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Caution! More than 200,000 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

JOHN FREELAND WANVIG [#120390], 55, of Pullman, Wash. was disbarred March 22, 2008, and was ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

In a default proceeding, the State Bar Court found that Wanvig failed to comply with rule 955 of the rules of court, since renumbered as rule 9.20. He did not timely file with the bar court an affidavit stating that he notified his clients, opposing counsel and other interested parties of his suspension from practice. Failure to comply with rule 955 is grounds for disbarment.

In a 2006 default proceeding, the bar court found that Wanvig committed three acts of misconduct, including failing to perform legal services competently and making misrepresentations to his client.

In recommending disbarment, Judge Donald F. Miles wrote that Wanvig “has demonstrated an unwillingness to comply with the professional obligations and rules of court imposed on California attorneys although he has been given the opportunity to do so.”


ASHOK SHANTILAL SHAH [#183921], 48, of Los Angeles was summarily disbarred April 17, 2008, and ordered to comply with rule 9.20.

In 2004, Shah was convicted of one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bank fraud and mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The fraud convictions meet the requirements for summary disbarment — they are felonies involving moral turpitude.


PHILIP MAXIMUS VAN AELSTYN [#220844], 44, of Auburn was disbarred April 17, 2008, and was ordered to comply with rule 9.20.

In a default proceeding, the State Bar Court found that Van Aelstyn failed to comply with rule 9.20; he did not submit to the court an affidavit stating that he notified his clients, courts and other pertinent parties of his suspension. Failure to comply with rule 9.20 is grounds for disbarment.

Van Aelstyn was placed on interim suspension in 2007 after convictions in Vermont for stalking and extortion.


SUSPENSION/PROBATION

DMITRY DAVID KRAYEVSKY [#192548], 37, of Pacific Palisades Probation was revoked, the previous stay of suspension was lifted and he was actually suspended for three years and until he proves his rehabilitation and he was ordered to comply with rule 9.20. Credit is given for a period of involuntary inactive enrollment that began Oct. 22, 2007. The order took effect March 5, 2008.

He did not timely submit to the State Bar Court psychological or lab reports or proof of attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, as required by a 2007 disciplinary order.

In the underlying case, Krayevsky was disciplined for failing to perform legal services competently, communicate with a client or cooperate with the bar’s investigation. He also committed seven probation violations.

He was given a stayed suspension and placed on probation in 2004 for practicing law while suspended for non-compliance with MCLE requirements.


MILES CLARK III [#213663], 43, of Riverside was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation and was ordered to prove his rehabilitation and take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect March 5, 2008.

Clark pleaded no contest to four counts of violating the Insurance Code. As part of his sentence, he was ordered to make restitution to the State Compensation Insurance Fund totaling $82,555.18.

Clark started a successful trucking business in 1985. By the time he was completing law school 14 years later, he spent little time on the business, which was run by his then-girlfriend, his father and a yard supervisor.

Although the company primarily employed independent contractor drivers, it began to switch to full-time employees and Clark gave responsibility for the change to his girlfriend.

The company was required to submit quarterly reports for workers’ compensation insurance purposes, indicating whether it had employees on the payroll. The information was used by the fund to set appropriate insurance premium rates. Companies with no employees enjoy lower rates.

Several reports were submitted that indicated the company had no employees; Clark’s girlfriend said she had not completed the switch from contract drivers although she in fact had hired full-time employees. Once she told Clark the company had driver employees, he sent a check to the Insurance Fund for more than $28,000.

Clark became a successful deputy district attorney in Riverside County and believed the trucking company was in good hands. In fact, it was mismanaged and went out of business.

Criminal charges eventually were filed against Clark based on the incorrect quarterly reports. He was placed on administrative leave and started his own law practice.

The State Bar Court found that his actions did not involve moral turpitude.

In mitigation, Clark cooperated with the bar’s investigation, showed remorse and made restitution, he submitted letters attesting to his good character and, although he was a rising star in the DA’s office, he lost his career there.


STEVEN RICHARD CAMERON [#93594], 56, of Newport Beach was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect March 5, 2008.

Cameron stipulated that he did not report to the State Bar that the Court of Appeal imposed sanctions on him.

After a case he handled in superior court was dismissed with prejudice, Cameron appealed and filed an opening brief that sought relief from the lower court’s abuse of discretion. Opposing counsel sought sanctions for filing a frivolous appeal.

