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Caution! Almost 180,000 attorneys are eligible to practice law in California. Many attorneys share the same names. All discipline reports are taken from State Bar Court documents and should be read carefully for names, ages, addresses and bar numbers. Read the Discipline Key for an explanation of the different levels of disciplinary action. Use Attorney Search to check an attorney's official bar membership record.

DISBARMENTS

SUSPENSION/PROBATION

DISBARMENTS

ERNEST DAVID GARCIA [#88416], 51, of Modesto was disbarred Feb. 22, 2004, and ordered to comply with rule 955 of the California Rules of Court.

Garcia failed to comply with an earlier rule 955 requirement that he submit to the Supreme Court an affidavit stating that he notified his clients, opposing counsel and all pertinent parties of his suspension. Failure to comply with the rule is grounds for disbarment.

He was disciplined in 2002 for, among other things, failing to perform legal services competently, deposit client funds in a trust account, promptly pay out client funds or cooperate with the bar’s investigation and for committing an act of moral turpitude.

Garcia also was disciplined in 1992. His default was entered in the disbarment proceeding.


REBECCA DONALDSON [#135023], 58, of Beaumont was disbarred Feb. 28, 2004, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

Donaldson did not participate in the disbarment proceedings but was found to have violated an earlier rule 955 requirement by not submitting the necessary affidavit to the Supreme Court.

Her troubles began with a 1999 private reproval for improperly withdrawing from a criminal appeal and her failure to obey a federal court order requiring her to file an opening brief. In 2001, she was publicly reproved for not complying with conditions attached to the 1999 order — she did not submit quarterly probation reports or take the PRE.

The 2002 discipline was imposed for her failure to comply with probation conditions from the 2001 order.


JOSEPH EDWARD SHERIDAN [#62759], 54, of Long Beach was disbarred March 4, 2004, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

In his fifth discipline in 10 years, the State Bar Court found Sheridan committed misconduct in two matters. He never filed immigrant visa petitions for his

client’s wife and children, although he told the client he had done so. The client eventually prepared and filed the petitions himself.

Sheridan did not refund the advance $750 fee or respond to a bar investigator’s inquiries.

In a second matter, the court found that he violated probation requirements from a 2001 discipline order. He did not complete ethics school, submit quarterly probation reports or provide evidence of compliance with mental health requirements.

The bar court concluded Sheridan violated a court order, failed to perform legal services competently, abandoned his client and committed an act of moral turpitude by telling his client the visa petitions had been filed.

In recommending Sheridan’s disbarment, Judge Richard A. Honn wrote, Sheridan “has engaged in a continuous course of misconduct since 1991.”


IAN GEORGE LOCKHON [#170081], 39, of San Diego was disbarred March 4, 2004, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

In a default proceeding, the bar court found that Lockhon committed six acts of misconduct in two client matters.

He charged $1,200 to represent a client charged with driving with a suspended license. The client gave him $300 and electronic equipment valued at $650, and Lockhon said he could pay the balance after the case was completed.

Lockhon either did not return phone calls or told the client he was too busy to talk. He did not appear at the hearing, and the client did not appear because he did not know about it. As a result, the client’s bail was forfeited and a bench warrant was issued. After numerous attempts to reach him, Lockhon finally told the client the case had been sent to civil assessment.

The client learned the truth from the bail bondsman and went to court himself to explain his failure to appear. The client resolved his case himself.

The bar court found Lockhon failed to perform legal services competently or return unearned fees and he committed an act of moral turpitude and abandoned his client.

In the second case, a woman had a free consultation with Lockhon about possibly representing her son. She paid him $500 toward a $5,000 retainer and agreed to return the next day with $4,500 to sign a retainer agreement. Her son then refused to retain Lockhon.

When she sought the return of her money, Lockhon became angry and hung up on her. She left phone messages and sent a letter requesting a refund, but Lockhon did not respond.

The bar court found that he did not refund an unearned fee and he didn’t cooperate with the bar’s investigation.

Lockhon was disciplined twice previously for similar misconduct and for mishandling his client trust account.


