An attorney in New Jersey can choose to go on voluntary inactive status with regard to his or her law license. Having done so, it is an assumption that the inactive attorney will not serve in the capacity of attorney for others, but in a recent Bergen County case this appears to have been what happened when an inactive lawyer became involved first as an advisor and later as an investor in a commercial real estate transaction that ultimately led to litigation against her and which may spread to other attorneys before it is ultimately concluded.
The inactive attorney became involved in the transaction when she was contracted by a married couple who were attempting to help structure a multi-million dollar commercial real estate purchase. She eventually became in investor herself in the planned purchase, but the basis of her compensation was never made clear. That was when things began to go wrong.