The Court of Appeal affirmed the lower court and sanctioned Cameron $6,657. He did not report the sanction to the bar as required.

In mitigation, he has no prior discipline record and cooperated with the bar’s investigation and no one was harmed by his actions.


STEPHEN PATRICK TROVER [#142919], 54, of Salt Lake City was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with a six-month actual suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year and comply with rule 9.20. The order took effect March 6, 2008.

Trover stipulated to nine counts of misconduct in three client matters: he failed to perform legal services competently or keep his clients reasonably informed of developments in their cases, he disobeyed a court order, improperly withdrew from representation and committed an act of moral turpitude.

After filing a breach of contract suit for the plaintiff, Trover was suspended for non-compliance with MCLE requirements. He did not inform his client of his suspension and he didn’t respond to a motion filed by the opposition. As a result, he and the client were sanctioned $500; again, he didn’t inform the client.

After being reinstated, he was sanctioned $636.30. The case ultimately was dismissed and he was sanctioned again. He did not inform the client of the dismissal and never paid the sanctions.

In a debt collection case, Trover represented a client who was awarded $12,000 by the court. However, he took no action to collect on the judgment, did not respond to his client’s inquiries and ultimately vacated his office without providing any new contact information.

In the third matter, he represented the defendants in a suit arising from the sale of their house. Although the clients paid a fee and Trover agreed to represent them, he never formally entered the case and did not appear at two conferences after default was entered against them.

When he did make a court appearance, he falsely told the judge the plaintiffs’ counsel had agreed to set aside the default.

A judgment of $113,000 was entered against his clients, plus $5,812 for attorney’s fees and $552 for costs. Trover did not notify his clients of the judgment, did not respond to their phone calls and took no further action on the case.

In mitigation, Trover has no prior discipline record and he suffers from acute depression.


ROBERT GORDON PADRICK [#103971], 56, of Palo Alto was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on three years of probation and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect March 6, 2008.

Padrick successfully completed the State Bar’s Alternative Discipline Program and has been enrolled in the Lawyer Assistance Program since 2004. Both programs deal with lawyers with substance abuse or mental health issues.

He stipulated to seven counts of misconduct in three personal injury cases, including failing to perform legal services competently, communicate with clients or account for client funds.

Padrick settled two of the matters but did not distribute the funds for between three and seven years. In the third matter, he received a partial settlement for his client but did not give her an accounting of the funds. In all three matters he did not respond to his clients’ numerous inquiries about their cases.

In mitigation, Padrick had no prior discipline record, he made full restitution, cooperated with the bar’s investigation and suffered from a “rare fungal bronchitis” that interfered with his ability to practice. He remains in compliance with the Lawyer Assistance Program.


RICHARD ERIC HOVE [#53780], 61, of Hayward was suspended for three years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with a two-year actual suspension and he was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20. The order took effect March 14, 2008.

The State Bar Court found that Hove, who has a discipline record that extends back to 1993, committed six acts of misconduct in three client matters. He denied all charges.

The first occurred about 15 years ago when Hove represented two clients whose interests conflicted in two separate criminal matters. One client was charged with murder and attempted murder and the other was charged with possession of drugs and of a gun that was used in the other client’s murder case. When Hove learned that the same gun was evidence in both cases, he had the clients execute waivers of conflict of interest that he filed with the court.

The first client was convicted of murder and attempted murder. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit found that Hove had a conflict of interest that adversely affected his client’s defense.

The bar court found that although Hove obtained his client’s written consent to the dual representation, he did not provide full disclosure of the possible consequences. The court therefore found that Hove represented adverse interests without fully disclosing relevant information and consequences. Although the bar charged that Hove also misled the court, the bar court rejected the allegation.

In 2002, Hove represented a client who faced several federal felony charges. Hove was suspended that year for 75 days, and prior to the suspension, he notified the client, who agreed to be represented by another lawyer, with Hove acting as a paralegal on the case. The client had paid a $25,000 advance fee.

The association of the other attorney was not filed until after the suspension began. And although Hove did some work that was of a paralegal nature, he held himself out as an attorney at other times, prepared motions and had them filed by the other attorney, and he billed his client for $200 an hour, as provided in the original fee agreement.

The bar court found that he practiced law and held himself out as an attorney while suspended, charged illegal fees totaling $2,050 and committed acts of moral turpitude.

