California Bar Journal
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 2001
spacer.gif (810 bytes)
spacer.gif (810 bytes)

California Bar Journal

The State Bar of California


REGULARS

spacer.gif (810 bytes)
Front Page - September 2001
spacer.gif (810 bytes)
News / News Briefs
Davis signs diversion bill, nixes more access money
Six new members elected to bar board
Board votes to keep MCLE hours at 25 over 3-year period
Supreme Court denies rehearing on disbarment
spacer.gif (810 bytes)
2001 Citations
Single father, practicing four years, devoted to pro bono
Pro bono awards
Antitrust lawyer honored
Judge Epstein receives Bernard Witkin medal
spacer.gif (810 bytes)
Opinion
From the President - A good year for the State Bar
MJP panel provides an interim solution
Letters to the Editor
spacer.gif (810 bytes)
MCLE Self-Study
A dangerous highway of discovery
Self-Assessment Test
MCLE Calendar of Events
spacer.gif (810 bytes)
You Need to Know
spacer.gif (810 bytes)
Discipline
Ethics Byte - Report shows with law firms, size does matter
Attorney convicted of killing client/lover resigns from bar
Attorney Discipline
spacer.gif (810 bytes)
Public Comment

DISCIPLINE

spacer.gif (810 bytes)
CAUTION!
More than 176,000 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.
spacer.gif (810 bytes)
DISBARMENTS

MICHAEL J. BIGLOW [#47473], 56, of Fresno was disbarred May 30, 2001, and ordered to comply with rule 955 of the California Rules of Court.

Biglow was disbarred in a default proceeding after he failed to comply with rule 955 as ordered in a 2000 disciplinary matter. He had been disciplined five times in the past six years, all stemming from a 1994 case.

Biglow was ordered to file a rule 955 affidavit by July 5, 2000, but he did not; nor did he offer any explanation for his non-compliance.

Failure to comply with rule 955 is grounds for disbarment.

Biglow's disciplinary history began when he was privately reproved in 1994 for failing to perform competently in one client matter. The next year, he was suspended for six months, stayed, and placed on probation for two years for failing to comply with conditions of his private reproval.

In 1997, the attorney received a three-month actual suspension for violating his probation. In 1998, he was given a six-month actual suspension for engaging in unauthorized practice of law during a suspension, among other violations. Last year, Biglow received a two-year actual suspension for violating probation.

In aggravation, the bar found that in failing to comply with rule 955, Biglow demonstrated indifference toward rectifying or atoning the prior misconduct. He also failed to participate in the disbarment prior to the entry of his default.

ROBERT VICTOR BALACEK [#107629], 63, of Laguna Beach was disbarred May 30, 2001, and was ordered to comply with rule 955 of the California Rules of Court.

In a default proceeding, the State Bar Court found that Balacek did not comply with an earlier rule 955 requirement - he did not submit to the Supreme Court an affidavit attesting that he had notified his clients, opposing counsel and the courts of his suspension from practice.

He had been disciplined in 1998 for practicing law while he was on inactive status for failing to comply with MCLE requirements. He represented a couple seeking bankruptcy protection, signing a retainer agreement and accepting an advance fee of $2,000.

His associate informed the clients that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy would not resolve their tax difficulties and the petition was never filed. Balacek did not refund the advance fee, so the clients sued him in small claims court and won. He did not satisfy the judgment.

The rule 955 requirement was part of the disciplinary order issued as a result of the unauthorized practice.

BRUCE A. BROWN [#140111], 52, of Manhattan Beach was disbarred July 1, 2001, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

Brown was disbarred in a default proceeding after he failed to comply with rule 955 as ordered in a December 1999 disciplinary matter.

Brown had been found culpable of filing two frivolous superior court actions in which his purported clients were fictitious, the allegations were untrue and the lawsuits were filed to harass and vex the defendants. He was placed given a stayed three-year suspension, placed on probation for three years with a nine-month actual suspension, and was ordered to pay sanctions and comply with rule 955.

The bar court cited as aggravating factors the underlying discipline and Brown's failure to participate in the proceeding.

