California Bar Journal
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 2000
spacer.gif (810 bytes)

DISCIPLINE

spacer.gif (810 bytes)
CAUTION!

Nearly 170,825 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.

spacer.gif (810 bytes)
DISBARMENTS

DONALD G. DURBIN JR. [#37882], 68, of El Monte was disbarred April 7, 2000, and ordered to comply with rule 955 of the California Rules of Court.

Durbin failed to meet the requirements of a 1998 disciplinary order, under which he was to notify his clients, opposing attorneys and any other party of his suspension from practice, and to submit an affidavit to that effect to the Supreme Court.

Failure to comply with rule 955 is grounds for disbarment.

Durbin has a record of four prior disciplines.

The first was a 1975 public reproval for misleading opposing counsel and the court, failure to perform legal services competently or respond to clients’ inquiries, and deliberately misrepresenting the status of a case.

Two years later, the State Bar Court found that he failed to perform competently, refund unearned fees or promptly return client files, and he abandoned a case and practiced law while suspended. Because he failed to comply with a rule 955 requirement in that discipline, he was again suspended from practice.

In the last discipline, underlying the disbarment, Durbin failed to perform legal services competently, refund unearned fees or cooperate with the bar’s investigation, and he committed acts of moral turpitude.

GERHARD M. HEIMANN [#36868], 71, of Burbank was disbarred April 19, 2000, and was ordered to comply with rule 955.

Heimann failed to comply with rule 955, a requirement of a 1998 discipline order. He did not notify his clients, opposing attorneys or other pertinent parties of his suspension from practice or submit an affidavit to that effect to the Supreme Court.

The 1998 order, Heimann’s fourth discipline, was the result of accepting employment adverse to a former client without the client’s written informed consent and of practicing law while suspended.

Heimann has a record of three other disciplines, beginning with a 1992 suspension for misappropriation of more than $100,000 in client funds, failing to maintain his client trust account, entering into unauthorized business transactions with clients’ funds, failure to perform legal services and failure to provide clients with an accounting of their funds.

When he failed to comply with probation conditions, he was again disciplined in 1994.

As a result of practicing law while suspended, Heimann was suspended for six months in 1995 and was ordered to comply with rule 955.

In recommending Heimann’s disbarment, State Bar Court Judge Madge S. Watai wrote, “Although he has been given several opportunities to do so, [Heimann] has demonstrated an unwillingness to comply with the professional obligations and rules of court imposed on California attorneys.”

Heimann did not participate in the disbarment proceedings and his default was entered.

EDWARD DEANE DONOVAN [#145981], 43, of West Hills was disbarred April 23, 2000, and was ordered to comply with rule 955.

Donovan violated a 1998 disciplinary requirement ordering that he comply with rule 955.

He has a record of three prior disciplines; his default was entered in each.

In 1995, he was suspended following a third DUI conviction. The following year, the bar court found that he failed to return a client’s file.

The third discipline was the result of Donovan’s failure to file quarterly probation reports.

SUSPENSIONS/PROBATION

EVELYN ANN KRAMER [#107242], 44, of Los Angeles was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with a six-month actual suspension, and was ordered to prove her rehabilitation, make restitution and comply with rule 955. The order took effect March 17, 2000.

Kramer stipulated to misconduct in four cases.

In one matter, a case she was handling was dismissed because Kramer failed to appear at a status conference. When the client hired a new attorney, Kramer signed the substitution of attorney form but did not provide the client’s file.

The dismissal of the case was set aside, Kramer was ordered to pay sanctions of $1,500 within 30 days, and she was ordered to turn over the client’s file within 10 days. She did not pay the sanctions or report them to the State Bar and did not turn over the file. She also did not cooperate with the bar’s investigation.

In another matter, Kramer represented a couple in a bankruptcy case, performing a substantial amount of work. However, she and the clients had trouble communicating with one another, and Kramer was not present when the case was called for hearing. The case was dismissed.

Kramer had been with the clients’ daughter at the time, and informed her the parents were not eligible for the form of bankruptcy they sought. Nonetheless, Kramer was fired and the clients proceeded to have the dismissal set aside. She stipulated that she failed to perform legal services competently.

Kramer was sanctioned more than $4,000 in another case, but did not pay the sanction or report it to the bar.

She was disciplined in 1997 but did not comply with the conditions of probation; she failed to submit quarterly probation reports, attend ethics school, pay restitution, settle a fee dispute or enroll in the bar’s law practice management section.

