FRANCIS J. BLOOMINGDALE [#52935], 63, of La
Mesa was suspended for two years and until he proves his rehabilitation and makes
restitution to a client in the amount of $89,250.33. The order took effect Oct. 15, 1999.
Initially disciplined in 1994 for misappropriating funds from his
brother-in-law/client, Bloomingdales probation in that case was revoked in 1996 when
he failed to comply with probation requirements.
The 1996 order included attendance at ethics school as a condition of
probation. His failure to do so resulted in the new discipline. Bloomingdale also was
privately reproved in 1988.
BITA LOGHMAN HOFFMAN [#159205], 34, of San Diego was
suspended for 90 days, stayed, placed on one year of probation with a 30-day actual
suspension, and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Oct.
Hoffman modified a court order without the consent or knowledge of
that court. Since the change was minor (involving the location of retirement funds) and no
one benefitted from the change, the bar court did not find that Hoffmans conduct
entailed moral turpitude.
In a second matter, Hoffman signed her clients name to two
declarations which she then submitted to a court. She said she did so for the convenience
of both her client and herself. The bar court found she misled the court and committed an
act of moral turpitude.
In mitigation, Hoffman presented four witnesses at trial to attest to
her good character. She has no record of prior discipline, volunteers with a non-profit
corporation and has done pro bono work at a battered womens shelter.
MONDAY U. ABENGOWE [#143986], 41, of West Los Angeles
was suspended for four years, stayed, placed on four years of probation with an actual
two-year suspension and until he proves his rehabilitation, and was ordered to take the
MPRE and comply with rule 955. The order took effect Oct. 15, 1999.
Abengowe stipulated to misconduct in eight consolidated cases.
Much of the misconduct involved the use of his client trust accounts.
He wrote more than 60 checks against insufficient funds, wrote checks for personal
expenses against his trust accounts, misappropriated
client funds and committed acts of moral turpitude. Abengowe also paid commissions to his
employees and others for referring or settling cases. The amount of the commissions
depended upon the amount of the settlement. He stipulated that he engaged in fee-splitting
He also stipulated to two counts of failure to perform legal services
competently or to communicate with clients, and one count of improperly withdrawing from
representation without protecting his clients interests.
He did not cooperate with the bars investigation.
VICTOR H. TOSCANO [#80753], 54, of Glendale was
suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation with a requirement that
he make restitution, and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took
effect Oct. 15, 1999.
Toscano violated the terms of a 1997 private reproval by failing to
make restitution in the amount of $940.
MICHAEL CHARLES MOUSTAKAS [#55953], 59, of Northridge
was suspended for 60 days, stayed, and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The
order took effect Oct. 15, 1999. In a separate order, effective Nov. 4, 1999, he was
suspended for three years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with an actual
two-year suspension, and was ordered to prove his rehabilitation, take the MPRE and comply
with rule 955.
In the first case, a default proceeding, Moustakas held himself out
as entitled to practice law while he was suspended for 60 days in 1997. He kept a greeting
on his answering machine indicating he was a lawyer in good standing, when in fact he was
ineligible to practice as a result of failing to pay funds to clients, maintain records of
client funds, respond to reasonable status inquiries, pay medical providers, and cooperate
with the bars investigation.
The second discipline case also was a default proceeding in two
consolidated matters. The State Bar Court found that Moustakas violated probation
conditions in two separate disciplinary cases.
In one matter, he did not file a quarterly probation report, a
certificate from a certified public accountant, proof of enrollment in a law practice
management class, or an office management plan, and he failed to make restitution.
In that matter, Moustakas had stipulated that he failed to promptly
pay funds to two separate clients, maintain records of funds he received on behalf of
those clients, respond to status inquiries, promptly pay funds to a medical provider,
obtain written consent to his joint representation of two clients, or cooperate with the
In the second matter, he failed to make restitution by the required
deadline, as ordered in a private reproval.
Because the restitution involved only $20, the case was dismissed by
a hearing judge, but the bar courts review department ruled that the judge had erred
and remanded the case back to him.
Moustakas repaid the $20 plus interest, but he did not do so by the
He has a record of discipline which also includes a 1998 suspension
for failing to comply with a condition of a 1995 private reproval and with several
conditions of the 1997 discipline.
