California Bar Journal
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA - MAY 2001
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DISCIPLINE

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CAUTION!

More than 175,000 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.

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DISBARMENTS

MICHAEL B. LLOYD [#71708], 50, of Riverside was disbarred Feb. 3, 2001, and ordered to comply with rule 955 of the California Rules of Court.

Lloyd was ordered in 2000 to comply with rule 955 by notifying his clients and other pertinent parties of his suspension from practice and to submit to the Supreme Court an affidavit attesting to his compliance. He failed to file the required affidavit.

Failure to comply with rule 955 is grounds for disbarment.

Lloyd originally was disciplined in 1998 for having his clients, without their written consent, purchase a $125,000 annuity with Lloyd as the beneficiary to secure his legal fees. He failed to perform legal services competently and represented adverse interests.

When he violated the conditions of his probation, he was disciplined in January 2000.

GABRIEL F. FAGIANI [#156043], 35, of Encino was disbarred March 1, 2001, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

In a default proceeding, the State Bar Court found that Fagiani committed 31 counts of misconduct in 12 separate cases, including 13 acts of moral turpitude. He misappropriated client funds, committed other trust account violations, attempted to bribe a client into withdrawing a complaint to the bar, split fees with a non-lawyer and failed to perform legal services competently.

In a legal malpractice case, Fagiani represented a client who had employed two other attorneys previously. He received a $250,000 settlement and agreed to pay each of the other lawyers $41,666.50. Although he paid one, he never paid the other.

When the client said she intended to report Fagiani's misconduct to the bar, he threatened to reveal confidences she had disclosed as part of the attorney-client relationship. He then sent letters to three government agencies, including the IRS, informing them the client had obtained but did not report a large settlement and that she bought a home in her brother's name to avoid judgments and taxes.

Fagiani settled a personal injury claim for $15,000 without his client's authorization but did not disburse any funds to the client or her lienholders.

He settled a contract claim for $8,500, did not give any money to the client or pay the lienholder, told the client the settlement money had been stolen from his bank account and stopped answering the client's phone calls and letters. Eventually he paid the client an amount larger than the settlement in exchange for a promise to withdraw a complaint to the bar.

Fagiani also wrote numerous checks against insufficient funds and used client funds to pay two non-lawyers more than $100,000.

Fagiani was disciplined last year for misappropriation, failure to maintain client funds in a trust account or promptly pay out client funds, and for conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude. He was convicted in 1997 in Orange County of trespass.

In recommending Fagiani's disbarment, bar court Judge Eugene Brott said he had "no reason to believe that respondent could or would conform his behavior to the ethical rules."

SUSPENSION/PROBATION

BARBARA BROWN-SIMMONS [#107565], 53, of Carson was suspended for one year, stayed, and placed on probation for three years with a 60-day actual suspension and was ordered to make restitution, take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. If the actual suspension exceeds two years, she must prove her rehabilitation. The order took effect Nov. 25, 2000.

Brown-Simmons stipulated to misconduct in six matters. She failed to respond to reasonable client inquiries and to refund unearned advance attorney fees.

In a divorce case, she did not file a petition for dissolution of marriage on behalf of her client and did not refund a $750 advance fee.

In a child support matter, she did not file papers to seek modification of her client's child support payments nor was she able to reinstate the client's license to drive. She had tried unsuccessfully to negotiate an agreement with the district attorney regarding a child support payment plan and reinstatement of the

client's driver's license. She did not refund $1,000 in advanced fees.

In a harassment matter against a client's employer, Brown-Simmons failed to file a lawsuit and did not refund $3,000 in advance fees. She failed to respond to a client's numerous phone calls or contact him regarding this matter.

Brown-Simmons did not refund $5,000 of a $10,000 advance fee for reviewing and preparing the appeal of a murder conviction of a client's son. Although she performed some research work in the case, she neither prepared nor filed an appeal. She failed to respond to the client's letter that terminated her and sought a refund of the advanced attorney fees and costs.

In another divorce case, she did not refund $114 in advanced fees requested by the client.

In mitigation, Brown-Simmons cooperated with the bar's investigation.

JAMES BAKER MACDONALD [#33534], 64, of Fullerton was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on three years probation with an actual one-year suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE, make restitution, file quarterly reports, attend ethics school and comply with rule 955. If the actual suspension exceeds two years, he must prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect Nov. 29, 2000.

