyer [subscription] relates this story:
"Local Lawyer’s Conniption Fit at Getting Sued Gets Him Sanctioned
New York Lawyer
May 4, 2007
By Henry Gottlieb
New Jersey Law Journal
When a lawyer is served with a malpractice suit, throwing the complaint on the floor, ejecting the process server for trespassing and yelling "call 911" are possible responses.
But they’re wrong, a Mercer County, N.J., judge says in a $403 sanction order against Robert Conroy, one of the state’s leading health care lawyers.
Conroy was in his Bridgewater office on March 20, when Guaranteed Subpoena Service Inc. sent a representative to serve a malpractice suit by a doctor Conroy had represented in a complicated transaction.
But Guaranteed reported back to the plaintiff’s lawyer: "Not served! Entity was evading service. Threw service at server, stating he was trespassing and would be arrested if he didn’t leave."
Conroy says that’s not what happened. He says the firm accepted service at the reception desk but the server barged his way into private areas of the office, like a dangerous intruder.
Even so, Superior Court Judge Paul Koenig Jr. found Conroy at fault and called the conduct, "ill-advised, unlawyerlike, and in my opinion, even outrageous."
"He chose to intimidate the process server, someone who works, you know, in close connection with the attorneys to serve court process and court papers," the judge said in an April 11 ruling. "Any attorney should not take such a position, however unhappy he is with the circumstances."
"He’s a licensed attorney," the judge continued. "He has an obligation to act professionally. Throwing documents — throwing court documents doesn’t sound professional."