In mitigation, Kramer eventually satisfied all the probation conditions and she cooperated with the bar’s investigation.

KAREN REED [#134022], 50, of Beverly Hills was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation with a 90-day actual suspension, and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year and comply with rule 955. The order took effect March 17, 2000.

According to a stipulation Reed reached with the State Bar, she entered into a business relationship with another attorney, Gilbert Geilim, in 1991, and acted as an employee, paid on a salary basis of $4,000 to $4,500 per month.

She lent her name to Geilim in the operation of a personal injury practice and gave him and his employees control of two client trust accounts. Between 1991 and 1994, Reed made little or no effort to supervise the operation of the trust accounts or to oversee the actions taken in her name by Geilim and his staff.

When she became aware of what she terms “suspicious activity,” she demanded the return of her trust account. When she received the account, she found a balance of about $110,000 but did not know what the funds represented or to whom they belonged. She did not sever her business relationship with Geilim until 1994.

In 1991, three clients employed Reed to represent them in a personal injury matter. As a result of her failure to supervise Geilim or to oversee her client trust account, settlement drafts for the three were received, cashed and deposited without the clients’ or Reed’s knowledge, settlement proceeds were not promptly distributed to two clients, medical liens for the three were not honored and settlement funds were misappropriated.

Reed’s conduct constituted gross negligence amounting to moral turpitude.

In mitigation, she was involved in an acrimonious divorce at the time, she sought professional assistance for extreme emotional difficulties, she took steps to demonstrate remorse and she cooperated with the bar’s investigation.

LAURENCE DAVID STRICK [#75097], 49, of Los Angeles was suspended for six months, stayed, placed on two years of probation and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect March 17, 2000.

Strick failed to comply with the conditions of a 1997 private reproval: he did not attend ethics school, take and pass the professional responsibility exam or complete eight hours of MCLE courses in attorney-client relations and/or legal ethics.

Strick submitted evidence of extensive mitigation involving the severe illnesses of both his wife and daughter. For medical reasons, they live in the Bay Area while Strick’s practice is in Los Angeles. Strick supports two households and faces large ongoing medical bills.

PETER HOWE BLUNT [#153392], 54, of Sausalito was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on one year of probation with a six-month actual suspension, and was ordered to prove his rehabilitation, take the MPRE within one year and comply with rule 955. The order took effect March 24, 2000.

Blunt was suspended by the Colorado Supreme Court in 1998 for engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, engaging in conduct adversely reflecting on the lawyer’s fitness to practice, and for knowingly disobeying an obligation under the rules of a tribunal.

Because his misconduct would warrant discipline in California had it been committed in this state, he was disciplined in California.

Blunt was found in contempt in Colorado for breaching various court orders involving a lawsuit filed against him in connection with a real estate partnership, for failing to appear, and for “repeated and intentional” interference with a liquidator in his attempts to sell property.

In mitigation, he has no record of discipline in California since his 1991 admission and he cooperated with the bar’s investigation.

DENNIS ANGELO JEBBIA [#100945], 45, of San Marino was suspended for 18 months, placed on one year of probation, and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. Credit shall be given for a period of interim suspension which began April 29, 1998. The order took effect March 24, 2000.

Jebbia was convicted of making false statements on three separate loan applications by submitting false tax returns.

In mitigation, he has no record of prior discipline, no client was harmed, he cooperated with the bar’s investigation and he took steps to demonstrate his remorse.

VINCENT LEWIS JONES [#147473], 44, of San Francisco was suspended for 30 days, stayed, placed on one year of probation and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect March 24, 2000.

Jones stipulated that he failed to comply with the conditions of a 1997 private reproval; he did not file two quarterly probation reports, take the MPRE, provide proof of attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or report compliance with his criminal probation following a DUI conviction..

In mitigation, no client was harmed, Jones demonstrated remorse and he cooperated with the bar’s investigation.

LAWRENCE MASON KELLY [#111218], 65, of Etna was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with a six-month actual suspension, and was ordered to prove his rehabilitation, take the MPRE within one year and comply with rule 955. The order took effect March 24, 2000.

Kelly was suspended from practice in 1997, and among other probation conditions, he was required to comply with rule 955 by notifying clients, opposing counsel and other pertinent parties of his suspension. He filed an affidavit with the Supreme Court swearing that he had done so.

However, at the time of his suspension, he was attorney of record in a case pending in Siskiyou Superior Court. He did not notify the court or opposing counsel of his suspension.

The parties stipulated that despite his conduct, there was no finding of bad faith.