ROBERT JESS ORDUNA [#98182], 46, of Antioch was disbarred July 1, 2001, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

In a case State Bar prosecutors called "surrounded by bad faith," Orduna failed to comply with rule 955 after he was disciplined in July 1999. He practiced law while suspended by representing a client at a criminal sentencing and submitted - about five months late - a "false and misleading" affidavit of 955 compliance.

In January 2000, Orduna submitted an affidavit that still did not comply with rule 955 because it did not indicate whether he had quit acting as an attorney, returned unearned fees, or notified clients, courts and other affected parties of his suspension.

"He realized it was overdue," bar prosecutors wrote. "He was not thinking clearly and was worried about what to do with his office, how to function and how to pay bills."

Orduna did say that as of mid-July, he had neither clients nor papers or property belonging to clients.

But in August 1999, less than a month after he was suspended, Orduna appeared in Solano County court on behalf of a client. At the sentencing hearing, the client's sentence was modified - he received state prison time rather than a previously agreed-upon county jail stint. Orduna did not tell the client he was suspended. He also did not return the client's file.

Though the sentence was modified, Orduna told bar prosecutors he did not consider it a court appearance because the court was confirming a previous plea agreement. He said he had overlooked withdrawing from the case.

Also, the bar was notified in November 1998 of insufficient funds in a client trust account. Orduna failed to cooperate with the bar's investigation by failing to provide an explanation.

In aggravation, Orduna may have jeopardized the validity of criminal proceedings by appearing in court while suspended. He significantly harmed a client and the administration of justice.

"The fact that respondent saw fit to make an appearance at all after being suspended demonstrates an unsettling lack of understanding of his ethical duties and a disturbing lack of respect for an order of our Supreme Court,'' prosecutors wrote.

 Orduna has a prior record of discipline. In July 1999, he was placed on four years of probation with an actual six-month suspension for taking an illegal $3,400 fee. In 1992, he received one year of probation for trust accounting violations and failure to cooperate.

In mitigation, he was remorseful about the misconduct.

SUSPENSION/PROBATION

The probation of DOYLE EUGENE BERRY [#42506], 70, of Anaheim was revoked, the previously ordered stay of suspension was lifted and he was placed on four years of probation with an actual four-year suspension. He was ordered to prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect April 20, 2001.

Berry stipulated that he did not comply with probation conditions attached to a 1998 discipline order: he failed to submit six probation reports or attend ethics school.

He has six prior instances of discipline.

The 1998 matter was the result of failing to perform legal services competently, return client files, preserve client funds in a trust account, promptly pay out client funds or refund unearned fees. He engaged in similar misconduct in 1986, when he was disciplined for failure to communicate with a client, return client papers or refund unearned fees and for withdrawing from representation without protecting his client's interests.

FRED ULYSSES HAMMETT JR. [#41663], 51, of San Diego was suspended for one year, 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 May 5, 2001, although the actual suspension did not begin until May 10.

Hammett stipulated to misconduct in five consolidated cases, all involving his failure to maintain a required balance in his client trust accounts.

In one matter, he filed a personal injury lawsuit against a fitness club and received settlements from three separate entities totaling more than $120,000. He repeatedly allowed the balance in his client trust account to fall below the required amount for the three settlements. At one point, the balance fell to $58.46, when the account was required to hold at least $24,225.73.

In a property damage matter for which Hammett received a settlement check for more than $100,022, the balance in the client trust account fell below the required amount ($25,944.19) on at least five occasions, including one date when the balance was down to $3.38.

The remaining cases involved similar conduct.

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

DERK W. SCHUTMAAT [#163633], 45, of Roseville was suspended for one year, stayed, and placed on probation for three years with a 90-day actual suspension. He was ordered to comply with rule 955 and take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect May 6, 2001.

Schutmaat stipulated to three counts of misconduct, all of which involved money matters. In one 1995 case, Schutmaat failed to notify a client that he had received a partial divorce settlement for $2,025 on her behalf. The client learned about the check five months later when told of it by her ex-husband.

