STEVAN NOXON [#49932], 49, of Fresno was disbarred Dec. 29, 1995, and ordered to comply with Rule 955 of the California Rules of Court.
Noxon was ordered in 1993 to comply with Rule 955 by notifying his clients and other pertinent parties that he had been suspended and to file an affidavit with the Supreme Court that he had done so. Because he filed the affidavit 10 months late, the State Bar Court found that his noncompliance was wilful and recommended disbarment.
Noxon originally was placed on interim suspension following his conviction for automobile theft, burglary and bribing a witness.
Noxon was a chief deputy district attorney in Fresno, an assistant federal defender for six years and a criminal defense attorney in private practice.
He was forced to resign from both government positions due to his drug use. Even after his 1992 criminal convictions and his suspension from practice, he was arrested twice on drug charges.
Although Noxon claimed his addiction should be considered mitigating evidence, the State Bar Court disagreed, noting that there was no causal connection between the drug use and his misconduct.
Even assuming his delay in filing the 955 affidavit was a result of his drug addiction, the court said, Noxon "did not demonstrate that he can control his use of illicit substances."
And although several witnesses testified about Noxon's character, they all conceded that "the State Bar had a responsibility not to permit (Noxon) to practice law if not in control of drug abuse.
"The evidence clearly shows (Noxon) is not in control of his use of illicit drugs and there is no reasonable likelihood that his situation will change."
LEO J. RAMOS [#163498], 28, of Beverly Hills was suspended for two years, stayed, and placed on probation for two years on the condition that he actually be suspended for nine months and until he makes restitution.
If the period of suspension continues for two years or longer, he will remain actually suspended until he has provided proof of his rehabilitation, fitness to practice and learning and ability in the general law.
He also was ordered to comply with Rule 955 and pass the CPRE. The order took effect Dec. 1, 1995.
Ramos was employed by the widow and four children of a man who was killed in an auto accident on his way to work. He was hired to represent them in a wrongful death action and all other related rights and probate matters arising from the accident.
Ramos performed the legal work, deposited the $44,000 insurance settlement in his client trust account and disbursed to himself the agreed fees of 33 percent.
However, he failed to promptly disburse the trust funds to his clients, failed to maintain the full amount of the undistributed funds in his client trust account and misappropriated some funds.
He eventually reimbursed and maintained the full amount of the undisbursed funds.
Ramos' retainer agreement of 33 percent of the insurance proceeds and the decedent's $1,900 tax refund were considered "grossly unconscionable" in proportion to the value and type of services he performed.
Ramos has made partial restitution and will refund the remaining $20,000, with interest, to his former clients.
In mitigation, Ramos promptly admitted his misconduct and agreed to refund unearned legal fees. He also displayed candor and cooperated with the bar's investigation, stipulating to the bar's recommended discipline.
In addition, many individuals from his church and past clients submitted letters of recommendation in his support.
ANDREW THOMAS KETTERSON ALLER [#114099], 36, of San Diego was suspended for three years, stayed, and placed on probation for three years with a six-month actual suspension.
Credit toward the period of actual suspension was given for the period of interim suspension which began March 24, 1995.
He was ordered to pass the CPRE and comply with Rule 955. The order took effect Dec. 3, 1995.
On the evening of Aug. 27, 1993, Aller drove his car after drinking alcohol and struck and seriously injured a pedestrian. He was charged with felony hit and run driving and driving under the influence of alcohol. He pleaded guilty to the first count and the district attorney dismissed the second count.
Because evidence was submitted to the state showing that Aller did not knowingly and intentionally leave the scene of an accident, his misconduct did not involve moral turpitude, but was considered "other misconduct warranting discipline."
In aggravation, he was convicted of driving under the influence in 1992, demonstrating a pattern of misconduct, and his current misconduct caused serious physical injury to a member of the public. When the August incident took place, he was on criminal probation for the 1992 violation.
In mitigation, Aller was admitted to the bar in 1984 and has no prior record of discipline.
He cooperated with the police when he learned of the incident and cooperated with the insurance company for prompt economic redress for the victim.
He also was candid and cooperative with the bar in its investigation. In addition, he took immediate steps to enroll in a substance abuse recovery program.
KEVIN BRIAN CONNOLLY [#76107], 45, of Irvine was suspended for two years, stayed, and placed on probation for two years, effective Dec. 8, 1995. He was ordered to pass the CPRE.
Connolly's misconduct involved client trust account violations and failure to supervise his staff.
About one month after an insurance settlement check cleared, he distributed the funds to his client but had not paid six medical lien holders.
Prior to distributing the remainder of the funds, his client trust account fell below the required balance on five separate occasions.