THOMAS J. DIXON [#146405], 48, of Sacramento was disbarred March 11, 2004, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

In two consolidated default matters, the bar court found that Dixon failed to perform legal services competently, communicate with clients or cooperate with the bar’s investigation and that he engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. He also was disciplined three times in the past 10 years.

Dixon was placed on involuntary inactive enrollment in 2002 for defaulting in another discipline case and was ineligible to practice for a month. He missed a meeting with a bar attorney because he was in trial, and the attorney advised him he had to notify the court that he could not practice.

Nonetheless, he appeared twice in Yolo County Superior Court, representing a criminal defendant. When the bar later questioned him about the appearances, he did not respond.

In a second matter, Dixon asked another attorney to cover for him and to ask for a continuance of a trial scheduled for a date when he could not practice. The continuance was granted, but Dixon did not appear, nor did he notify his client of the trial date. As a result, the court issued a bench warrant for the client’s arrest. Dixon also did not tell the client about the warrant.

In recommending Dixon’s disbarment, Judge Pat McElroy noted that his misconduct began two years after his 1990 admission “and has not stopped since.”


RICHARD JOHN BEHRENS [#79764], 56, of Van Nuys was disbarred March 20, 2004, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

In a default proceeding, the State Bar Court found that Behrens did not comply with an earlier rule 955 requirement: he did not submit to the Supreme Court an affidavit stating that he notified his clients and all other pertinent parties of his suspension from practice.

He was disciplined in 2002 for misconduct in two matters, including failure to perform legal services competently, communicate with clients, return unearned fees or cooperate with the bar’s investigation, and he improperly withdrew from employment.


KOOROS JAMES KHAVARIAN [#171550], 39, of Valley Village was disbarred March 20, 2004, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

Khavarian failed to comply with the requirements of rule 955, as ordered in a 2003 probation revocation.

He was disciplined three times prior to the disbarment order, beginning with misconduct found in a 2001 case brought for failure to perform legal services competently or communicate with clients, and he improperly withdrew from employment and misrepresented to the client the status of her case.

In 2003, Khavarian’s probation was revoked when he failed to file quarterly reports or meet with his probation monitor, and the same year he was suspended again for misleading a judge and disobeying court orders.


JOHN HYONSUB SHIM [#150873], 44, of Glendale was disbarred March 20, 2004, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

Shim failed to obey a 2003 Supreme Court order requiring him to comply with rule 955.

He has four prior disciplines, beginning with a 1997 private reproval for reckless driving involving alcohol and failing to comply with an agreement with the State Bar in lieu of discipline. In 2001, Shim was publicly reproved for misconduct in one case, and in 2003 he was suspended for violating a court order, maintaining an illegal or unjust action and failing to cooperate with the bar’s investigation.

Also that year, he was suspended for not complying with probation requirements attached to the public reproval.

Shim did not participate in three of the disciplinary proceedings.


BEN E. FOX [#98171], 60, of Santa Rosa was disbarred March 20, 2004, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

Fox failed to comply with rule 955, as ordered by a 2002 discipline. In that matter, the State Bar Court found that he committed misconduct that included failure to return unearned fees, communicate with a client or comply with an agreement in lieu of discipline, and he improperly withdrew from employment.


SUSPENSION/PROBATION

ALAN MEHREZ [#143547], 47, of Lauderdale, Fla. was suspended for 18 months, stayed, and was placed on three years of probation with an actual one-year suspension and until he proves his rehabilitation. He also was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. The order took effect Feb. 11, 2004.

Mehrez stipulated to 26 counts of misconduct in eight consolidated matters.

Most of the cases involved family matters. The misconduct included four counts of failing to communicate with clients, eight counts of failing to refund unearned fees, six instances of failing to perform legal services competently and eight instances of improperly withdrawing as counsel.

In mitigation, Mehrez has been diagnosed with acute depression stemming from family problems and financial pressures. He has no prior record of discipline.


JOHN CARLOS MONTANO JR. [#166382], 36, of Santa Ana was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on five years of probation with a 90-day actual suspension and until he proves his rehabilitation, and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. Credit shall be given for the period of interim suspension from Aug. 10, 2002 – June 11, 2003. The order took effect Feb. 11, 2004.