In a second count attached to that case, Schutmaat charged an unconscionable fee, collecting from a client both an hourly and maximum contingency fee. He first collected the hourly fee, telling the client he would agree to a 30 percent contingency fee if the case settled and 40 percent if it went to trial. The matter settled, but Schutmaat failed to credit the client with $3,296 he owed her.

In another case, Schutmaat issued at least 25 checks in 1997 and 1998 from a client trust account for personal expenses or business expenses not related to his client.

In mitigation, Schutmaat had no prior record of discipline, he cooperated with the bar's investigation, expressed remorse and paid full restitution to the client he overcharged.

PETER GEORGE VIRAG [#135542], 64, of Tarzana was suspended for 30 days, stayed, placed on probation for three years and ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect May 6, 2001.

Virag stipulated to failing to keep funds in a client trust account in a 1996 matter. After depositing a settlement check in a client account, he failed to pay a $1,500 medical bill for 18 months and allowed the account's balance to fall below that sum on 19 occasions between March 1996 and September 1997.

Around the same time, he wrote 42 checks from the account, all of which were rejected due to insufficient funds. Virag drew the checks in anticipation of deposits that hadn't yet happened. He did pay off all the checks shortly after they were declined, either by reissuing them or by writing a new check. 

Virag failed to keep a ledger for his clients showing receipts, disbursements and the balance in their account. He also failed to keep a journal for his client trust account, and his check register did not show the account's current balance.

In mitigation, Virag paid the medical bill in full in 1997, showed rehabilitation by having no further misconduct since that year and cooperated with the bar's investigation.

H. LEE WATSON [#67953], 62, of Sunland was suspended for three years, stayed, placed on probation for four years and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect May 6, 2001.

Watson stipulated to acts of moral turpitude after he pleaded guilty in 1998 to two counts of committing a lewd act on a child.

He was convicted in Salt Lake City of  fondling two female family members, ages 12 and 13. He was sentenced to two years in county jail, three years of probation, a $2,000 fine and sex-offender counseling. He was ordered to cover the cost of counseling for the girls and their immediate family and to have no contact with minors other than supervised contact with his daughter.

Watson waived his rights to challenge the bar court's recommendations on the basis of his conviction's finality and waived his right to review or appeal the case.

As part of his probation, Watson was ordered to seek psychological help.

In mitigation, Watson had no prior record of discipline over many years of practice. He has been attending sex-offender treatment since June 1998, and progress reports indicate his prognosis is good, with a significantly diminished likelihood to commit another sex offense.

He cooperated with both the criminal and bar investigations, expressed remorse and paid restitution. Despite his criminal conviction, many members of his community -  including a bishop and a former employer - continue to hold him in high esteem and expressed willingness to continue associating with him.

CHARLES DAVID WEEDE JR. [#51778], 57, of Redlands was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on probation for two years with a 45-day actual suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect May 6, 2001.

Weede stipulated to taking possession of a client's truck as security for payment of fees without the client's consent and before creating a written fee agreement. He did not advise the client in writing of his right to seek independent counsel.

The client, jailed in Riverside on criminal charges, said he was not aware his brother had delivered the Ford F-150 pickup to Weede, nor did he consent to using the $12,000 truck in lieu of payment. Weede returned the truck in March 1999, one month after he took possession of it. In mitigation, the bar court found Weede acted in good faith.

Weede has a record of prior discipline. In April 1994, he was privately  reproved after being convicted of engaging in an act of prostitution. The following year, he was placed on probation for failing to comply with conditions of the reproval, and in 1997 he was again placed on probation with a 30-day actual suspension for failing to comply with conditions of his probation.

ARLO HALE SMITH [#96971], 46, of San Francisco was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on probation for two years with a 60-day actual suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect May 11, 2001.

Smith stipulated to three counts of misconduct stemming from a 1996 unlawful detainer case in Contra Costa County. He filed an unjustified action that misrepresented a woman's financial stake in the defendant's company, which Smith represented. As a result, he and the defendants were sanctioned $10,000. Smith did not pay the sanctions, nor did he report them to the bar.