Macdonald inappropriately entered into business transactions with a longtime client, a tile distribution company, by borrowing $11,000. By not repaying the loan within 10 days as promised, he committed an act of moral turpitude. Before accepting the loan, Macdonald also did not inform his client in writing that the client could seek the advice of an independent lawyer and did not obtain in writing the client's consent to the terms of the loan.

Macdonald, when subsequently fired by the client in November 1994, did not promptly return the client's company records despite repeated requests. The records were returned to the client more than two years after the initial request.

Macdonald also represented two clients whose interests conflicted in a real estate foreclosure case. He failed to refund $1,585 in unearned fees to one client, and commingled personal and client funds by writing checks against a client trust account to pay for personal and business expenses.

In mitigation, he has no prior record of discipline and showed remorse.

JOHN OWEN STANSBURY [#43117], 59, of Oakland was suspended for three years, stayed, actually suspended for one year and was ordered to make restitution, attend ethics school, take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. The order took effect Nov. 29, 2000.

In a divorce matter, for which he was paid $1,600, Stansbury failed to complete a petition of dissolution for his client, failed to notify her that he transferred her file to another attorney, did not advise her of his new address and telephone number and did not refund legal fees. He also failed to keep a current address on file with the State Bar.

In July 1997, Stansbury filed a petition for dissolution of marriage on his client's behalf in superior court. The petition failed to list all necessary information, including a list of the community assets. In September 1997, Stansbury told his client over the phone that he had resolved all the matters concerning the divorce and he would file the proper papers. That month, the client moved out of the country.

The issue was unresolved through 1998, with the client calling or writing Stansbury repeatedly regarding the status of the dissolution. In January 1998, Stansbury assured the client that he had resolved all matters regarding the divorce and would be filing the proper papers. The client emphasized repeatedly that her work permit was contingent on Stansbury finalizing the divorce, but he did not respond to her requests for a status report.

In November 1998, the client learned that Stansbury left his law practice to work with a foundation. She contacted him and was informed that her file had been transferred to another attorney who took over the law practice. Stansbury assured her that the divorce would be final at the end of the month and told her the same thing three months later. She finally fired him in a March 1999 letter, to which he did not respond. The client hired a new attorney who finalized her divorce.

Stansbury has a prior record of discipline for failure to return an unearned fee in 1998, for which he was suspended for 90 days.

JOHN SELLMANN HILBERT [#133268], 42, of Los Angeles was suspended for six months, stayed, placed on two years of probation and was ordered to take the MPRE, submit quarterly reports and attend ethics school and client trust accounting school. The order took effect Nov. 29, 2000.

Hilbert commingled personal and client funds in his client trust account, issuing six checks from the account without sufficient funds to cover them.

In mitigation, he cooperated with the bar's investigation.

MARK G. WEIDMANN [#157670], 36, of Los Angeles was suspended for nine months, stayed, and placed on two years of probation with a 30-day actual suspension, and was ordered to take the MPRE, file quarterly reports and attend ethics school. The order took effect Nov. 29, 2000.

Weidmann stipulated to four counts of misconduct.

In a 1997 civil dispute, Weidmann failed to act competently by making false statements to a judge regarding the handling of a summary judgment motion that was served at Weidmann's law firm. In the same case, Weidmann accused an opposing attorney of misconduct and threatened  to report him to the State Bar.

In a 1994 civil case, he failed to promptly pay back $2,500 that he had deposited at the sheriff's office on his client's behalf. The opposing attorney in the case filed a motion requesting that the money be used to pay for his attorney fees and costs. Weidmann filed a motion with the court, asking that the money be released to him. In a hearing, the court denied Weidmann's motion, ruling that the money be paid to help cover opposing attorney fees and costs.

Without prior authorization from the court, Weidmann later requested that the sheriff's office release the money to him. After he received the $2,500, he did not respond to a request by the opposing attorney that the money be forwarded to him as the court ordered.

In another 1997 civil dispute, Weidmann did not promptly release a client's file as she requested when he resigned as her attorney.

ROBERT EDWARD GLASSER [#47291], 56, of Newport Beach 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 on Nov. 29, 2000.                    

In a probate matter, Glasser charged his client legal fees without prior authorization from the court. In addition, he neglected to repay his client by May 15, 1993, as ordered by the probate court.

Glasser was ordered to make restitution of $7,377.75 to his client and to take the bar's trust account record-keeping course.

In mitigation, Glasser has no record of discipline since his 1970 admission to the bar, cooperated with the bar's investigation and provided references from the legal and general community.

