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Bar prosecutor appointed State Bar Court judge

A former Philadelphia police officer who became a State Bar prosecutor is the newest hearing judge on the State Bar Court. Richard A. Platel, 54, was appointed by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and be-comes the first former bar staffer to move to the bar court since 1989.

Richard A. Platel
Platel

An assistant chief trial counsel, Platel was responsible for administration of the investigations division, supervising 60 people. He held a similar job in Philadelphia, where he was detective captain in charge of the investigations division prior to joining the district attorney’s office. While working as a police officer, he attended Temple University at night, majoring in criminal justice and graduating summa cum laude. He attended Temple law school while working for the DA.

As a former staffer sitting on the bar court, Platel will not face the usual six-month learning curve that faces other judges. Asked whether  he becomes discouraged by the number of lawyers who wind up in the discipline system, Platel said he looks at that question from a different angle. Given that some 150,000 lawyers are in active practice, the number who are disciplined is actually quite small, he said. “I think that says a lot about California attorneys.”

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