MARVIN H. MITCHELSON [#27801], 72, of Los Angeles
was suspended for four years, stayed, placed on four years of probation with an actual
four-year suspension and until he proves his rehabilitation. Mitchel-son has appealed the
actual suspension; a hearing was scheduled for April 25. The judge will then have 10 days
to rule. The order took effect Oct. 17, 1999.
In 1993, Mitchelson was convicted of four counts of filing false
income tax returns and was ordered to pay the IRS $2.2 million. Subsequently, the State
Bar placed him on interim suspension May 3, 1993.
While on interim suspension, Mitchel-son mistakenly assumed that his
client trust account could be changed to a personal account and requested the bank to make
the change. The bank did not comply, but Mitchelson believed the account had been changed
and he used it for personal purposes.
While suspended, he also provided legal advice to a woman about an
assault case and received $500 for his services. He stipulated that he exceeded the scope
of his paralegal duties.
Mitchelson also stipulated to misconduct in a 1986 case in which he
failed to communicate with a client or return her files after he won a judgment for her of
more than $443,000. She had sought the return of her files in order to enforce the
judgment she had obtained.
Mitchelson has a record of discipline which includes a 1993
suspension for failure to adequately supervise an associate and improper conduct in the
use of a client trust account, a 1994 suspension for failure to take the professional
responsibility exam, a 1995 probation revocation, and a 1996 discipline for failure to
provide accountings or return unearned fees in 14 client matters.
In mitigation, Mitchelson has practiced for more than 35 years,
handling noteworthy cases in the family and criminal law arenas. He also has written
widely and is often a guest speaker.
JOHN G. MONKMAN JR. (aka GRANNIS MONKMAN), [#51174], 54, of
Pasadena was suspended for 60 days, stayed, placed on one year of probation with
a requirement that he make restitution, and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year.
The order took effect Oct. 15, 1999.
Monkman stipulated to misconduct in five consolidated matters.
He and his client were sanctioned more than $5,000 ($700 for failure
to attend a deposition related to discovery) in a marital dissolution. He neither paid the
sanctions nor reported them to the State Bar, as required.
Monkman also was sanctioned twice in another dissolution matter, and
did not pay those sanctions either.
In a third matter, he threatened to file a complaint against his
clients dentist in order to gain advantage in a civil dispute.
In mitigation, Monkman has no record of discipline in almost 30 years
JOHN EDWARD TERRY [#78404], 53, of Amarillo, Texas,
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 Oct. 15, 1999.
Terry was publicly reproved in 1997 for failure to act competently
and return client papers promptly when requested.
As part of the reproval, he was required to take and pass the
professional responsibility exam within a year. His failure to do so resulted in this
HILARY T. SCANTLEBURY [#67421], 56, of Barrington, Ill.,
was suspended for three years and until he attends ethics school, proves his
rehabilitation and takes the MPRE. The order took effect Oct. 22, 1999.
In a default proceeding, the State Bar Court found that Scantlebury
should be disciplined in California for misconduct he committed in Illinois. The Illinois
Supreme Court suspended Scantlebury from practice for three years in 1998.
It found that he converted at least $96,000 of client funds, lied to
clients, forged a notarys signature to a release of claims and forged a clients
signature to settlement drafts.
In his Illinois practice, Scantlebury misappropriated entrusted funds
in six matters, failed to deposit client funds in a trust account five times, failed twice
to promptly pay clients funds to which they were entitled, did not communicate with
clients, misrepresented the status of client matters, issued checks against insufficient
funds and commingled personal and client funds.
Four of his actions constituted moral turpitude.
In mitigation, Scantlebury suffers from a narcissistic personality
disorder, an addiction to alcohol and depression which may have caused the misconduct. He
now is a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and takes prozac for his depression.
An attorney who is disciplined for misconduct in another state is
subject to discipline in California if the misconduct would have led to disciplinary
action had it been committed in California.
Scantlebury has not practiced in California since 1978, when he was
suspended for failing to pay bar dues.
KENNETH NEIL BRODY [#160292], 34, of Sacramento 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 Nov. 4, 1999.
Brody stipulated that he failed to perform competent legal services
by using his status as an attorney to sign official forms without adequately supervising
the processing of those forms.
Brodys brother was a principal of a southern California company
that represented clients seeking a reduction in the assessed value of their real estate.
Appeals forms must be signed either by the property owner or by an attorney acting as the
property owners agent.