RONALD E. LAIS [#66511], 58, of Anaheim Hills 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 and comply with rule 955. The order took effect Dec. 1, 2000. Lais subsequently resigned with other charges pending March 11, 2001.

In three consolidated cases, the State Bar Court's review department found that Lais pursued a frivolous case, filed another case in bad faith and failed to report a $10,000 sanction order, and engaged in moral turpitude. The court rejected bar prosecutors' recommendation that Lais be disbarred, and also rejected Lais' request that he be exonerated of all charges.

In the first matter, Lais represented the husband in a marital dispute involving his refusal to provide his wife court-ordered community property. Lais appealed a court order that the husband pay his wife more than $500,000. The court of appeal ruled that the appeal was frivolous and imposed sanctions of $3,662 against the husband and an equal amount against Lais.

The bar court's hearing judge found no proof that Lais violated the State Bar Act by pursuing an unjust action; the review department reversed that finding.

In the second matter, Lais represented a wife who was engaged in a custody battle with her husband, who had been awarded custody of their two children in Minnesota. Just before Christmas 1993, Lais accompanied the wife to Minnesota, where she attempted to take the children from her ex-husband's home. Lais waited in a car just off the husband's property.

He and his client were arrested; Lais was charged with burglary and depriving the husband of his parental rights, charges that were later dropped. Lais provided misleading information to sheriff's deputies and gave them an old custody order which he knew had been changed to give the husband custody.

The review department upheld the hearing judge's finding that Lais committed moral turpitude by assisting and advising his client to violate a court order.

In a third matter, Lais filed a civil complaint in Riverside on behalf of the wife in a family law case, although the matter already had been decided in Los Angeles. The Riverside court found the complaint had no grounds and was filed to harass and ordered Lais to pay $14,675 in attorney's fees. The court later reduced the sanctions to $10,000, but Lais did not pay and discharged his obligation in bankruptcy.

Although Lais contended he committed no misconduct in the Riverside case, the review department found that he failed to report the sanction order.

In mitigation, Lais practiced for many years without discipline, has a record of charitable activities and tried to correct the problems surrounding his misconduct.

However, he has a prior record of discipline involving misconduct in five client matters: he failed to promptly refund unearned fees, communicate with clients, provide competent legal services or  promptly pay settlement funds, and he withdrew improperly and violated trust account rules.

At the time of his resignation in March, Lais faced two different sets of charges, one involving 16 counts and the other 27 counts, stemming from eight separate cases. For the most part, the allegations charge failure to perform legal services competently or refund unearned fees and numerous instances of moral turpitude.

MARK NICHOLAS PHILLIPS [#138694], 38, of Nashua, N.H., was suspended for five years, stayed, placed on five years of probation with a one-year actual suspension, and was ordered to prove his rehabilitation, make restitution, take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. The order took effect Dec. 3, 2000.

In a 1996 discipline, Phillips was ordered to make restitution amounting to $16,350 to 13 parties, but he failed to do so.

The discipline was the result of improperly withdrawing from employment, failing to perform legal services competently, promptly refund unearned fees or communicate with clients, and committing acts of moral turpitude.

In mitigation, Phillips cooperated with the bar's investigation, and he has suffered severe financial reversals.

The probation of WILLIAM M. AMBRUNN [#132051], 38, of San Francisco was revoked, the previously ordered stay of suspension was lifted, and he was suspended for one year and ordered to comply with rule 955. Credit toward the actual suspension will be given for a period of involuntary inactive enrollment which began Aug. 21, 2000. The order took effect Dec. 8, 2000.

Ambrunn was suspended and placed on probation in 1998 but failed to comply with the conditions of his probation: he did not file quarterly probation reports or attend ethics school or trust account school.

He has a prior record of discipline, including a 1997 private reproval for failing to perform legal services competently, communicate with a client, promptly return a client file or cooperate with the bar's investigation.

When he did not comply with the conditions attached to the reproval, he was disciplined in 1998.

Ambrunn did not participate in the probation revocation proceeding.

The probation of PAUL JOSEPH KELLY [#61695], 52, of Los Angeles was revoked, the previously ordered stay of suspension lifted, and he was suspended for two years and ordered to attend ethics school, take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. Credit toward the suspension will be given for a period of involuntary inactive enrollment which began Sept. 4, 2000. The order took effect Dec. 8, 2000.

Kelly did not comply with the conditions attached to a 1998 discipline revoking a 1996 suspension and probation: he failed to submit six probation reports and mental health compliance statements.