The third count also involved an unjustified action: On behalf of his client's company, Smith had filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy though he knew or should have known the partnership was ineligible for Chapter 13 relief. The defendants were again sanctioned by the court when Smith filed a notice of removal. Again, Smith did not pay or report the sanctions.

In aggravation, the bar court found Smith's actions caused harm to his client. In mitigation, he had no prior record of discipline and was suffering from emotional distress because his mother had cancer. He also cooperated with the bar's investigation.

THOMAS CHASE STUTZMAN [#69452], 51, of San Jose was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on probation for two years and ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect May 11, 2001.

Stutzman stipulated to misconduct in three separate cases. In the first, he failed to refund more than $9,500 owed a client in 1997, after she terminated his employment and demanded Stutzman pay funds he was holding on her behalf. He asked her to sign a document stating he had no legal obligation to pay. At the time, he erroneously believed he could keep a minimum fee. The bar court said he acted in good faith and now understands his mistake.

In the second matter, Stutzman ran afoul of husband-and-wife clients when, in demanding additional fees, he offered to accept massages from the wife in exchange for legal services. She interpreted this to be a sexual overture, though Stutzman maintained he had no intention to proposition her. There was no sexual relationship or improper contact.

In the third case, Stutzman failed to return a $2,500 fee to a client within a reasonable period of time, doing so in August 2000 only after the State Bar sent a letter of inquiry.

Stutzman has since redrafted his fee agreement and no longer asks for non-refundable fees.

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

JEFFREY BENNETT WOLIN [#137398], 43, of Tarzana was suspended for three years, stayed, and placed on probation for four years with an actual suspension of 30 months and until he has shown proof of rehabilitation and fitness to practice. He was ordered to take the MPRE during the actual suspension period and comply with rule 955. The order took effect May 11, 2001.

Wolin stipulated he accepted employment with Bio-Rad Laboratories, working as assistant general counsel and a legal consultant from 1994 to 1997. All the while, he was suspended from the practice of law.

In February 1995, Wolin participated in investigating a sexual harassment claim, signing a declaration under condition of perjury that he was in-house counsel for the company. He asserted that he had assisted in the investigation and concurred in a recommendation to fire an employee.

By accepting the position and participating in legal matters, Wolin held himself out to his employer, the court, opposing counsel and the public as entitled to practice law when he was not, which constituted an act of moral turpitude.

In mitigation, Wolin's actions did not harm his client.

In aggravation, the bar court found Wolin was dishonest in leading his employer to believe he was licensed to practice. Also, a multiple pattern of misconduct was evident: The reason he had been suspended in the first place was because he had offered his services as a lawyer while serving an actual suspension for a 1994 disciplinary action.

In July 1994, he received an 18-month actual suspension for an act of moral turpitude. In 1996, he received a six-month actual suspension. He resigned from his law firm, advising the partners he had medical problems but not revealing the suspension. He then called a client of the firm and offered to handle a case. When the client learned from the bar of Wolin's suspension, he notified the law firm.

KEVIN BRIAN CONNOLLY [#76107], 51, of Costa Mesa was suspended for 180 days, stayed, placed on probation for one year with a 60-day actual suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect May 16, 2001.

Connolly stipulated to three counts of  failing to reasonably supervise his staff after allowing them to oversee trust account transactions in two separate cases. He had already been disciplined for mismanaging his trust account during the same time period in 1993.

In one case, a disbursement of a client's three-part settlement became confusing and one payment was delayed because Connolly failed to maintain adequate records of the settlement in a convoluted construction-defect case. In the other, Connolly failed to pay off a client's $3,275 medical bill - he had been informed by staff that all the settlement funds had been properly distributed. Two years later, the client received a notice from a collection agency noting the bill had not been paid. Connolly made payments to the medical provider until the bill was paid.

Connolly was heavily involved in trial during the misconduct and because of this, he delegated the client trust transactions to staff. The bar court noted 1993 was an aberrational period in Connolly's legal career. The misconduct was not repeated after that time, and Connolly has ceased delegating client trust transactions to his staff.