Kelly has been disciplined four times previously — in 1992, twice in 1994, and again in 1997 — for offenses ranging from failing to respond to clients’ inquiries to failing to act competently to failing to comply with probation conditions.

In mitigation, he cooperated with the bar’s investigation and he mistakenly believed the Siskiyou matter was not pending and that notification was not required by rule 955.

RICHARD ALAN KERNODLE [#112513], 50, of Martinez was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual 60-day suspension, and was ordered to prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect March 24, 2000.

Kernodle stipulated to five counts of misconduct.

He performed no legal services and failed to communicate with a client who paid an advance $500 fee to help him obtain a reduction in child support payments.

The client fired Kernodle and demanded a refund of unearned fees, and when Kernodle did not respond, the client filed a small claims court complaint. The client eventually settled for $630.

When a State Bar investigator contacted Kernodle about the case, he provided misleading information about a material aspect of the complaint.

In a separate matter, Kernodle failed to comply with the probation conditions of a 1998 disciplinary order that resulted from misconduct in seven client matters. He did not file quarterly probation reports or submit statements of compliance with a law office management plan.

LAURA LUCIANA SANTOS [#150378], 46, of Los Angeles was suspended for four years, stayed, placed on four years of probation with an actual two-year suspension, and was ordered to make restitution, prove her rehabilitation, take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. The order took effect March 24, 2000.

Santos stipulated to misconduct in seven consolidated cases.

In the first matter, she represented a client in a marital dissolution. Her client agreed to pay $10,100 to satisfy outstanding child support payments and other obligations and stipulated that $2,000 of that amount was to be deposited in trust for his daughter. Santos was to be the trustee, the funds were to be used solely for tuition and books, and all remaining trust funds were to be distributed to the daughter when she turned 23.

Santos allowed the balance in her client trust account to fall below the required $2,000, she did not reimburse the young woman for tuition or books as requested, and she did not forward the balance of the trust when the woman turned 23. Santos stipulated that she misappropriated client funds, failed to promptly pay out client funds, failed to perform legal services competently, and committed acts of moral turpitude.

In another matter, she was employed to handle an issue of past due child support and received a $500 advance fee. Santos did not contact the district attorney’s office on her clients’ behalf, failed to provide them with any documentation, did not respond to their multiple phone calls and did not return unearned fees when the clients sought a refund.

Although she filed a divorce petition for another client, Santos did not respond to that client’s requests for status reports. When another client failed to pay an opposing party’s legal fees, Santos was sanctioned $1,000. She neither paid the sanction nor reported it to the bar. She also failed to perform legal services in two other cases, and she did not cooperate with three separate bar investigations of her misconduct.

Santos was disciplined in 1996 for failure to properly maintain client funds, refund an unearned fee, perform legal services competently or respond to client inquiries. However, she failed to comply with probation conditions: she did not submit quarterly reports, attend ethics school or client trust account record keeping school, complete MCLE courses on law office management or participate in a mediation program.

ROBERT CHARLES WHEELER [#118465], 43, of Concord 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 24, 2000.

Wheeler stipulated to misconduct in two cases.

In a probate matter, he requested and received an advance $1,500 retainer without prior court approval, thereby collecting an illegal fee. He stipulated that he failed to provide legal services by failing to initiate the probate in a timely manner, failing to handle a request for a premium payment by a probate bonding company, and by failing to conclude the probate.

Wheeler was hired by another client, who paid $522.50 in advanced fees, to represent her in obtaining repairs to her condominium. He did no work on the case anddid not respond to his client’s status inquiries, return her documents or refund the advance fee.

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

THOMAS ORLANDO HURST IV [#37525], 65, of San Jose 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 April 7, 2000.

Hurst stipulated to misconduct in his handling of two dissolution cases.

His client paid $5,250 in advanced fees in the first matter, and Hurst filed a petition for dissolution and prepared and sent some financial disclosure papers his client’s husband had requested.

Several months later, his client decided to file for bankruptcy and asked Hurst to draft the marital settlement agreement quickly in order that she could file bankruptcy papers. He did not do so, nor did he return her phone calls, provide an accounting of the advance fees or return the unearned fee.

A second client paid Hurst $2,500 in advance to handle her divorce, but he did not return numerous phone calls, and at one point told her he’d received an extension to respond to a petition. When the client hired a new lawyer, Hurst did not respond to her letter seeking a refund of fees, nor did he repay the unearned fees.