The underlying discipline was the result of misconduct in five client matters and included failure to communicate with clients, return client files, perform legal services competently, promptly refund unearned fees and cooperate with the bar's investigation, practicing without a license, representing adverse interests and improperly withdrawing from representation.

ANDREW H. LUND [#130209], 41, of Long Beach 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 Dec. 8, 2000.

Lund stipulated to misconduct in two matters.

The first was a failure to comply with the conditions of a 1998 private reproval; he submitted four quarterly probation reports late and failed to submit one at all, and he failed to complete four hours of class in law practice management or pass the professional responsibility exam.

In the second matter, Lund was found guilty of contempt of court and sentenced to five days in jail after a mistrial was declared because he twice failed to appear at a trial. He stipulated that he failed to perform legal services competently, obey a court order and maintain the respect due to the courts.

In mitigation, Lund suffered emotional or physical disabilities at the time of the misconduct.

JACK RAYMOND COHEN [#93341], 49, of Poway 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 Dec. 16, 2000.

Cohen stipulated to misconduct in five consolidated cases, all involving forming a partnership and splitting fees with a non-lawyer.

In 1995, Cohen entered into an agreement under which he employed USA Credit Services of Carlsbad to provide credit restoration services as part of his law practice. Cohen and two non- lawyers agreed to a division of the proceeds from the credit restoration services provided to clients: 17.5 percent to Cohen, 10 percent each to the two non-lawyers and 62.5 percent to the company.

Over a nine-month period, Cohen received $19,235 as his share of the proceeds for legal services he provided. He believed the company was providing lawful credit restoration services.

However, the Federal Trade Commission sued the company in 1996, alleging that it requested payment of a fee before services were provided.

Cohen was not indicted, cooperated fully, and returned all funds he had received to the court-appointed receiver. He asked the receiver to provide him with all client files so he could either provide services to the clients or refund their fees in addition to the $19,235 he had received. However, the request was denied, the receiver destroyed the files, and, as a result, several clients complained. Cohen returned an additional $4,590 in fees to those who asked for a refund.

In mitigation, Cohen has no record of discipline since his 1980 admission to the bar, he cooperated with the bar's investigation and took immediate steps to rectify the situation.

PATRICK JOSEPH DELCHOP [#73697], 52, of Los Angeles was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on three years of probation with a 30-day actual suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Dec. 16, 2000.

Delchop stipulated to mishandling settlement funds in four personal injury cases.

At the time the first case settled, his client had medical bills of more than $12,000 and was disputing two bills. She asked Delchop to negotiate reductions and pay the medical providers.

Delchop had received a $20,000 settlement, plus more than $3,600 in four installments from Farmers Insurance Group to pay medical expenses. He did not tell his client about one of the installments - in the amount of $2,000 - from Farmers.

Despite numerous requests by the client, Delchop failed to provide an accounting of funds received and disbursed. The doctors were not paid for a year, but Delchop blamed the delay on his negotiations to reduce the charges.

He stipulated that he failed to promptly notify a client about the receipt of funds or render an appropriate accounting.

Delchop failed to maintain complete records in another matter or provide an accounting to another client whose medical bills remain in dispute, and he did not promptly pay Medi-Cal the money to which it was entitled in a fourth client's case. He says letters from Medi-Cal were not brought to his attention.

In mitigation, he cooperated with the bar's investigation.

LANNY PAUL WAGGONER [#67908], 54, of Los Angeles was suspended for five years, stayed, placed on five years of probation with a 22-month suspension and was ordered to prove his rehabilitation, take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. The order took effect Dec. 16, 2000.

Waggoner stipulated to 11 counts of misconduct.

In one matter, he settled an accidental death claim for $44,000 but did not tell his client he had received the check. Instead, he told her she could receive a lesser amount in a lump sum or a larger amount in $400 a month payments over nine years. He indicated that after attorney's fees, the second option would amount to about $30,000.

When the client learned that Waggoner had received the settlement funds almost a year earlier, she requested and received the lump sum payment.

Waggoner stipulated that he failed to notify his client that he received settlement funds, communicate with his client, pay out settlement funds promptly, or provide an accounting, and he made misrepresentations. He also allowed the balance in his client trust account to fall below the required amount and stipulated to misappropriation of client funds.

In a personal injury case, Waggoner requested a dismissal with prejudice in his client's matter, but did not inform his client. He also told his client settlement of the case would be difficult because of the number of people involved in the accident.

Because the client needed continuing medical attention, Waggoner offered to pay the client "advances" from what he thought might be an eventual settlement of $100,000. In 1991, Waggoner received a settlement check for $85,000, but did not notify the client.