In the third matter, Hove took over a case for an incarcerated individual who was facing methamphetamine charges. The client had been in jail for about four years and his attorney recommended that he accept a plea bargain with a sentence that amounted to time served. The client, however, wanted to go to trial.

Hove entered into a fee agreement with the man’s brother in 2003. The brother paid him $15,000, although Hove did not obtain the client’s consent to accept any money from his brother. Sometime later, Hove also concluded the client should accept a plea bargain. The brother made numerous attempts to contact Hove without success.

He demanded that his fee be returned and Hove refused, saying he was ready to try the case and had earned it. The bar court found that he failed to refund an unearned fee and recommended the parties go to fee arbitration to settle the dispute. The court also found that Hove accepted compensation from someone other than a client without obtaining the client’s written consent.

The bar court rejected a charge that Hove did not keep clients apprised of developments in their case because the brother was not his client.

Hove was convicted in 1992 of two counts of structuring currency transactions to avoid a reporting requirement. He broke up a single cash transaction of $10,000 or more to avoid triggering the filing of a report. That conviction was reversed on appeal.

The bar placed him on interim suspension in 1992 and he was suspended and placed on probation in 1994 for not submitting a required affidavit to the bar court on time.

In 1997, Hove was publicly reproved for not complying with probation requirements, and in 2002, he was suspended and placed on probation for misconduct involving two clients: he failed to perform legal services competently, return unearned fees, communicate with clients or cooperate with the bar’s investigation.

In recommending that Hove be suspended again, Judge JoAnn Remke seemed to issue a warning. “While (Hove’s) misconduct in the last 10 years reflects his difficulties in complying with his professional obligations, their collective lack of severity and the gravity of the current offenses do not yet justify disbarment in this proceeding,” she wrote.


JENNIFER FAY BLACKBURN [#214781], 34, of Keaau, Hawaii 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 March 22, 2008.

Blackburn stipulated to eight counts of misconduct in two matters.

From 2001 to 2003, she worked for a Fresno law firm. In the course of her work, she was assigned to handle bankruptcy for two women. Although they were domestic partners, they were filing for bankruptcy separately. In 2003, Blackburn left the firm but said she would continue to work on the case in question without further compensation from the clients.

However, she did no further work and never filed the bankruptcy petitions.

One of her clients was sued for debt owed on a credit card. The client had provided information about that debt to Blackburn, who did not respond to the woman’s messages. The client then went to Central California Legal Services Inc.; one of its attorneys spoke with Blackburn who said she would help the clients with their filings. She did no further work.

She stipulated that she failed to perform legal services competently, respond to client inquiries or keep clients informed about developments in their cases.

The second matter was also a bankruptcy case for which the client paid a $635 fee. Blackburn told him that she had everything she needed to file the petition. The client called her once a month for more than a year without a response. When he went to her office, it was empty and the fax was disconnected.

Blackburn never filed the petition.

She stipulated that she failed to perform legal services competently, respond to client inquiries, keep a client informed about developments in his case or refund unearned fees. She also did not cooperate with the bar’s investigation.

In mitigation, Blackburn was in the process of moving her family when the clients were trying to contact her, she demonstrated remorse and she cooperated with the bar.


JOHN HENRY EDWARDS III [#52343], 65, of Los Angeles was suspended for four years, stayed, placed on five years of probation with an actual one-year suspension and was ordered to make restitution and comply with rule 9.20. The order took effect March 22, 2008.

Edwards successfully completed the State Bar Alternative Discipline Program after demonstrating a nexus between his mental health issues and his misconduct and he participated in the Lawyer Assistance Program.

He stipulated that he failed to comply with a Supreme Court order, committing an act of moral turpitude, and he failed to perform legal services, promptly respond to client status inquiries or refund unearned fees.


MARK E. MADISON [#158786], 50, of Fullerton Probation was revoked, the previous stay of suspension was lifted and he was actually suspended for 60 days and placed on two years of probation. The order took effect March 22, 2008.

Madison failed to comply with probation conditions attached to a 2005 discipline: he submitted three quarterly probation reports and three certified public accountant reports late and he did not timely meet with the bar’s probation office after the discipline was imposed.

He was originally suspended because he did not maintain a client’s funds in trust or maintain a record of her money, subjecting the client to potential liability. He also failed to promptly release her file.