Connolly was placed on probation in 1995 for a similar disciplinary matter. He distributed settlement funds to a client but not to six medical lienholders, and his client trust account fell below the required balance on five separate occasions.

In another prior discipline, he received  two years of probation in 1989 for misleading advertising conduct in 1983.

In aggravation, the misconduct involved client trust funds. In mitigation, Connolly has significantly altered the structure of his practice to prevent further problems.

EVELYN ANN KRAMER [#107242], 45, of Los Angeles was suspended for two years, stayed, and placed on three years of probation with a 60-day actual suspension. The order took effect May 30, 2001.

Kramer stipulated to six counts of misconduct.                                         

She failed to perform legal services competently in a child support matter and an action against her client's former attorney. Although she prepared a complaint, a request for an order and a declaration, she never filed the complaint.

Kramer did not respond to several inquiries from her client, nor did she inform the client the complaint had not been filed. After the client complained to the State Bar, Kramer contacted her to explain she had been out of her office and would be in touch soon. Kramer never did respond to her client.

Kramer was suspended in March 2000 as a result of other misconduct, and the client learned about the suspension from a bar investigator. She asked that her file and unearned fees be returned, but Kramer did not do so for six months. She also did not cooperate with the bar's investigation.

As part of that suspension order, Kramer was required to notify her clients about the suspension, return their papers and refund any unearned fees. She stipulated that her failure to do so was a failure to obey a court order.

The 2000 suspension was issued for failing to perform legal services competently, return client files, comply with probation conditions, cooperate with the bar's investigation, report sanctions to the bar or pay four court-ordered sanctions.

Kramer also was disciplined in 1997 for failing to perform competently, respond to client inquiries or deposit client funds in a trust account.

In mitigation, Kramer believed she had returned all client files. She had to relocate her office and inadvertently placed her client's file in a box containing accounting records. Therefore, her violation of a court order did not involve intentional misrepresentation to the court.

She also cooperated with bar prosecutors, has taken several courses in an effort to improve her management skills and has been performing volunteer work for a charitable organization.

JOSEPH D. PECHELES [#144767], 52, of Ramona 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 May 30, 2001.

Pecheles stipulated to two counts of misconduct.

He was hired to incorporate a non-profit organization and then was terminated and substituted out. He submitted the incorporation documents to the secretary of state without his client's knowledge after his termination. He signed the ex-client's name to the papers.

Pecheles stipulated that he appeared without authority as attorney for a party to an action and misrepresented to the secretary of state that his client had signed the incorporation papers.

The misrepresentation was an act of moral turpitude.

In mitigation, Pecheles has no prior record of discipline.

STANLEY HOWARD ROZANSKI [#81362], 49, of Los Angeles was suspended for six months, stayed, placed on two years of probation and was ordered to take the MPRE. The order took effect May 30, 2001.

Rozanski stipulated to misconduct in five cases.

He was paid $7,000 in advance fees and costs by a client who lives in Japan to investigate the death of the client's son. Although Rozanski hired an investigator to conduct surveillance of a suspect, he ignored repeated requests for progress reports from two contact persons for the client. He also didn't show up for an appointment with the client and his friends.

The client fired Rozanski and asked for a refund of $7,000. When Rozanski did not respond, the client complained to the State Bar. Almost two years later, Rozanski told the client he had found no evidence of illegal conduct by the subject of the surveillance and recommended no further investigation. He said he had spent the $5,000 fee and all but $150 of the advance costs; he refunded $150.

In a second case, neither Rozanski or an associate did any work on a dissolution, and the court entered a default against his client. After Rozanski was fired, he did not respond to the client's demand for a refund and a return of his file.

Eighteen months later, Rozanski returned the file and refunded the advance costs (not the fee) which had not been deposited in a client trust account.

After settling a personal injury case, Rozanski deposited two settlement checks in a trust account, but waited nine months to disburse funds to the opposing counsel to satisfy a lien for fees. He also did not pay his client's doctor bills, despite the doctor's agreement to reduce the bill. The doctor went to small claims court and won a default judgment against Rozanski for $3,278.