Between 1991 and 1997, Waggoner gave the client advances on the settlement whenever he asked for money. In 1997, the client received a medical bill for $12,000 which had been unpaid for five years and discovered that the case had been settled years earlier. Waggoner admitted he had not paid the medical bill. However, he did not provide an accounting to the client when asked.

When the client fired him, Waggoner did not provide the file to the new lawyer. The client sued Waggoner, who agreed to pay him $17,500 in monthly payments. The client agreed to, and did, withdraw a complaint to the State Bar upon receipt of the first two installments.

Waggoner stipulated that he failed to advise a client of the receipt of settlement funds, provide an accounting or release a client file, and that he improperly entered into an agreement under which a client withdraws a complaint to the bar.

Waggoner also was disciplined in 1997 for committing an act of moral turpitude. He told his clients their claim was pending when it had not been filed, said a settlement conference was scheduled and fabricated a summons.

In mitigation, he made restitution prior to civil suits by his clients, and he was under severe financial stress.

GLENN ALAN BESNYL [#165587], 39, of Rancho Cucamonga was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on three years of probation with an actual 60-day suspension, and was ordered to pass the MPRE within one year and prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect Dec. 27, 2000, and he received credit for an interim suspension which began April 14, 2000.

Besnyl pleaded no contest to indecent exposure with priors in 1999 and was placed on interim suspension in April 2000. He stipulated that his actions were a violation of the State Bar Act.

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

JACQUELINE A. KUDER [#170645], 40, of Anaheim Hills was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with a 60-day actual suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within a year. The order took effect Dec. 27, 2000.

Kuder stipulated to misconduct in three matters.

In the first, she received $550 from a client to prepare a trust. A month later, the client terminated her services and asked for a refund of the advance fee. Kuder said she would mail a check but did not refund the money until the client complained to the State Bar 18 months later.

Kuder represented the wife in a spousal support matter in which the husband was ordered to pay attorney fees to Kuder. The court instructed Kuder to prepare and submit an attorney order, but she failed to do so.

In a dissolution proceeding, Kuder attended one hearing, but did no further work, failed to return her client's phone calls, and moved without informing the client who was forced to hire another lawyer.

Kuder stipulated that she failed to refund unearned fees promptly, perform legal services competently or respond to client inquiries and withdrew from employment without protecting her client's interests.

In mitigation, she has no record of discipline since her 1994 admission to the bar.

BARRY DAVID BROWN [#75941], 49, of Redwood City was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on three years of probation and was ordered to pass the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Jan. 7, 2001.

Brown pleaded no contest in 1999 to two misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure and lewd conduct in public.

Because Brown had emotional problems, is remorseful and is undergoing therapy, the judge in the case did not require sex offender registration and the bar found his conduct did not constitute moral turpitude.

ROBERT AARON GORMAN [#176092], 36, of Woodland was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation, and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year and to make restitution. The order took effect Jan. 7, 2001.

Gorman failed to maintain a client's settlement funds in his trust account and wrote two checks against insufficient funds. He had opened the account in an effort to honor his financial obligations because a previous trust account had been frozen in response to allegations of a forged check written by someone other than Gorman. Gorman says he had directed his staff to deposit funds into the account and believed the account contained enough money to cover the checks he wrote.

He also did not keep his address current with the State Bar.

LAWRENCE MASON KELLY [#111218], 66, of Etna was suspended for 30 days, stayed, and placed on one year of probation. The probation is to run consecutive to a 2000 probation for a total of three years. The order took effect Jan. 7, 2001.

Kelly was ordered to comply with rule 955 as part of the 2000 discipline order, but filed the required affidavit eight days late.

Kelly has a record of five prior disciplines.

In mitigation, the late filing did not result in harm and he cooperated with the bar's investigation.

ERNEST F. CHING JR. [#74253], 53, of Tustin 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 Jan. 11, 2001.

Ching stipulated that he was grossly negligent in managing his client trust account, failed to correct lax accounting procedures after he became aware of them, and that his negligence led to the misappropriation of $40,000.

Ching was the attorney for an executor of an estate. In 1994, a debtor to the estate sent to Ching's office a $40,000 check, which was endorsed with a rubber stamp and deposited in his client trust account. The estate, which was the payee, did not endorse the check.

The $40,000 went unreported and uncorrected for many months, and the entire amount eventually was spent.