In mitigation, Hurst has no prior record of discipline, he presented testimony about his good character, and he was under the wrong impression that the bankruptcy attorney would finalize his first client’s marital settlement agreement.

JONNIE HILDA JOHNSON-PARKER [#113574], 48, of Inglewood was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on three years of probation with a 120-day actual suspension, and was ordered to comply with rule 955. The order took effect April 8, 2000.

Johnson-Parker stipulated that she failed to maintain estate funds in trust, provide an accounting of those funds despite the repeated demands of a successor counsel to the trust, or transfer the estate funds.

Hired to handle the probate of a

client’s deceased mother, Johnson-Parker received the net proceeds — $187,106.40 — from the sale of the mother’s home and deposited it into her client trust account. After making distributions to her client and another estate beneficiary, she should have maintained a balance of at least $153,000 in the trust account.

Because Johnson-Parker did not reconcile her trust account ledger with monthly bank statements on a regular basis, the balance fell below the required amount.

The client hired a new attorney, who asked Johnson-Parker for an accounting and the transfer of funds. She provided no accounting and sent $50,000 as a partial transfer of estate funds. It was not until a court ordered an accounting and a transfer that the balance of the money was given to the client.

In mitigation, the client was not harmed.

WENDY ANN McGHEE [#97028], 45, of Vista 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 April 8, 2000.

McGhee stipulated to misconduct in three cases. She failed to perform legal services competently three times, refund unearned fees three times, and withdrew from employment without protecting her client’s interests.

In the first matter, McGhee was retained to represent a client, who paid $950 in advance fees, in a child support case. She did not file an answer on his behalf or take any other steps to resolve the matter, nor did she appear at default hearings. She did not refund the client’s fees when asked to do so.

The second matter was a marital dissolution for which the client also paid $950 in June 1997. It was not until May 1998 that McGhee had the dissolution petition served on her client’s wife, but she took no further action and never filed a proof of service. In the interim, she did not return repeated phone calls, was evicted from her office and her phone was disconnected. McGhee did not refund any part of the advanced fee.

McGhee filed an incomplete petition in a third divorce case and did no further work. She did not refund any part of a $500 advance fee.

In mitigation, McGhee practiced for 16 years without any discipline. In 1996, her husband and law partner died unexpectedly, leaving her with four children, ages 4, 6, 10 and 14. She was unable to keep up with the demands of her law practice and was overwhelmed by alcoholism and depression. She is now sober and in treatment for her depression.

She also made full restitution to the three clients.

JAMES L. SACCHERI [#67381], 54, of Fresno was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with a six-month actual suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year and to comply with rule 955. The order took effect April 8, 2000.

Saccheri was hired to represent a client in 1985 in a civil lawsuit against a recreational vehicle dealer. The suit settled in 1986 for $15,000 and an apparent agreement to make repairs in the future. When the company refused to make the repairs, the client instructed Saccheri to file a second action for breach of settlement agreement.

Saccheri told the client in March 1987 that the suit was filed and sent him a bill. In fact, the suit was not filed until 1995, when it was barred by the statute of limitations and ultimately dismissed. Neither the defendant nor its attorney was ever served with a complaint.

He also represented the client’s son in a defamation action which was to be filed in 1989 but was not filed until 1995. That action also was barred by the statute of limitations and resulted in a cross-complaint against his client for abuse of process.

The same client retained Saccheri to handle a matter involving the defective installation of a floor. Again, no action was filed until 1995, and neither the defendant nor its attorney ever was served with a complaint or summons.

Saccheri stipulated that he failed to perform legal services competently, maintained actions that were not just or legal and committed acts involving moral turpitude.

In mitigation, Saccheri has no record of discipline in 24 years of practice.

JOHN PATRICK LETHER [#49595], 54, of Carlsborg, Wash., was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with a 30-day actual suspension, and was ordered to prove his rehabilitation and take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect April 15, 2000.

In 1995, Lether pleaded guilty to failing to file a federal income tax return, a misdemeanor, for tax year 1990.

He has four prior records of discipline. In 1989, he was publicly reproved for failing to promptly refund unearned fees or perform legal services competently. The following year, he was disciplined for failure to communicate and failing to take the professional responsibility exam, as required by the 1989 order.

His probation was revoked in 1992 for failure to file quarterly probation reports, and in 1993, he was suspended for failure to comply with probation conditions or with rule 955.

MURRAY PALITZ [#67062], 63, of Westminster was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation with a 60-day actual suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect April 15, 2000.