Montano was convicted in 2002 of possession of a controlled substance (GBL, a drug that cannot be purchased in California) and driving under the influence, with an enhancement for two prior DUIs within the previous seven years. The State Bar Court found that Montano’s conduct did not involve moral turpitude but did warrant discipline.

In mitigation, Montano cooperated with the bar’s investigation.


GARY FREDERIC MYERS [#98819], 57, of Hemet was suspended for 18 months, stayed, actually suspended for 90 days and until the State Bar Court grants a motion to terminate the suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. If the actual suspension exceeds two years, he must prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect Feb. 11, 2004.

In a default proceeding, the bar court found that Myers committed five acts of misconduct. He was employed by a couple and their daughter, following injuries to the daughter and the death of another daughter in an automobile accident. The surviving child turned 18 a month after Myers was hired.

A collection agency representing the clients’ medical provider asked Myers not to enter into a settlement that included medical expenses without his clients’ consent. He knew at the time that the medical provider had a lien on the clients’ property for recovery of medical expenses.

Myers filed two lawsuits — personal injury and wrongful death — that the court later consolidated. He settled the wrongful death case and gave the clients their share of the proceeds.

He then settled the personal injury case for $50,000, dismissed it, and was advised that an agreement had to be signed by the daughter who had turned 18. Once that was done, the money was to be paid if Myers resolved all lien claims.

Myers never told the family about the personal injury settlement offer or that the case was dismissed and he did not provide the settlement release to the daughter. He did not respond to the clients’ letters or pages and they never received any settlement funds from the personal injury case.

He also did not respond to letters from the collection company, which then attempted to collect more than $91,000 from the clients for medical care that had been provided to the two daughters.

The bar court found that Myers failed to perform legal services competently, respond to client inquiries or cooperate with the bar’s investigation and he improperly withdrew from employment.


BRIAN SAUNDERS [#176100], 48, of Corona was suspended for one year, stayed, and placed on two years of probation. The order took effect Feb. 11, 2004.

Saunders stipulated to nine counts of misconduct, six the result of maintaining personal funds in his client trust account and writing checks for personal or business expenses against the account.

He also did not comply with probation conditions attached to a private reproval that was imposed for failing to perform legal services competently or communicate with clients. Saunders did not attend ethics school or take the MPRE as required.

In addition, he practiced law while he was enrolled as an inactive member as a result of not complying with MCLE requirements in 2002. He represented clients in two matters.

In mitigation, no clients were harmed by Saunders’ actions.


CRAIG PHILIP SUTTON SEIDEN [#100214], 53, of Mountain View was suspended for two years, stayed, actually suspended for 90 days and until the bar court grants a motion to end the suspension, and was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. If the actual suspension exceeds two years, he must prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect Feb. 11, 2004.

In a default proceeding, the State Bar Court found that Seiden commingled personal funds in his client trust account, wrote checks against insufficient funds and failed to maintain his current address with the bar’s official membership records.

In mitigation, he has no record of discipline in more than 20 years of practice.


ANDREW M. ZANGER [#73268], 54, of Santa Monica was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with a 75-day actual suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Feb.11, 2004.

Zanger represented a client who paid $1,500 in advance to handle her divorce. Although he filed a petition for dissolution and served his client’s husband, he took no further action. When the client fired him and hired a new lawyer, he did not reply to the lawyer’s request for a substitution of attorney, a bill and a refund of unearned fees. He eventually refunded the client more than she was owed.

He stipulated that he failed to perform legal services competently, render appropriate accounts to a client, promptly refund unearned fees or cooperate with the bar’s investigation.

Zanger has been disciplined twice previously, in 1992 and 1995.


ROY EARNEST PETERSON [#153455], 59, of Monrovia was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on five years of probation with a 60-day actual suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Feb. 11, 2004.

Peterson stipulated to misconduct in 13 consolidated cases, each as a result of his failure to perform legal services competently. He also did not respond to clients’ reasonable status inquiries twice.

He agreed to refund $10,000 to nine clients.

Peterson was publicly reproved in 2000 for failing to perform, account for client funds or release client files.

In mitigation, he was being treated for heart disease and viral pneumonia that resulted in hospitalization and incapacity to conduct day-to-day law office work.