Each year, new forms are issued only a few weeks before the appeal
deadline, so Brodys brother asked him to sign the forms in order to avoid obtaining
the signatures of hundreds of clients.
During the summer of 1994, Brody signed hundreds of appeal forms, but
he did no work for the clients other than comparing the information on the forms with the
data from the company. He was paid $500.
Brody signed more forms the following summer, for another $500.
He did not contract with any property owners to have an
attorney/client relationship, never met with or spoke to any of the property owners, did
not review any supporting materials to assure that the clients actually sought a reduction
in their assessments, did not appear at any hearings and assumed no other responsibilities
for the appeals.
Employees of the company also signed Brodys signature without
his knowledge. One unauthorized appeal, resulting in an increased tax assessment, was
submitted with Brodys purported signature. He did not sign that appeal.
In mitigation, Brody has no record of discipline and cooperated with
the bars investigation.
DENNIS REID HOPTOWIT [#61544], 53, of Chico was
suspended for 90 days, stayed, placed on one year of probation, and was ordered to take
the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Nov. 4, 1999.
In 1997, Hoptowit pleaded no contest to driving under the influence
with a prior conviction, after he was arrested with a blood alcohol level of .18. His
conduct did not constitute moral turpitude but did warrant discipline.
In a second case, Hoptowit represented a client who pleaded no
contest to drunken driving and was ordered to pay a $1,240 fine. The client was to give
partial payments to Hoptowit, who was to forward the money to the court. Hoptowit did not
deposit two checks from the client in his client trust account, and he commingled personal
and client funds in the account.
When he did not return his clients phone calls, the client sent
payment of his fine directly to the court. On the deadline for final payment, Hoptowit
determined the client still owed $195, so Hoptowit paid the balance in cash.
Hoptowit stipulated that he commingled funds, failed to deposit
client funds in the trust account, and failed to communicate with a client.
In mitigation, he has no prior record of discipline and he cooperated
with the bars investigation.
HENRY J. KOEHLER IV [#52539], 65, of Beverly Hills
was suspended for two years, 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
Nov. 4, 1999.
A State Bar Court hearing judge found that Koehler improperly
withdrew from representation of a client in a family law matter, exonerated him of charges
of practicing law while suspended, and recommended a two-year stayed suspension, a 30-day
actual suspension and two years of probation.
The bar sought review, urging a one-year suspension and a finding
that Koehler improperly practiced law.
The review department upheld the hearing judges findings,
although it increased the actual suspension to 60 days.
According to the record, Koehler was retained by a client to
represent him in a divorce action with a custody dispute. The client agreed to pay $10,000
and attorneys fees of $250 an hour. When the court ruled against the client, Koehler
and the client discussed their options: run out the clock by using up the
remaining $2,200 in the advance fee, or petition the court of appeal, a task which would
take an estimated 20 to 25 hours over a weekend.
The client agreed to the petition, stating he had $30,000 in a
pension fund, presumably to pay his legal fees.
The following day, one of Koehlers assistants called the client
and instructed him to come to the office with lunch. When he arrived, he met with two
assistants, who told him he must either pay an additional $5,000 or agree to substitute
Koehler out of the case. The custody issue was scheduled for six days later, the client
did not have the money and he reluctantly signed a substitution relieving Koehler.
His former attorney was unable to represent him at the hearing, which
had been planned for one year, so the client represented himself. The client and his
spouse ultimately reached a stipulated settlement of the custody issue.
Although Koehler wrote to the clients former lawyer, provided a
status report and suggested he would help with the appeal, the record showed no evidence
the petition ever was filed.
The bar court hearing judge found that Koehler abandoned his client
without protecting his interests.
Koehler has been disciplined twice previously. In 1976, he was
privately reproved for failing to timely perform legal services in four matters, and in
1992, he was suspended for six months for failure to perform legal services in a
time-sensitive matter and for improper handling of trust accounts.
In mitigation, several clients attested to Koehlers good
character, and he has performed not-for-profit work for fathers rights
SHELLY MARIE MATIS [#95507], 45, of Rancho Cucamonga
was suspended for 90 days and until she makes restitution and proves her rehabilitation,
and was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. The order took effect Nov. 4,
In a default proceeding, the State Bar Court found that Matis
committed misconduct in two matters.
In the first, she represented a collection agency, filing several
lawsuits and providing status reports about various collection matters. She was to receive
a 15 percent contingent fee from all monies collected.