Palitz was arrested in an Orange County sting operation which focused on payments to non- attorneys for referrals of personal injury cases and splitting legal fees with non-lawyers.

He was contacted by representatives of a fictitious consulting business which purported to need a lawyer to help them process personal injury cases.

Palitz reluctantly processed one case through his office, introducing an investigator to his wife, who corresponded with the insurer and negotiated a settlement. He created a fee-splitting arrangement under which direct disbursements were made only to the client and his doctor. Palitz refused to disburse the funds without personally meeting the client and obtaining the client’s signature on settlement documents and the settlement check

There was no indication Palitz encouraged padding any medical bills or otherwise engaged in insurance fraud by submitting inflated billings. He accepted only one case.

Palitz was convicted of four counts of offering rebates as an inducement to client referral, misdemeanor violations of the Insurance Code, and was sentenced to pay a fine of $5,000 and complete 250 hours of community service.

In mitigation, he practiced law for 24 years in the same location without any record of misconduct. He represented his purported client in good faith and believed he was paying the consulting firm for its considerable investigative work on the personal injury matter. He cooperated with law enforcement, reimbursed the insurer for the amount he received as fees and enrolled himself and his wife in a professional responsibility course upon his arrest.

BIANA COLTUN [#105572], 43, of Los Angeles was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with a one-year actual suspension, and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. She received credit for a period of interim suspension which began in December 1998. The order took effect April 19, 2000.

Coltun pleaded guilty in 1998 to filing a false income tax return.

A fire at her law firm in 1991 destroyed much of her property, including files related to client matters and bookkeeping. An accountant was hired by Coltun’s father to prepare her and her parents’ tax returns for 1991, and partly because of the fire, Coltun could provide only an estimate of her earnings. However, she provided an estimate she knew was too low, ultimately resulting in the underpayment of $103,381 to the IRS.

Her tax return was verified by a written declaration that it was made under penalty of perjury. The estimate of her gross income was later determined to have been $382,227 lower than her actual gross income. (She also underestimated her business expenses by approximately $260,000.)

In mitigation, Coltun was diagnosed as suffering from a victimology complex, based upon a lifetime of almost total control by her parents. The family emigrated from the Soviet Union after experiencing years of political persecution. Coltun was coerced by her father into an arranged marriage and he controlled virtually all her financial affairs.

She has divorced and remarried, has children and has staked out a greater degree of independence from her parents.

In addition, she paid the balance due the IRS and has hired a tax expert to ensure that her tax returns are prepared properly and her books are in order.

MARK IRVIN BLANKENSHIP [#130506], 40, of Riverside was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on five years of probation with an actual six-month suspension and was ordered to prove his rehabilitation, take the MPRE within one year and comply with rule 955. The order took effect April 23, 2000.

Blankenship stipulated to 10 counts of misconduct in three cases.

In the first matter, he was retained to represent a client in a civil action. He did not appear at court conferences and failed to file an opposition to a summary judgment motion, and stipulated that he failed to provide competent legal services. He also failed to return the client’s papers for almost three years.

When his client filed a complaint with the State Bar, Blankenship sought to resolve his differences with the client and urged her to withdraw her complaint, a violation of the Business and Professions Code. He did not cooperate with the bar’s investigation.

In a second matter, Blankenship stipulated that he entered into a business transaction with a client without making certain the terms of the transaction were fair, without advising the client to seek independent legal counsel and without having the client consent in writing to the terms of the transaction.

Blankenship purchased property from a client’s son, signed four promissory notes in favor of the client, but did not make the payments. He also asked the client for a personal loan of $115,000, was to record two deeds of trust but never did, and when he obtained $273,000 for the same client in another matter, he asked for and received a $273,000 loan from the client. No payments were made.

In a civil matter for which Blankenship received $1,000 in advanced fees, he filed a complaint one year later, failed to appear in court on behalf of his clients, failed to file oppositions which led to a dismissal with prejudice, and failed to notify his clients that the case had been dismissed and judgment entered against them. He also accepted a payment from his clients purportedly for the purpose of getting the court to set a hearing date — after judgment had been entered.

Blankenship stipulated that he failed to perform legal services competently, keep his clients informed about developments in their case or return his clients’ file. In addition, accepting a check for services that could not be rendered and misrepresenting the purpose for which he took the money was an act of moral turpitude. Blankenship also did not cooperate with the bar’s investigation.

In mitigation, two of his legal partnerships dissolved over three years, events which were time-consuming and burdensome. Blankenship has legal partnership debts, as well as spousal, family and child support. He filed bankruptcy in 1996. He also has performed four to eight hours each month of pro bono legal work.