BRUCE CLYDE BURGE [#187722], 47, of Oakland was suspended for three years, stayed, actually suspended for one year and until he makes restitution and the State Bar Court orders the suspension terminated, and he was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. If the actual suspension exceeds two years, he must prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect Feb. 11, 2004.

In a default proceeding, the bar court found that Burge committed misconduct in seven client matters, including failure to perform legal services competently, obey court orders, communicate with clients and cooperate with the bar’s investigation.

He failed to comply with 17 separate court orders requiring him to appear and pay sanctions. He also engaged in the unauthorized practice of law in two matters and misrepresented to opposing counsel and the court that he was entitled to practice when, in fact, he was suspended for non-payment of bar dues and non-compliance with continuing education requirements.

The bar court also found that he abandoned clients and committed acts of moral turpitude.

A client who hired Burge to represent him in a dispute regarding a business he purchased was out $20,000 for more than two years. The client felt the former owner had neglected to inform him of the duty to remove a sign from the business at a cost of $8,400. Burge advised the client to withhold payments to the prior owner and to give the money to him until the dispute was resolved.

The client provided checks totaling almost $30,000.

Burge paid for the sign removal, leaving just over $20,000 in his trust account. He advised his client not to pay the previous owner any money until he requested it. Burge never returned the money to the client or paid the previous owner, despite the client’s many requests. He also never provided an accounting for the funds.

When the client later sold the business, he was forced to pay more than $20,000 to the previous owner, who had placed a lien on the property. He also had to pay several thousand dollars in costs and fees to clear title to the property.


MICHAEL FRANCIS GALLIGAN [#53572], 53, of Redwood City was suspended for two years, stayed, actually suspended for 90 days and until the bar court grants a motion to end the suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. If the actual suspension exceeds two years, he must prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect Feb. 11, 2004.

In a default proceeding, the bar court found that Galligan violated terms of an earlier probation by failing to submit two quarterly reports. He was publicly reproved in 2002 for failing to perform legal services competently or cooperate with the bar’s investigation.


JAMES D. GOING III [#123649], 61, of Norwalk was suspended for 12 months, stayed, placed on 24 months of probation with an actual 30-day suspension and was ordered to make restitution and take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Feb. 11, 2004.

Going stipulated to misconduct in two matters.

A client hired him to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy on an emergency basis to prevent foreclosure on her home. Going filed the petition without the required schedules and attachments because the client had not provided all the information needed to proceed regarding her creditors. The court gave Going a deadline for filing the necessary information.

Going informed his client’s mortgage lenders about the bankruptcy and asked that her property be removed from a foreclosure sale. He also prepared a statement of financial affairs that the client signed and says he instructed his secretary to file the document.

Neither that document nor the Chapter 13 plan were filed on time and the bankruptcy petition was dismissed. Going was prevented by the court from filing a new petition for 180 days.

He says he prepared a motion for relief from the order, but his secretary did not file it. The client’s property was sold at foreclosure.

Although Going tried to negotiate possible recovery of the property with the buyer and put his client in contact with a lender specializing in bad credit mortgages, the client was unable to recover her home.

In the second matter, he was hired to handle a divorce. Although his client promptly answered a discovery request, Going did not forward it to opposing counsel. As a result, the client’s husband filed a motion to compel discovery and a request for sanctions.

The court awarded the husband attorney fees of $350. Going asserted that he believed the sanction would be satisfied due to a financial arrangement he made with the husband so he assured the client he would pay the sanction. He did not, so the husband placed a lien on his wife’s property. Going did not pay off the lien.

In both matters, Going stipulated that he failed to perform legal services competently.

In mitigation, he has no record of discipline since his 1986 admission to the bar and he cooperated with the bar’s investigation.


JOEL STANLEY FREEMAN [#177703], 44, of Los Angeles was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual 90-day suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year and comply with rule 955. The order took effect Feb. 11, 2004.

Freeman stipulated to three counts of misconduct.

He repeatedly wrote checks or made overdraft ATM withdrawals against insufficient funds, paid his personal expenses from his client trust account, often against insufficient funds, and deposited personal funds into the account.

He stipulated that he commingled personal and client funds, misused his client trust account and did not update his membership address with the State Bar.