At a certain point, Matis did not pay the agency the money it was due
($85) from checks she received from a debtor, she stopped performing any work, and did not
answer letters or provide information about any of the matters she was handling.
When the agency hired new counsel, Matis did not respond to their
letters or return files. In addition, the balance of her client trust account fell below
zero and the account was closed.
The bar court found that Matis withdrew from employment without
taking steps to avoid prejudice to a client, failed to respond to status requests, return
the clients papers and property, or cooperate with the bars investigation, and
misappropriated funds held in trust.
In a second matter, she was hired by another attorney to handle 14
collection matters. A month later, the attorney terminated Matis services and
repeatedly requested the return of her files. Matis finally returned the files 20 months
In mitigation, Matis has no record of prior discipline.
STANLEY NICHOLS [#44310], 68, of San Bernardino was
suspended for two years, stayed, and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The
order took effect Nov. 4, 1999.
Nichols stipulated to misconduct in three consolidated cases.
In the first matter, he was hired to contest a 30-day notice to quit,
but did not act within the 30 days. When the client was served with an unlawful detainer
action, Nichols again did not act quickly despite numerous telephone calls, a default was
entered and the client was evicted.
When the client went to Nichols office to obtain his file, the
client agreed to allow Nichols to continue to represent him with the understanding he
would file a breach of contract action on the cli-ents behalf. Nichols failed to do
so and did not respond to the clients request that he return his papers and refund
In the second case, Nichols substituted into a case but never filed
the substitution form, took any action on his clients behalf or responded to the
clients inquiries about the case.
In another matter, Nichols was hired to initiate foreclosure
proceedings and file suit to obtain money owed to his client. Nine months later, the
client hired another company which foreclosed on the property in question. He asked
Nichols to provide an accounting and return any unearned fees, but Nichols never did so.
Nichols stipulated that he twice failed to perform legal services
competently, respond to client inquiries, or provide an accounting, and that he did not
return one clients files.
The probation of ROBERT OTHNIEL WALSH [#60153], 61, of
Porterville was revoked and the previous stay of suspension was lifted, and he
was ordered suspended for six months with credit from a previous 45-day actual suspension
and from a period of involuntary inactive enrollment which began July 7, 1999. He also was
ordered to comply with rule 955. The order took effect Nov. 4, 1999.
Walsh failed to comply with the conditions of a 1997 probation,
including attending ethics school, filing quarterly probation reports and completing six
hours of CLE courses.
The 97 order also resulted from a failure to comply with
conditions attached to an agreement he had reached with the bar in lieu of actual
The original misconduct involved his failure to perform legal
services competently or communicate with a client.
The probation of BARBARA A. COOPER [#70489], 59, of Hesperia
was revoked, the previous stay of suspension was lifted, and she was suspended for six
months and ordered to comply with rule 955. Credit toward the suspension was given for a
period of involuntary inactive enrollment which began Aug. 14, 1999. The order took effect
Nov. 14, 1999.
In August 1997, Cooper reached a stipulation with the State Bar in
four consolidated cases which required her to comply with numerous probation conditions.
She failed to submit a law office management plan, file three quarterly probation reports,
submit proof of her attendance at ethics school and various MCLE courses, join the law
practice management section, take the MPRE, or verify that she sought treatment from a
mental health professional.
The original discipline involved misconduct in four client matters,
including failure to perform legal services competently in two matters, failure to return
three client files, failure to communicate with one client or respond to client inquiries,
and improperly withdrawing from a case. She also did not cooperate with the bars
There was no mitigation.
DANIELLE FARRENS WONG [#140944], 52, of Stockton was
suspended for three years, stayed, and placed on three years of probation with an actual
one-year suspension and until she proves her fitness to practice law and her
rehabilitation from alcohol/drug addiction. She also was ordered to pass the MPRE and
comply with rule 955. The order took effect Nov. 17, 1999.
Wong stipulated to misconduct in four cases, each stemming from Wongs
use of alcohol.
In November 1997, she pleaded no contest to driving under the
influence in El Dorado County. She had argued with a tow truck driver who advised her not
to drive after he pulled her out of a ditch. She drove away and was arrested with one
unopened and two open bottles of wine in her car.
Later that month, she pleaded no contest in San Joaquin County to
driving a vehicle while having a blood alcohol count of more than .08 percent (her blood
alcohol count was .25).