He ultimately paid the clients and their doctors one year after the case settled.

In 1985, Rozanski filed a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of a client, but agreed the following year to stay the case pending arbitration. Although two attorneys in his firm promised arbitration in 1990 and 1992, it never happened. Rozanski assured the client his case remained active in 1997. In 2000, Rozan-ski moved his offices and did not respond to the client's request for a status update until the client complained to the bar.

Rozanski returned the client files in August 2000 and ended further representation, saying the statute of limitations ran prior to the 1985 retention of his firm.

Rozanski stipulated to two counts of failing to perform legal services competently or promptly pay out client funds, and one count each of failing to return a client file, deposit client funds in a client trust account or respond to a client's status inquiries.

In mitigation, Rozanski has no record of discipline since his 1978 admission to the bar.

ELLIOTT J. WACHTEL [#107112], 51, of Hollywood was suspended for 180 days, stayed, placed on two years of probation and was ordered to take the MPRE. The order took effect May 30, 2001.

Wachtel prepared an order approving a request for attorney's fees and vocational rehabilitation benefits in a workers' compensation case and had a colleague sign it. Under the signature was a notation JPT (Judge Pro Tem). The judge for the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) later determined the order was not signed by a WCAB judge and therefore was not valid.

Wachtel, an experienced workers' comp attorney, had been a volunteer judge pro tem of the WCAB and should have known that only administrative law judges were permitted to sign orders. He told the judge he made a mistake and admitted he acted inappropriately.

In mitigation, Wachtel has no discipline in 18 years of practice, he was under stress as a result of institutional problems within the workers' comp system, he admitted his mistake and apologized, and his client was not harmed. The benefits and fees were eventually approved.

ROBERT A. DEL CAMPO [#45005], 63, of Arroyo Grande was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual one-year suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. Because he received credit for the period of interim suspension which began April 17, 2000, he is now active. The order took effect May 30, 2001.

Del Campo was convicted of converting government property to his own use. He employed a secretarial staff to help with both his law practice and his work as a federal magistrate. He submitted a request for reimbursement for $693 to the clerk of the federal court for work supposedly done by a deputy clerk.

In fact, she had done only half the work.

Del Campo was reimbursed for $693 and used the money for himself and his law firm. His conduct involved moral turpitude.

In a second matter, Del Campo prepared a trust for a client while he was suspended as a result of the criminal conviction. The client complained to the State Bar because she felt Del Campo did not do the work as requested; she learned then that there was a problem with his status. He stipulated that he engaged in unauthorized practice.

In mitigation, Del Campo has no record of discipline in 30 years of practice, he notified the bar of his conviction and he cooperated with its investigation.

GORDON ROBERT FRANCISCO [#93926], 50, of Simi Valley 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 June 6, 2001.

Francisco stipulated that he failed to perform competently or keep his clients informed about developments in their personal injury case.

In October 1996, the court assigned the matter for arbitration and set a trial date. It informed Francisco that failure to complete the arbitration prior to trial could result in sanctions and that failure to appear for trial would result in dismissal of the case.

Francisco never told the clients about the arbitration and trial dates, the arbitration never took place, he failed to appear for trial and the case was dismissed. He never informed the clients about the dismissal. He filed a motion to set aside the dismissal, but did not serve the defendants or set a hearing date, and the motion was denied.

Despite repeated phone calls from one of the clients over a 19-month period, Francisco did not communicate with her and missed an appointment.

Francisco was suspended from practice in September 1999 for non-payment of bar dues. The client finally learned in December 1999 that the case had been dismissed 26 months earlier. Francisco did not respond to her demand that he return her file.

In mitigation, he has no record of discipline since his 1980 admission to the bar.

BITA L. HOFFMAN [#159205], 36, of San Diego was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation with a 90-day actual suspension and was ordered to comply with rule 955. The order took effect June 6, 2001.

Hoffman stipulated that she practiced law while suspended and misrepresented to the court and opposing counsel that she was entitled to practice, committing acts of moral turpitude.

She had been disciplined for modifying a court order without the court's knowledge or permission.