DAVID LANSING CHAPMAN [#60783], 61, of San Marino 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 23, 2000.

Chapman failed to comply with any the probation conditions attached to a 1998 public reproval. He did not submit quarterly probation reports, attend ethics school or provide proof of passage of the MPRE.

DOUGLAS JOSEPH DOMINO [#159940], 46, of Running Springs was suspended for six months, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual 75-day suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect April 23, 2000.

In 1999, Domino was convicted of three misdemeanors: giving false information to a police officer, leaving the scene of an accident and carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle.

A retired police officer, Domino rear-ended a vehicle, never stopped and, after pursuit by the driver of the other car, he abandoned his truck when it got stuck in the dirt. Police found a loaded .380-caliber handgun in the car.

When he was questioned later, Domino denied any involvement in the accident, saying his truck had been stolen and claiming he was in a bar at the time of the incident.

In mitigation, Domino had no record of discipline in nearly six years of practice. He has abstained from alcohol since 1998 and attends meetings of “The Other Bar” regularly.

WILLIAM ELLISON KING [#127648], 48, of Rohnert Park was suspended for one and a half years, stayed, placed on five years 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 on April 23, 2000.

King filed for bankruptcy in 1994, at a time when he was representing numerous clients on a contingency fee basis in ongoing litigation. He had done about $21,000 worth of legal work at the time the bankruptcy petition was filed. King knew that a portion of the post-petition recovery belonged to the estate.

When the bankruptcy trustee sought information about the litigation and King’s fee agreements, he said he had performed only “a modest” amount of work prior to filing for bankruptcy. When he later received a $25,000 fee, he did not report it to the bankruptcy trustee.

King stipulated that he committed acts of dishonesty.

About the same time, he also was representing a party in a jury trial and was awarded $30,195 in attorney’s fees. The fees earned before the bankruptcy petition belonged to the bankruptcy estate and the fees earned post-petition belonged to King.

King did not disclose to the trustee that he received $36,500 in fees and costs, and misled the trustee into believing the matter was on appeal when the appeal had been denied. He kept the amount of fees which were due to the estate.

King stipulated that he engaged in repeated acts of dishonesty and moral turpitude.

In mitigation, King was under severe financial stress, had family problems, has no record of discipline and no clients were harmed. He has closed his law practice.

INTERIM SUSPENSION

GLENN ALAN BESNYL [#165587], 39, of Rancho Cucamonga was placed on interim suspension April 14, 2000, following his conviction on one count of indecent exposure with priors. He was ordered to comply with rule 955.

STANLEY M. DUPREE [#63726], 53, of San Francisco was placed on interim suspension April 14, 2000, following his conviction on one count of grand theft. He was ordered to comply with rule 955.

JEFFREY LEE DUNAVANT [#181886], 32, of Kirkwood, Mo., was placed on interim suspension April 14, 2000, following his conviction in Massachusetts for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and conspiracy to possess marijuana. He was ordered to comply with rule 955.

GIL S. MAGNO [#134938], 48, of Carson was placed on interim suspension April 14, 2000, following his conviction on two counts of mail fraud. He was ordered to comply with rule 955.

ROBERT A. DEL CAMPO [#45005], 62, of Arroyo Grande was placed on interim suspension April 17, 2000, following a federal conviction of one count of conversion of government property. He was ordered to comply with rule 955.

ANTHONY I. FURR [#61204], 62, of Sacramento was placed on interim suspension April 17, 2000, following convictions for conspiring to dissuade a witness, dissuading a witness for gain, offering to bribe a witness and conspiring to pervert or obstruct justice. He was ordered to comply with rule 955.

FRANCINE DIANE NEEDLES [#95776], 47, of Los Angeles was placed on interim suspension April 17, 2000, following federal convictions on two counts of mail fraud. She was ordered to comply with rule 955.

RESIGNATIONS/CHARGES PENDING

DENSFIELD S. ALEXANDER [#127546], 45, of Oakland (April 5, 2000)

F. THOMAS ECK III [#45095], 55, of Napa (April 5, 2000)

ANDREW JOHNSON PARROTT [#109803], 50, of Escondido (April 5, 2000)

OSCAR S. STEMPEL [#44653], 65, of Los Angeles (April 14, 2000)

JAMES PATRICK TIERNEY [#55308], 57, of Malibu (April 14, 2000)

BYRON PETER HALLING [#82281], 55, of Ramona (April 23, 2000)