The same day, she pleaded guilty to one count of battery. Wong was
arrested in July for throwing a can of oven cleaner and a glass coffee pot at her daughter
and housekeeper. She had returned home two days earlier, after serving a 72-hour
confinement at San Joaquin County Mental Health, and had been intoxicated since. Wong
argued with her daughter when the 17-year-old refused to give her mother her car keys.
About a month later, Wong pleaded no contest to one count of driving
with a suspended or revoked license.
She has a prior record of discipline, following a 1993 conviction for
obtaining a controlled substance (Demerol) by fraud. She also failed to meet the probation
conditions attached to the Placerville DUI, and a bench warrant was issued.
In mitigation, she cooperated with the bars investigation of
ANDRE KEITH SILVOLA [#109154], 51, of Colorado Springs
was placed on two years of probation and suspended for one year and until he proves his
rehabilitation. The order took effect Nov. 17, 1999.
Silvola was disciplined in 1998 and was ordered at the time to comply
with rule 955. He stipulated that he did not comply because he filed the required
affidavit a month late.
In mitigation, Silvola was suffering from Major Depressive Disorder
at the time. He had no clients, no pending litigation and no client files or unearned fees
in his possession.
JAMES HERRICK COFFER [#111466], 51, of Concord was
suspended for 90 days, placed on six months of probation, and was ordered to comply with
rule 955. The order took effect Nov. 25, 1999.
Coffer stipulated to three counts of misconduct. He practiced law
while suspended for non-payment of bar dues in the first matter.
He failed to properly supervise his employees in two bankruptcy
cases. In the first, Coffers client was ordered to pay a bank $5,000 by close of
business on July 21, 1995. Although the client had the funds ready, Coffers
employees said the client could send the money overnight and they would notify the bank.
The employees failed to do so, the bank refused payment and scheduled
a sale of the clients home. A third bankruptcy filed by Coffer on the clients
behalf was dismissed.
In the second matter, a clients bankruptcy case was dismissed
because of delayed compliance with a payment plan. As a result, one of the creditors
scheduled a trustees sale of the clients property. Coffer filed an application
to re-open the case instead of a motion to vacate. The motion to vacate was filed after
the trustees sale.
In mitigation, Coffer performed additional legal services for those
clients free of charge and he cooperated with the bars investigation.
JAMES LAWRENCE WELLMAN [#116357], 40, of Woodland 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 Nov. 25, 1999.
Wellman failed to comply with the conditions of a 1998 private
reproval. He did not file five quarterly probation reports or proof of completion of nine
hours of MCLE courses.
He said he believed he did not have to comply because the State Bars
disciplinary activities were curtailed during its funding crisis.
JOHNNY ELEUTARIO MOSQUEDA [#162225], 52, of Chino 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 and comply with rule 955. The order took
effect Dec. 1, 1999.
Mosqueda pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of violating the
insurance code after he was arrested in a 1997 sting operation in Orange County.
The undercover operation targeted law offices paying non-attorneys
for referrals of personal injury cases and splitting fees with non-attorneys.
Although Mosqueda rejected an offer made by an investigator, telling
him it was illegal, he nonetheless agreed to a 60/40 split of the attorneys fee,
with 60 percent going to the phony consulting firm which was to refer personal injury
Mosqueda received a fabricated police report, retainer agreement and
other information before agreeing to take on the case. He then received fabricated medical
reports and statements from the consulting firm.
He sent a demand letter to an insurance carrier and later negotiated
a settlement, giving a percentage to the consulting firm.
In mitigation, Mosqueda cooperated with the bars investigation
and demonstrated his remorse.
SARAJANE CROSBY [#65552], 57, of Mill Valley was
suspended for one year, stayed, and ordered to take the MPRE within a year. The order took
effect Dec. 1, 1999.
In 1996, Crosby entered into an agreement in lieu of discipline (ALD)
following two convictions for driving with a suspended license. She stipulated that she
failed to comply with the ALD conditions, including submitting quarterly reports,
participating in a substance abuse program and attending ethics school.
In mitigation, Crosby was admitted to three medical facilities for
treatment of alcoholism over 19 months during the time in question. She had no prior
MELANIE LORRAINE JONES [#153698], 39, of Oakland was
suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two 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 Dec. 8, 1999.
Jones stipulated that in 1995, she wrote 16 checks for insufficient
funds in her client trust account. In addition, she commingled personal and client funds
in the account and wrote 51 checks for personal expenses.