In mitigation, Madison had severe family problems — his son was diagnosed with leukemia and faces a potential bone marrow transplant, his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent four surgeries and chemotherapy and his father had surgery to remove one-third of his lung.


STEPHEN A. RODRIGUEZ [#219019], 36, of Los Angeles was suspended for six months, stayed, placed on one year of probation and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect March 22, 2008.

Rodriguez stipulated that he failed to comply with conditions attached to a public reproval by not submitting three quarterly probation reports or proof that he took and passed the MPRE.

The reproval was imposed in 2005 for Rodriguez’ failure to competently perform legal services.

In mitigation, he cooperated with the bar’s investigation and he demonstrated remorse.


JOYCE C. SASSE [#107592], 65, of Lafayette was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual 30-day suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect March 22, 2008.

Sasse stipulated to two counts of misconduct stemming from contentious divorce proceedings with her husband. The court gave Sasse primary control of bank accounts that were to be used only for the benefit of property she owned with her husband. Nonetheless, she stipulated that she withdrew $32,000 for purposes other than what the court allowed.

The court found Sasse guilty of three counts of contempt and fined her $1,500. She returned all the money she had improperly withdrawn.

Sasse stipulated that she failed to abide by a court order and committed acts of moral turpitude.

In mitigation, she has no prior discipline record and she had severe family problems at the time of the misconduct.


AFTAB A. MALIK [#171926], 40, of Beverly Hills was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect April 2, 2008.

Malik stipulated to two counts of misconduct in two matters.

He handled a federal criminal appeal before the Ninth Circuit. When his client fired him, Malik failed to notify the court that he no longer represented the client. He stipulated that he improperly withdrew from representation.

In the second matter, he represented the defendant in a civil case in which the court entered a default against his client and awarded more than $733,000 to the plaintiff. On Malik’s motion, the court vacated the default but ordered Malik to pay fees and costs of more than $66,000.

He has not paid any of the order and stipulated that he failed to obey a court order.

Malik was publicly reproved in 2005. In mitigation, his clients were not harmed.


KEVIN JOHN HUGHES [#111640], 39, of Walnut Creek was suspended for two years, stayed, actually suspended for two years and until he proves his rehabilitation and the State Bar Court grants a motion to terminate the suspension, and he was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20. The order took effect April 4, 2008.

In a default proceeding, the bar court found that Hughes committed multiple acts of misconduct in five client matters, all involving trusts and estates, including failing to perform services competently, return unearned fees, communicate with clients or return client files and he improperly withdrew from employment.

In the first matter, Hughes was hired to prepare a trust for a couple. He was instructed to transfer two pieces of property, in San Mateo and Sacramento counties, into the trust but did not do so. He did not respond to the clients’ numerous phone calls or their request that he return their documents and refund half of their advanced fee.

He abandoned his office without notifying them.

In a second matter, Hughes was retained to handle administration of a trust; after being prompted by his client, he mailed notification to the trust beneficiaries of their right to contest the trust. He did no further work and did not return phone calls or the client’s documents and he missed a scheduled meeting with the client. He provided almost no services to two other clients who hired him to create an estate plan and update a trust.

In the final matter, a client who was in his eighties and suffered from leukemia hired Hughes to create an estate plan that included a revocable living trust and an advanced health care directive as well as the transfer of several properties into the trust. Time was of the essence. Although the client signed several documents, Hughes did not record the deeds or complete the revocable trust or the last will and testament.

The client hired a new attorney, who was unable to obtain the file for almost three months. When Hughes provided the file to the new lawyer, the estate plan was not complete, nor had the quitclaim deeds been recorded. He did not refund any part of the unearned fee.

In mitigation, Hughes practiced for 22 years without a discipline record.

In recommending his suspension, Judge Lucy Armendariz wrote that Hughes’ “misconduct reflects a blatant disregard of professional responsibilities. He had flagrantly breached his fiduciary duties to his clients and abandoned their causes.”


DAVID ANTHONY SILVA [#149506], 51, of New Bedford, Mass. was suspended for five years, stayed, actually suspended for two years and until he makes restitution, proves his rehabilitation and the State Bar Court grants a motion to terminate the suspension, and he was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20. The order took effect April 2, 2008.

In a default proceeding, the court found that Silva committed 13 acts of misconduct in five matters.

