Learn first-hand the dos, don’ts and misconceptions of defending against an ethics grievance from an attorney and a forensic accountant—both experienced in this very important subject. This seminar will include 20 important insights from the trenches about defending against an ethics grievance and handling a random trust account audit, such as:

  • Understanding the “speeding ticket” theory of ethics grievances
  • How to craft your response to the grievance so it is essentially a first draft of the report you want the investigator to ultimately submit
  • The critical distinctions between investigations before the Office of Attorney Ethics and local District Ethics Committees
  • The Holy Grail of legal ethics: triple reconciliation of attorney trust accounts
  • How to interact with the OAE random auditor: what are they looking for and how to provide it to them
  • Best practices for a successful interaction between your accountant and the OAE auditor
  • The key to preparing for your initial meeting with the investigator
  • Ten common misconceptions about the ethics process

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Gary D. Nissenbaum, Esq.

Managing Principal
Nissenbaum Law Group, LLC

Gary D. Nissenbaum, Esq. is the managing attorney and founding principal of the Nissenbaum Law Group, LLC, a mid-sized, boutique commercial law firm with offices in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas. He has practiced continuously in the area of business litigation and transactions for over thirty years. Mr. Nissenbaum has been awarded the highest professional peer review rating ("AV") by the Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory Rating Service1. He manages the firm and provides legal advice to a wide range of individuals and business entities from national and international corporations to small businesses and local associations. The firm is also the recipient of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s 2019 Law Firm/Corporate Legal Department Pro Bono Award for Small Law Firms.

From 2003 to 2007, Mr. Nissenbaum served on the District XII NJ Attorney Ethics Committee. In 2006, he was appointed Vice Chair of the Committee, and in 2007, he was elevated to Chair. After his service concluded, Mr. Nissenbaum’s practice expanded to include representing attorneys who are accused of ethical infractions. He has handled matters ranging from grievances that were resolved without a formal complaint, to serious allegations of attorney trust account violations, one of which resulted in a six-day hearing and oral argument before the Disciplinary Review Board and the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

His practice involves both commercial litigation and transactional matters. As to litigation, Mr. Nissenbaum oversees actions in the state and federal courts, as well as administrative agencies and regulatory boards. As to transactional matters, Mr. Nissenbaum drafts and negotiates agreements that span a wide variety of substantive areas, such as entertainment law (apps and video games; music; film; television; modeling; and literary); Internet law (website terms and conditions and privacy policies; trademarks and copyrights; licensing and assignment agreements); and a range of complex business transactions (buy/sell, employment, real estate and sale and distribution of goods). Mr. Nissenbaum has also been published in the Huffington Post, New Jersey Lawyer Magazine and the Seton Hall Law Review. In addition, he has been interviewed on a number of podcasts geared to website and app developers, and is a recognized commentator respecting changes to the law necessary to address the rapid advance of digital technology.


Matthew Schwartz, CPA/CFF, CFE, CIRA

Bederson LLP

Responsible for overseeing and testifying regarding all aspects of forensic engagements including bankruptcy, insolvency, fraud damages and tax matter, Matt co-manages a division at Bederson that from 2012 to 2019 was awarded more than 30 medals in New Jersey Law Journal’s“Best Of”surveys for forensic accounting, bankruptcy valuations, litigation accounting, business valuations, economic damages, expert witness testimony, corporate investigations, and matrimonial financial expert.

Testifying in Federal and State Courts in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware, Matt has been retained by Trustees, Secured Creditors, Creditors’ Committees, Debtors, Plaintiffs and Defendants and has served as Liquidating Agent. In his work investigating and uncovering defalcations leading to recoveries and arrests, Matt received recognition from the FBI for his work on New Jersey Affordable Housing, one of the largest bankruptcy fraud cases in New Jersey’s history.

In addition to his financial investigative work, Matt has completed the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediator’s Civil Mediation Training Program as well as its Civil Mediation Apprenticeship.

Matt has lectured on insolvency, trust accounting and tax matters for organizations including the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Essex County Bar Association, Lorman Education Services, AGN (an international affiliation of independent and separate accounting firms),the Association of Commercial Finance Attorney Law firms, the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors; and the Association of Legal Administrators, as well as undergraduate courses at Warren County Community College and Kean University.

Professional memberships include The Association of Insolvency and restructuring Advisors, where he served as President; the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, where he chaired the Bankruptcy Task Force; the New Jersey society of Certified Public Accountants; the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners; the Turnaround Management Association; and the American Bankruptcy Institute, where he served on the “Cracking the Code” Editorial Board. Publications include “IRS Access to Pension Funds” and “Where’d the Money Go? Restructuring Cash Flow”.

Currently, Matt is treasurer and chairs the Audit Committee for Alzheimer’s New Jersey. He is Past President of both the West Orange Chamber of Commerce and the West Orange Lions Club. He served as Treasurer and Capital Campaign Steering Committee Member of Latino Justice PRLDEF, which champions civil rights and an equitable society.

1 Note: No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. The methodology for this award is contained at the following link: https://www.martindale.com/ratings-and-reviews/consumers/.