TRENTON — A
state Superior Court judge was suspended for one month without pay today
for seeking help with a child support dispute with her ex-husband from a
lawyer who had cases before her, according to an order handed down by
the state Supreme Court.
Melanie Appleby, a family court judge in Ocean County, violated six
ethics rules for state judges, including one that requires judges to
disqualify themselves from proceedings in which their impartiality might
reasonably be questioned.
In 2012, Appleby sought help from Frank Louis, a lawyer with two
cases before her at the time, to respond to a letter from her ex-husband
seeking to terminate child support payments because their son was
graduating college, according to a decision issued in September by the
Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct.
Appleby and Louis met in the judge’s chambers to discuss the letter,
during which time Louis expressed concern about being disqualified from
appearing before her because of a conflict of interest, according to the
“Given these concerns, Mr. Louis offered to ‘work something’ out
whereby he would assist (the judge) with the legal issues” raised by the
letter, “while still maintaining his ability to appear before (the
judge) on behalf of his other clients,” the committee decision said.
Six weeks later, Louis sent a response to Appleby’s ex-husband on
letterhead of another law firm and with a forged signature, according to
the committee. Only after that law firm objected did Louis declare he
was representing the judge in the matter.
A complaint was filed with the committee by Appleby’s ex-husband
accusing her of engaging in a conflict of interest. The committee’s
finding said she acknowledged as much, but denied attempting to conceal
it and denied violating any judicial rules.
The committee, however, disagreed, and the Supreme Court agreed with the findings.
“The evidence demonstrates, clearly and convincingly, that (the
judge) failed to conduct herself in a manner consistent with these high
ethical standards, and in at least one instance did so intentionally,
for which public discipline is necessary,” the committee wrote.
companies give them. I sold cars from 1999 until 2002 and I probably would have still being selling cars if 9/11 had not have happened. The market changed and the impact was severe! I went from making $5,000 a month to a little over $3,000. I realized that change needed to come and I made my move.
So my epiphany came to me that I would be a loan officer simply because I knew I was a good salesman. I will never forget my first day with Heartland Home Finance and my manager Michael gave me a phone book and a stack of 1003 (uniform residential loan application) and said start making calls. I had developed quite a data base from car sales and I started calling my old customers that I had sold cars to. My first month was so intense, every phone application was a roller coaster ride of now I am going to start making money. I started in May of 2002 and I did not get my first paycheck until July of 2002 for $6,000. If you ever decide to adventure into this business please learn the term pipe line. Pipe line is loan apps that you have taken and hope to close. So the longer that I stayed in the business I started finding out just cause you took a loan application does not mean that the loan is going to close and you will get paid! Mortgage professionals are 100% commission, which means that if they do not close there loan they are not going to get paid! As many of us have learned with the Mortgage Industry there is always an issue… Here is a little food for thought, if you put 10 applications in your
pipeline you will be luck if you close 2 or 3 of them, that is reality! My first issue was credit, bad credit no loan. So you have to keep chasing them credit applications. Here is another term that if you here it, its the kiss of death! A fair appraisal, a fair appraisal means that the house is bad almost a shack and at that time no lender would touch that kind of deal. Damn there goes 2 of those applications. I made some money at Heartland, but what I really gained from Heartland was understanding. I started learning the business from trial by fire.
Heartland was my base, but Worldwide Mortgage was my ignition. Now when I took credit application I knew what I was looking for. Then I start growing I started with Worldwide Mortgage in September of 2004 and I close 2 loans in December 2004. Then in January of 2005 I close 5 loans and I started rolling. I created a flyer that was very catchy that simply said call Kenneth. It worked! I realize finding a niche is key in this business and that was what inspire me to start focusing on BK buyouts. A bk buyout is when someone is in a chapter 13 and you use there property to refinance and pay the bankruptcy off. I started mailing out 1,000 mailers a week. I hired 3 people and we were closing 5 to 10 loans a month. Worldwide had allowed me to grow into a season veteran.
As a seasoned professional and creative thinker I was inspired to write this article simply because a customer that I worked with for 2 years finally closed there loan and was honored enough to tell the world that I helped them! Having diligence and perseverance coupled with the desire to never give up allowed me the opportunity to close this loan. Success in this business does not come in seconds but with hours of preparation! Friendship was a starter church meaning that they were in existence for less than 3 years and no bank or lending institution would finance them. They were producing some incredible numbers and was growing but because they had no history they had no chance to get financed.
I live for the opportunity when someone calls me with “can you help me with this loan“? In most cases I Can!