When Ching became aware that he owed $40,000 to the estate, he did not take corrective action for nearly a year. He paid his debt to the estate before any civil or disciplinary complaint was filed.

He also did not keep written ledgers for each client who had funds in his client trust account and he stipulated that he failed to maintain records of client funds.

In mitigation, Ching has no prior record of discipline, he made restitution and cooperated with the bar's investigation, and he has a record of community and charitable activities.

DAVID REED DOWELL [#55145], 53, of Lacey's Spring, Ala., was suspended for six months and was ordered to attend ethics school, take the MPRE within one year and comply with rule 955. The order took effect Jan. 11, 2001.

Dowell stipulated that he engaged in misconduct in North Carolina which would subject him to discipline in California had it been committed here.

He failed to file a lawsuit on behalf of a client, refund unearned fees, return the client's file or respond to the North Carolina State Bar investigation and he moved his offices without notifying the client.

Most of his misconduct resulted from an agreement to represent a client in an action for damages against the U.S. Marine Corps. The client paid Dowell $5,200, but after about a year and a half, the complaint still had not been filed and Dowell had moved from North Carolina to Alabama. He did not respond to two fee arbitration notices.

In another matter in which he represented a client before the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dowell did not respond to letters from the North Carolina bar after the client complained.

He notified the bar he could not appear at a grievance committee hearing because he was recovering from foot surgery, but he did not communicate further with the bar.

In mitigation, Dowell has no other record of discipline and he had emotional and/or physical difficulties at the time of the misconduct.

KENNETH G. EADE [#93774], 43, of Santa Barbara 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 Jan. 11, 2001.

In a bankruptcy matter, Eade deposited $4,300 in fees into his personal account rather than his client trust account. When his client said he no longer needed to file for bankruptcy, Eade agreed to refund $3,425 but did not do so. The client won a small claims judgment of $4,418, which Eade paid a year later.

In mitigation, Eade had serious financial problems at the time of the misconduct, he has done extensive pro bono work for almost 20 years and he presented evidence of his good character.

ANTHONY CELESTINE FISCHER [#55260], 67, of Santa Barbara was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation and he was ordered to pass the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Jan. 11, 2001.

From 1988 to 1992, Fischer represented a client in superior court in a civil action against a municipality which resulted in a judgment in favor of his client. He took the case on a contingency fee basis and did not receive any fees for his services.

The municipality appealed and Fischer continued to handle the case without a new fee agreement. The court of appeal reversed, Fischer appealed to the California Supreme Court, which denied the petition, and he then took the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the petition because of failure to comply with rules of procedure and informed Fischer he could correct the errors. The clerk also told Fischer he must be admitted to the Supreme Court bar and enclosed an application form.

Fischer did not submit a corrected petition so the court returned the filing fee with a letter saying he appeared to have abandoned the case. Fischer did not inform his client of those developments, but instead told him he would file the appeal.

Fischer represented the client in other matters and avoided discussing the Supreme Court case. Four years later, the client learned the petition had never been filed. Fischer did not respond to his letter demanding an explanation.

Fischer stipulated that he failed to perform legal services competently or keep a client informed of developments in a case.

He was privately reproved in 1992 for failing to act competently or return client phone calls and for withdrawing from employment without protecting his client's interests.

In mitigation, he cooperated with the bar's investigation.

SUZANNE LOUISE HARRIS [#45303], 55, of Liberty, Mo., was suspended for five years, stayed, placed on five years of probation with an 18-month suspension and was ordered to make restitution, prove her rehabilitation and take the MPRE. The order took effect Jan. 11, 2001.

Harris failed to comply with probation conditions attached to a 1998 discipline: she failed to file a quarterly probation report or complete 16 hours of continuing education in ethics, trust accounting or law office management.

In the underlying discipline, she had stipulated to failing to perform legal services competently in a wrongful death case, failing to properly maintain her client trust account and to violating the terms of two earlier disciplinary probations.

In mitigation, in 1997, a fire destroyed Harris' home and office, and as a result, she had no source of income. She suffered a prolonged period of emotional and financial stress. She presented testimony about her good character and cooperated with the bar's investigation.

THOMAS C. LOFFARELLI [#159724], 47, of Sherman Oaks was suspended for one year, stayed, and was placed on one year of probation. The order took effect Jan. 11, 2001.

Loffarelli violated the probation conditions attached to a 1998 probation by failing to file eight written statements showing that he had been obtaining psychiatric or psychological treatment at least twice a month.

The discipline was the result of a 1996 conviction for disobeying a court-ordered restraining order.

