The state Supreme Court accepted the resignation
of JAMES CANDEE BOTTOMLEY [#63509], 53, of Carlsbad from the
California bar, nearly a year after the former real estate attorney
was convicted of murdering a client with whom he had an affair.
Effective Aug. 12, 2001, Bottomley resigned with charges pending
before the State Bar. In May, he was suspended following an Aug. 8,
2000, second-degree murder conviction for the shooting death of
Marietta Birbilis, 46.
Bottomley had admitted killing Birbilis, an
Escondido nurse, but said she was accidentally shot while trying to
wrest away a gun he had turned on himself in a faked suicide attempt.
Birbilis was shot five times at close range. A jury found Bottomley
guilty of second-degree murder, deciding prosecutors had not proven
the premeditation necessary for a first-degree murder conviction.
The pair began dating while he represented
Birbilis in removing a lien her husband had placed on her home during
divorce proceedings. Bottomley asked her to marry him even though both
were still married to other people.
But six months later, he grew angry that she was
dating other men and had refused a Valentine's Day date. The day
after the holiday, Bottomley shot Birbilis at her home. A 63-year-old
man Birbilis also was dating witnessed the attack.
Bottomley was arrested after driving himself to a
lake and threatening to shoot himself in a brief standoff with
Bottomley was sentenced in June to 40 years to
life in state prison. In court documents, psychotherapists said he was
suffering from mental problems and showed compulsive behavior, such as
keeping a 700-page journal detailing his relationship with Birbilis.
In 25 years of practice, Bottomley had never been
disciplined by the State Bar. He attended Stanford University and
Hastings College of Law, gaining admission to the bar in 1975.