In mitigation, Freeman has no record of discipline and no clients complained about him to the bar. When he had been a lawyer for just two years, he attempted to take over his father’s practice but when he realized he did not have the business knowledge to run a practice, he began winding down. He did not practice for two and a half years.


DANIEL DAVID DYDZAK [#121857], 44, of Los Angeles was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year and prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect Feb. 11, 2004.

Dydzak was suspended for one month in 1998, but continued to represent a client who retained him prior to the suspension. He stipulated to the unauthorized practice of law.

The underlying discipline was imposed for failing to deposit client funds in a trust account, promptly pay out client funds, return client files, promptly refund unearned fees, communicate with a client or cooperate with the bar’s investigation. He also was publicly reproved in 2002.


RICHARD DAVID COMESS [#198665], 54, of Santa Monica was suspended for three years, stayed, actually suspended for six months and until he makes restitution and the bar court terminates the suspension, and was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. If the actual suspension exceeds two years, he must prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect Feb. 11, 2004.

In a default proceeding, the State Bar Court found that Comess committed multiple acts of wrongdoing in two client matters and failed to cooperate with the bar’s investigation.

In the first matter, he agreed to file an appeal of a trial court ruling in a civil case. He received four extensions but never filed the appeal or returned his client’s many phone calls. The appeal was dismissed.

The client hired a new lawyer, but his client personally filed the substitution of attorney form and a motion to vacate the dismissal of the appeal. Comess did not provide the client’s file promptly and although the client requested a time extension as a result, the court denied his request and his motion.

The bar court found that Comess committed four acts of misconduct: he failed to perform legal services competently, respond to a client’s status inquiries or refund an unearned $1,300 fee and he abandoned his client without protecting his interests.

In the second matter, Comess filed a lawsuit on behalf of his client but did not serve the defendant. When the client checked the file, he learned that Comess missed two status conferences and the court scheduled an order to show cause hearing. The client appeared at that hearing, but Comess did not.

The client fired Comess and demanded the return of his documents, but Comess did not respond to a letter or repeated phone calls.

The bar court found that he failed to perform legal services competently, notify his client of significant developments in his case or return client papers and he improperly withdrew from employment.

Comess also was disciplined in 2003 for multiple acts of misconduct in one client matter, including failing to perform competently, communicate, return a client file or obey court orders, and he improperly withdrew from employment, was dishonest by holding himself out as entitled to practice and engaged in unauthorized practice while suspended for non-compliance with MCLE requirements.


TIMOTHY LEE McCANDLESS [#147715], 46, of Apple Valley was suspended for 36 months, stayed, placed on 60 months of probation with an actual six-month suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year and comply with rule 955. The order took effect Feb. 11, 2004.

McCandless stipulated to eight counts of misconduct in three matters, including failure to perform legal services competently, respond to client inquiries or promptly release client files, and he improperly withdrew from representation. He received the cases through Centro Legal Hispano, where he had office space, and he relied on staff to do work he should have done.

In a personal injury claim, he never filed a lawsuit for his client despite knowing about the statute of limitations, he never provided the insurance carrier with his client’s medical records or bills, and never returned his client’s phone calls or otherwise responded to requests for information. He didn’t tell the client the statute of limitations had expired. He did not respond to many requests by the insurance company for information and didn’t properly supervise his litigation coordinator to insure that the case was handled correctly.

In the second matter, McCandless was hired to represent a client in a probate case concerning real estate left to the client by her mother. He misrepresented to the client he was in the process of opening probate and was in touch with San Bernardino County. He never filed any pleadings or performed any work for the client.

When the client hired a new lawyer, McCandless did not promptly provide her file.

In the third matter, also a personal injury case, the insurance company closed its file on the claim because McCandless never responded to five letters seeking information or documents. He also did not respond to his client’s phone messages.

McCandless previously was disciplined in 1995, 1998 and 2000. He agreed to sever his ties with Centro Legal.


THOMAS WILLIAM GILLEN [#152569], 75, of Yorba Linda was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation, and was ordered to make restitution and take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Feb. 22, 2004.

Gillen stipulated to misconduct in one matter.