MARK RANDAL POVRAZNIK [#153629], 40, of Sherman Oaks was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with a one-year actual suspension, and was ordered to make restitution and comply with rule 955. If the actual suspension exceeds two years, he must prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect Jan. 11, 2001.

Povraznik violated the terms of a 1997 probation by failing to make restitution and by not passing the MPRE on time.

The discipline was imposed in seven cases for improperly withdrawing from employment and failing to refund unearned fees, communicate with clients, deposit client funds in a trust account and pay court-ordered sanctions.

He also was disciplined in 1994 for failing to pay sanctions.

In mitigation, Povraznik currently resides in a residential drug/alcohol recovery home and states that his non-compliance with probation conditions was due in significant part to his inability to earn a living while recovering from alcoholism. He cooperated with the bar's investigation.

CHRISTOPHER MARTIN DOLAN [#76254], 49, of San Francisco was suspended for two years, stayed, and was actually suspended for one year and until he develops a law office management plan and attends ethics school. He also was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. If the actual suspension exceeds two years, he must prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect Jan. 19, 2001.

Dolan did not comply with the terms of a 1998 discipline order - he failed to develop a law office management plan, submit quarterly reports and attend ethics school. That discipline was imposed because Dolan fabricated a settlement document, an act of moral turpitude.

JOHN GILLESPIE HARTNETT [#49505], 58, of Ventura 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 Jan. 19, 2001.

Hartnett pleaded guilty last year to four counts of disobeying a protective order and one count each of misdemeanor assault and battery. A diagnosed schizophrenic, Hartnett had discontinued his medication and began to telephone his ex-wife repeatedly and contacted his children in a way that violated a 1997 restraining order.

He also approached and inappropriately touched a deputy district attorney in court, leading to the assault and battery charges. He has no recollection of these events.

In mitigation, Hartnett cooperated with the bar's investigation. He resumed medical care and is now taking his medication.

CHARLES HARRIS KAVALARIS [#46853], 57, of San Jose was suspended for one year, stayed, and placed on two years of probation with a 60-day actual suspension. The order took effect Jan. 19, 2001.

Kavalaris violated the terms of a 2000 discipline order by failing to deliver client papers, refund unearned fees or comply with rule 955. He did not notify clients or opposing counsel of his suspension from practice.

Under penalty of perjury, he filed an affidavit with the State Bar Court stating that bar prosecutors had notified his clients and opposing counsel about his suspension. The affidavit makes clear that Kavalaris himself did not comply with rule 955.

The discipline was the result of fee-splitting with non-lawyers in a kickback scheme in which he and his law partner received referrals in return for money. He also wrote checks against insufficient funds in his client trust account and commingled personal and client funds.

Kavalaris also was disciplined three other times.

In mitigation, he cooperated with the bar's investigation and no clients were harmed.

ROBERT CLEARY BRADLEY [#41818], 60, of Ventura was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on five years of probation with a 60-day actual suspension and was ordered to prove his rehabilitation and take the MPRE. The order took effect Jan. 26, 2001.

In 1998, Bradley pleaded guilty to two different charges of driving under the influence. He has violated his probation several times by using alcohol, including an arrest later that year for riding a bicycle while under the influence.

He also pleaded no contest to two counts of disobeying a protective order that he not contact or harass his estranged wife. The order was issued after Bradley, while under the influence, broke into his ex-wife's home and threatened to kill her. Despite the order, he attempted to contact his wife several times.

In mitigation, Bradley has no record of discipline in more than 16 years of practice, he cooperated with the bar's investigation and he has taken steps to address his alcohol problems.

WILLIAM ROMAN GARDNER [#95186], 46, of Pacifica was suspended for one year, stayed, and placed on two years of probation with an actual 45-day suspension. The order took effect Jan 26, 2001.

Gardner stipulated to four counts of misconduct in two cases, including three instances of failing  to perform legal services competently and one instance of failing to respond to client inquiries and keep his client informed about significant developments in a case.

Gardner was brought into a deportation matter by another attorney after the time to appeal an immigration judge's ruling had expired. He filed a petition in federal court which resulted in the court accusing Gardner and the other attorney of incompetence resulting in a violation of his clients' rights.

Gardner disputes the court's findings but acknowledged that it was reasonable for the State Bar Court to accept them.

In another matter with the same attorney, Gardner allowed the other lawyer's staff to use a signature stamp on documents Gardner had not written and was not aware of. As a result, he missed a deadline to file a brief and the matter in question was dismissed. He did not know about the dismissal because the other lawyer's staff intercepted the order.