In a personal injury case in which he represented the plaintiff, Silva did not serve the defendants and he missed a case management conference and three hearings. The case was dismissed and Silva took no action to protect his client’s interests. He did not tell his client about any developments in her case. With the intent of creating the impression he was pursuing the case, he also told a State Bar investigator that he was waiting to hear from the insurance company, which was “taking its sweet time getting back” to him.

He filed a contingent fee medical malpractice case for another client, who rejected a first settlement offer. Nonetheless, he told the court his client accepted the settlement; the case was continued for dismissal after the settlement was finalized. He told the client a second offer was made, but she never accepted it. Silva took no further action and the case was dismissed.

A client who was seeking a divorce from her husband paid Silva $3,000. His agreement required more money if the husband contested the divorce or if certain orders were needed. Neither was the case, and Silva was therefore required to complete the dissolution, but he did not do so. In fact, he moved without notifying the client, who remained married against her wishes.

He gave a bar investigator a letter he purportedly sent to his client to give the impression he had been in contact with his client and returned her file.

In another matter, he settled a civil action for $5,180, but never obtained his client’s signature on settlement documents. The client did not receive any money for more than two years.

In the final matter, Silva began probate proceedings after being named executor and personal representative of an estate. However, he did not file with the court clerk an inventory and appraisal of the property within four months, as required by the Probate Code. He also did not file a petition for an order of final distribution of the estate or a report on the status of administration. He filed the first status report three years late.

Silva hired a CPA to prepare the estate’s taxes, but he did not provide the information needed to prepare the taxes. Eleven years after the client’s death, the probate proceedings were still pending and Silva had not filed a petition for order of final distribution or an accounting, nor did he provide any reports to the estate’s beneficiaries.

The bar court found that Silva failed to perform legal services competently, communicate with clients or refund unearned fees, and he committed acts of moral turpitude, improperly withdrew from cases, violated court orders and did not obey the law.

In recommending a lengthy suspension, Judge Lucy Armendariz noted that Silva “made misrepresentations to clients, courts and the State Bar and essentially abandoned several clients. His misconduct, in fact, resulted in client harm. He did not participate in the proceedings.”


GLENN R. WILSON [#183727], 49, of Fresno was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual 30-day suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect April 2, 2008.

Wilson stipulated to five counts of misconduct in two matters.

He substituted into a criminal appeal before the Ninth Circuit, although he was not admitted to practice there. He did not file an opening brief despite numerous orders and default orders, nor did he respond to an order to show cause.

Although he received $17,000 to handle the case, he did not provide an accounting of the money for two years, when the bar initiated an inquiry.

Wilson stipulated that he practiced in a jurisdiction where he was not admitted, disobeyed court orders, and he failed to account for client funds or perform legal services competently.

In a second criminal matter for which the client paid a $4,500 fee, Wilson was instructed to conduct a thorough investigation because witness issues were important to the outcome. Although he or another lawyer on his behalf made appearances, met briefly with the district attorney and reviewed a portion of the relevant documents, Wilson did not conduct a thorough investigation. Many witnesses were not interviewed, police audiotapes were not obtained and the client paid for and submitted to inadmissible testing on Wilson’s advice.

The client hired a new lawyer who promptly oversaw interviews of 20 witnesses and obtained police tapes. He demanded an accounting of the fees and a refund of unearned fees. Nearly two years later, Wilson provided the accounting and agreed to refund $2,000 as part of settlement negotiations in the bar case.

He stipulated that he failed to promptly refund unearned fees.

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


ANNE YEDVAL WEST [#52908], 61, of Seal Beach was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual 60-day suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect April 4, 2008.

West stipulated that she violated a court order in connection with a trust matter.

A daughter of West’s client obtained a court order directing that all assets in the trust were to be vested in the names of both the mother and daughter, who were co-trustees. The mother ordered her bank to transfer $273,190 from the trust to her personal account. The instructions were prepared by West’s paralegal with West’s approval. The funds were then placed in West’s client trust account. West ultimately gave the funds to an independent trustee appointed by the court.

She stipulated that she violated the court order by not having title to the trust assets vested in the names of both the mother and the daughter.

In mitigation, West has no discipline record in 35 years of practice, she cooperated with the investigation and presented witnesses who attested to her good character, her client was not harmed and she did not misuse the money, and she acted in good faith, relying on advice from a bar-certified specialist in probate and trust law.


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