In a personal injury case that he settled for about $10,000, he distributed the proceeds of a $9,000 check appropriately. A second check for $1,864.99, paid as car rental reimbursement, was deposited in Gillen’s business account and he lost track of the funds. He did not realize the money had been mishandled until contacted by the State Bar. He paid the client $1,800 and owes the client the difference.

Gillen stipulated that he failed to deposit client funds in a trust account, promptly notify the client of his receipt of funds or perform legal services competently.

In mitigation, he has no prior record of discipline.


DEBORAH GWYN LEVINSON [#123773], 44, of Los Angeles was suspended for three years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with an actual two-year suspension and was ordered to prove her rehabilitation and comply with rule 955. The order took effect Feb. 22, 2004.

Levinson stipulated that she did not comply with probation conditions attached to a 2000 discipline order. She did not complete ethics school or the client trust accounting class, nor did she furnish evidence that she obtained psychological help.

Levinson was under the mistaken impression that she had complied with the terms and conditions of her probation and when informed otherwise, she worked to come into compliance.

The 2000 discipline also was the result of failing to comply with probation conditions from a 1996 order, imposed for misconduct in 21 consolidated matters. She also was disciplined in 1993.

In mitigation, Levinson cooperated with the bar’s investigation and she quickly complied with her probation requirements.


ALLEN C. VAN CAMP [#126443], 42, of Anaheim was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on three years of probation and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Feb. 22, 2004.

Van Camp stipulated that he failed to perform legal services competently or inform a client of significant developments in one matter.

He represented Albertsons in a civil matter, but did not respond to discovery despite two lengthy extensions and did not inform the client about discovery, motions to compel, sanctions and a subsequent default.

Opposing counsel in the case offered at one point to drop the motion to compel if Van Camp would provide the long-overdue discovery responses, but he did not respond. He did not appear at the hearing and was sanctioned $623.

When a second motion to compel was filed, Van Camp promised to send all discovery responses to the other lawyer the next day, but did not do so. Additional sanctions of $627 were awarded against Van Camp, and later sanctions of $546 were added.

He never paid the sanctions and concealed the entire matter from his law firm and from Albertsons. The court ultimately entered a default against Albertsons for $175,000. According to the stipulation, Van Camp’s failure to act on the case “effectively resulted in a dismissal of any claims or cross-actions Albertsons might have had.”

In mitigation, Van Camp has no record of discipline and he cooperated with the bar’s investigation.


BOBBY OREN WHEELER JR. [#140726], 47, of Seattle was suspended for one year, stayed, actually suspended for 45 days and until the State Bar Court grants a motion to terminate the suspension, and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year and comply with rule 955. If the actual suspension exceeds two years, he must prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect Feb. 22, 2004.

Wheeler was formally reprimanded in Washington for misconduct that included filing an action that he knew to be without a basis in law, not adequately communicating with his client and for not handling the case diligently.

The State Bar Court ruled that his conduct warranted discipline in California.

Wheeler did not participate in the proceedings.


ROBERT D. BEASLEY [#182037], 48, of Concord was suspended for two years, stayed, and was actually suspended for 20 months and until he makes restitution, proves his rehabilitation, and the State Bar Court grants a motion to end the suspension. The order took effect Feb. 22, 2004.

The State Bar Court concluded that Beasley committed 19 acts of misconduct in four client matters.

In three cases, he was hired by clients to handle their problems but he did no work. In the fourth matter, an inmate at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville sought help on a personal injury case, going so far as to send his file. Beasley did not respond to phone calls asking whether he would take the case, and when he finally agreed to a conference call with the potential client and his prison counselor, he missed the call.

Another attorney in his office who heard the voicemail messages said she would assist with the case, but she later dissolved her partnership with Beasley without becoming involved.

The State Bar Court found that Beasley abandoned three clients, did not communicate, return files or refund fees in four cases and he failed to cooperate with the bar’s investigation. He did not participate in the discipline proceedings.

He also was disciplined last year for multiple similar acts of misconduct in three matters; his default was entered in that proceeding as well.


MICHAEL STUART PRATTER [#40277], 63, of Los Angeles was suspended for three years, stayed, placed on four years of probation and was ordered to prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect Feb. 26, 2004.