Gardner did not return a personal injury client's phone calls and did not tell his client the case was dismissed because he failed to appear at trial. Gardner had not told the client that a trial was scheduled.

Gardner also was disciplined last year for failure to perform competently and practicing while suspended for non-payment of bar dues.

In mitigation, he cooperated with the bar's investigation and has had difficulty working because of an arthritic hip. He has restricted his practice to friends and family and his current source of income is Supplemental Social Security.

INTERIM SUSPENSION

TRACY DARLENE BEALL [#161168], 37, of Mechanicsburg, Ohio, was placed on interim suspension Nov. 24, 2000, following a conviction for grand theft. She received a second interim suspension order Feb. 22, 2001, after another grand theft conviction in another county and subsequently resigned March 11, 2001. She was ordered to comply with rule 955.

DANNY JOHN MEEHAN [#49644], 56, of Fairfax was placed on interim suspension Nov. 30, 2000, following a conviction for possession of a controlled substance. He was ordered to comply with rule 955.

PAUL HARRY STEELE [#72798], 52, of San Leandro was placed on interim suspension Nov. 30, 2000, after a conviction for possession of a controlled substance. He was ordered to comply with rule 955.

BEHZAD DAVID HERAVI [#185496], 45, of Reseda was placed on interim suspension Dec. 6, 2000, following a conviction for theft of government property. He was ordered to comply with rule 955.

JOHN ALAN COVEY [#174935], 36, of San Diego was placed on interim suspension Dec. 19, 2000, following a conviction for possession of a controlled substance. He was ordered to comply with rule 955.

STEVE FRANK SHERMAN [#90335], 48, of Los Angeles was placed on interim suspension Dec. 20, 2000, following a conviction for unlawful firearm activity with a prior. He was ordered to comply with rule 955.

ALLAN MARSHALL GOLDBERG [#158820], 52, of Canoga Park was placed on interim suspension Jan. 15, 2001, following a conviction for driving under the influence causing injury, driving under the influence with a suspended license and two counts of cocaine possession. He was ordered to comply with rule 955.

RESIGNATION/CHARGES PENDING

MATTHEW CHRISTOPHER BAKEY [#166568], 33, of Canyon Country (Nov. 12, 2000)

HAROLD JOSEPH HUNTER [#64231], 73, of Carlsbad (Nov. 12, 2000)

KENNETH A. JOHNSON [#64246], 59, of Calabasas (Nov. 12, 2000)

FRANKLIN KNIGHT LANE III [#22494], 77, of Los Angeles (Nov. 12, 2000)

STEVEN HAROLD NESENBLATT [#89962], 45, of Beverly Hills (Nov. 19, 2000)

STANLEY MALLOYE DUPREE [#63726], 54, of Rancho Mirage (Nov. 25, 2000)

ABRAHAM ANTHONY FLORES JR. [#95365], 47, of San Francisco (Nov. 25, 2000)

MARK S. CAIN [#137274], 33, of Garden Grove (Dec. 13, 2000)

MICHAEL NAJ KHOURIE [#21278], 78, of Belvedere (Dec. 13, 2000)

PETER ADAM KIMMELL [#119081], 50, of Portland, Ore. (Jan. 10, 2001)

ROGER A. McKEE [#46944], 57, of Phoenix (Jan. 10, 2001)

DAVID J. EDLOW [#160199], 44, of Santa Rosa (Jan. 11, 2001)

SUSAN ELIZABETH MELTON [#134654], 42, of Covina (Jan. 14, 2001)

SUSAN M. SANDEMAN [#164272], 44, of Bountiful, Utah (Jan. 14, 2001)

BETTY JO WESSINGER [#171810], 37, of Sacramento (Jan. 19, 2001)

HERBERT WILLIAM DEAN JR. [#102564], 56, of Pinole (Jan. 26, 2001)

CHRISTIAN W. KEENA [#91074], 53, of Laguna Hills (Jan. 26, 2001)

LEON HENDERSON ROUNTREE JR. [#53029], 56, of Oakland (Jan. 26, 2001)

ROBERT STEVEN SMITH [#88082], 47, of Avenal (Jan. 26, 2001)

SUSPENSION/FAILURE TO PASS PRE

GREGORY CHARLES HORN [#66234], 52, of Calabasas (Dec. 11, 2000)

STEPHEN SCOTT KING [#33489], 63, of Sherman Oaks (Dec. 18, 2000)