Jones also misappropriated funds from two clients.
In mitigation, Jones has no record of prior discipline.
THOMAS A. LACEY [#31359], 67, of Modesto was
suspended for four years, stayed, placed on four years of probation with an actual
one-year suspension, and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year and comply with rule
955. The order took effect Dec. 10, 1999.
Laceys resignation from the bar is pending.
The State Bar Court found that Lacey committed acts of misconduct in
The first involved a divorce in which Lacey represented the husband.
Although he deposited more than $275,000 in proceeds from the sale of real estate in his
client trust account, Lacey later transferred the funds to a joint tenancy account in his
and his clients names. He used his clients Social Security number to establish
For two years, before the divorce was final, Lacey paid his client
$1,400 monthly in interest payments from the account. He did not inform the court or
opposing counsel about the account or the payments.
His actions violated a court order and constituted moral turpitude,
and he breached his fiduciary duty to his clients wife.
In another case, Lacey concocted a scheme involving real property
owned by a couple who were under financial pressure and wanted to sell it. They entered
into an agreement with Grajeda and Associates, a business which bought and sold property
in which the owner had little or no equity.
The couple gave Grajeda a grant deed and $800 for closing costs, but
he did not immediately record the deed.
Another couple who was interested in buying the house was informed by
a realtor that Grajeda was under investigation for fraudulent practices. The realtor put
both couples in touch with Lacey, who is a real estate broker as well as an attorney.
Despite a potential conflict of interest, Lacey represented both
couples in a scheme to defeat Grajeda of his interest in the property without any further
The buyers paid the first couple $6,000, held in Laceys trust
account, which he used to make payments for various costs and expenses, including attorneys
Lacey filed a notice of default which contained misrepresentations,
fabricated backdated documents, and improperly attempted to shield his clients from
potential civil liability.
The scheme resulted in several legal proceedings, including two
unlawful detainer actions, and actions for injunctive relief, malicious prosecution and
cancellation of deed, two appeals and non-judicial foreclosure proceedings.
The bar court found that Lacey represented adverse parties without
obtaining their informed written consent and he committed acts of moral turpitude.
In mitigation, he practiced for 31 years without discipline, is
involved in civic and legal activities, and has a record of pro bono and community
KATHRYN RAFFEE BUFFINGTON [#82565], 48, of Long Beach
was suspended for one year, stayed, and was placed on one year of probation with a 30-day
actual suspension. The order took effect Dec. 19, 1999.
Buffington was convicted in 1998 of driving under the influence,
failure to provide identification information at an accident with property damage and
She had left the scene of an accident in which she struck a fire
hydrant; her 11-year-old daughter was a passenger in her car.
Buffington had a previous DUI conviction in 1996.
She stipulated that her misconduct warranted discipline and
constituted moral turpitude.
In mitigation, she has no prior record of discipline and cooperated
with the bars investigation.
DUANE DROY DADE [#140379], 42, of Upland was
suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual 60-day
suspension, and was ordered to take the MPRE. The order took effect Dec. 19, 1999.
Dade stipulated to two instances of failing to properly maintain his
client trust account. He wrote one check against insufficient funds and he allowed the
balance to fall below the required amount.
Dade presented extensive mitigation: he had no prior record of
discipline, cooperated with the investigation, hired a bookkeeper and accountant to
prevent further problems, and he provided evidence of his good character. In addition, at
the time of the misconduct, Dade was supporting his parents and grandmother financially.
FRANKLIN FEIGENBAUM [#134403], 37, of Northridge was
suspended for six months, stayed, placed on one year of probation with a 90-day actual
suspension, and was ordered to take the MPRE within a year and comply with rule 955. The
order took effect Dec. 19, 1999.
Feigenbaum was hired as an independent contract attorney to represent
a corporate client. Although he filed the clients answer to a complaint and filed a
statement of claim in the arbitration phase of the case, he did no further work.
He did not communicate with the client or notify the client about a
hearing, missed a conference call dealing with the arbitration, and did not respond to
requests for a status report.
When the State Bar tried to investigate, an inquiry letter was
returned as undeliverable.
Feigenbaum then changed his address and went inactive at the same
time, but he did not cooperate with the investigation.
In a default proceeding, the bar court found that he withdrew from
employment without protecting his clients interests and failed to keep his client
informed about developments in its case.