Pratter stipulated that he commingled personal and client funds in his trust account, used the account to pay expenses unrelated to attorney-client matters and failed to properly maintain client funds in a trust account.

Pratter was disciplined in 1998 for misconduct in six cases, including failing to refund unearned fees or obey a court order, commingling personal and client funds and five counts of unauthorized practice.

In mitigation, he cooperated with the bar’s investigation and he had emotional or physical problems.


C. ELIZABETH ANDERSON [#161503], 48, of Fairfield was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on four years of probation with a nine-month actual suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. Credit was given for a nine-month interim suspension. The order took effect Feb. 28, 2004.

Anderson pleaded no contest in 2002 to conspiracy to use methamphetamine and maintaining a location for drug use. At the time, she was married to a man who was in the Solano County jail for drug offenses. The husband’s cellmate told law enforcement that there were drugs in Anderson’s home, and police seized a half ounce of methamphetamine and paraphernalia as well as one tablet of ecstasy.

Anderson stipulated that her conduct did not involve moral turpitude but did warrant discipline.

In a second matter, she made a court appearance while she was on interim suspension.

In mitigation, Anderson had no prior discipline record, she complied with probation conditions in her criminal case, she divorced her husband and she was addicted to methamphetamine and is now in recovery.


PAUL GROSSMAN [#53660], 66, of Tarzana was suspended for 18 months, stayed, placed on three years of probation with a 60-day actual suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Feb. 28, 2004.

Grossman was a defendant in an insurance fraud lawsuit filed in 1984 by Allstate and State Farm insurance companies. The suit was filed against numerous chiropractors, physical therapy clinics, an insurance agent and several attorneys, including Grossman, that together were referred to as the Revere enterprise.

In 1997, a federal judge in Los Angeles found that the group created and submitted false medical and billing records to the two companies to support fraudulent insurance claims. The judge concluded that 44 personal injury claims submitted through the Revere enterprise to Allstate and 23 claims submitted to State Farm were fraudulent. He entered judgment against Grossman on Allstate’s fraud and conspiracy to defraud causes of action and State Farm’s RICO cause of action.

Grossman’s appeal was rejected.

According to the stipulation, Grossman made 24 fraudulent claims against Allstate insureds and collected, with others in the Revere group, about $141,489 in settlement money.

He was disciplined twice previously, with a private reproval in 1985 and a public reproval in 1996 for failing to perform legal services competently or promptly pay client funds.

In mitigation, Grossman satisfied the judgment and made restitution to both companies in the amount of $187,733. In addition, the events underlying the misconduct occurred between 1977 and 1981 and there has been no similar misconduct since.


JOHN INGRAHAM MEEKER [#95878], 55, of Sacramento Probation was revoked, his stay of suspension was lifted and he was actually suspended for two years and until he proves his rehabilitation. He also was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. Credit shall be given for the period of involuntary inactive enrollment that began Aug. 16, 2003. The order took effect Feb. 28, 2004.

The State Bar Court found that Meeker failed to comply with probation conditions attached to a 2002 discipline order — he did not file quarterly probation reports or submit a law office management plan.

Meeker has six previous disciplines, including three prior probation revocation proceedings.


JOSEPH A. PARKS [#160473], 49, of Santa Rosa was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation and was ordered to prove his rehabilitation, take the MPRE within one year and comply with rule 955. The order took effect Feb. 28, 2004.

Parks stipulated to five counts of misconduct in a personal injury case, including accepting an offer without his client’s knowledge, misleading his client about the status of her case and committing an act of moral turpitude, failing to notify a client about receipt of funds and misappropriating client funds.

He negotiated a settlement for his client without telling her the amount and relied on a power of attorney clause in his contingency fee agreement to cash the $18,900 settlement check.

After taking his fees, he allowed the balance to drop below the required amount and did not pay the client’s medical bills.

When the client asked about the status of the case, Parks told her it had not settled and probably would go to arbitration. He later told her he settled the case and gave her a check for more than $8,000. He also told her he had paid her doctors.

After the client complained to the State Bar, Parks paid one of the medical bills.

In mitigation, Parks has no prior record of discipline, he cooperated with the bar’s investigation, he participates in community and pro bono activities and he demonstrated remorse.


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