During this period, Connolly's clerical staff mismanaged his client trust account and in several instances paid medical providers from his general office account rather than his client trust account.
In aggravation, Connolly has a prior record of discipline. In 1989, he received a two-year stayed suspension with two years probation for misleading advertising conduct in 1983.
In mitigation, he was candid and cooperative with bar investigators and responded to inquiries promptly.
The mismanagement of his client trust account was limited to a brief period in 1993 when he was involved with an "intense" trial.
Appropriate payments were made within 120 days of Connolly's receipt of the settlement draft and prior to being contacted by the bar.
MICHAEL M. KIMBROUGH [#129110], 34, of Banning was suspended for two years, stayed, and placed on probation for two years with three months actual suspension. He also must make restitution, pass the CPRE and comply with Rule 955. The order was effective Dec. 8, 1995.
Kimbrough's misconduct involved eight different matters and included failure to communicate, perform legal services competently, promptly refund unearned fees and improper withdrawal.
In several instances, Kimbrough neglected to inform clients when he moved the location of his law office.
On one occasion, Kimbrough was hired to represent a couple in a bankruptcy action, but failed to return their phone calls during a two month period. They eventually filed their own bankruptcy petition and requested a return of Kimbrough's fees.
Unaware that the couple had filed their own petition, Kimbrough filed a second petition, causing the bankruptcy court to hold a hearing regarding the duplication. Kimbrough failed to appear at the hearing, the second petition was dismissed and he was ordered to refund the advanced fees to his clients. He failed to comply with the court order.
In aggravation, Kimbrough was culpable of multiple acts of wrongdoing involving several clients during 1993 and 1994. His actions harmed three clients who lost their causes of action due to his misconduct.
In mitigation, Kimbrough's prior discipline-free record was accorded little weight because he had only been practicing law for six years before the misconduct began.
Kimbrough experienced several personal problems during this period which seriously affected his law practice. In addition to financial difficulties, his marriage broke up and there was a death in his immediate family.
SAMUEL JAIME MENDEZ [#135549], 39, of Huntington Park was suspended for three years, stayed, and placed on probation for three years on the condition that he actually be suspended for one year and until he has provided proof that he returned files to three clients or provided a statement, under penalty of perjury, of his efforts to locate the files.
Should the period of actual suspension exceed two years, he will remain suspended until he has provided proof of his rehabilitation and learning and ability in the general law.
He also was ordered to pass the CPRE and comply with Rule 955. The order took effect Dec. 8, 1995.
In its decision, the hearing department of the State Bar Court found Mendez culpable of wilfully failing to perform services, communicate with and return files to clients, and he improperly withdrew from representation.
He also threatened disciplinary action to obtain an advantage in a civil dispute, failed to cooperate with the bar's investigation and neglected to keep his address current with the bar's membership department.
In one instance, Mendez was employed in 1992 to represent a client in a personal injury matter involving an auto accident. He failed to comply with local court rules, resulting in the dismissal of the case in March 1994.
The client began experiencing problems in communicating with Mendez in April 1993 and at one point unsuccessfully tried to reach him eight times.
He went to Mendez' office twice and left notes asking Mendez to contact him. On another visit the office was vacant.
Eventually, the person who referred the client to Mendez called and told him that Mendez was no longer practicing law, would be working in Mexico and that Mendez would call him to arrange the return of his file.
The client never received his file and hired another attorney who obtained a court order setting aside the dismissal of the client's case.
Mendez' misconduct began only 17 months after he was admitted to the bar.
Considered significant in the discipline decision was Mendez' indifference and abandonment, "clearly demonstrated by the fact that he, in essence, walked away from his practice, taking with him the clients' files."
JANIE WOODS LARKIN [#99588], 57, of Elk Grove was suspended for two years, stayed, and placed on probation for two years with 90 days actual suspension, effective Dec. 16, 1995. She was ordered to pass the CPRE.
In a default hearing, the hearing department of the State Bar Court found Larkin culpable of abandonment of a case, and failure to return unearned fees, communicate with her client and cooperate with the bar's investigation.
Larkin was employed by a client in 1988 to represent her in divorce proceedings. The client made periodic fee payments through 1992, but discovered Larkin had moved her office when she attempted to contact her regarding the status of her case.
After contacting the State Bar, she learned of Larkin's new address and telephone number and contacted her. Larkin assured her that the divorce would be completed quickly and promised to send her final papers.
However, the client never received the papers and learned that Larkin had moved out of California. She eventually took steps to complete her divorce on her own.
Larkin's misconduct resulted in her client incurring thousands of dollars of debt and postponement of her wedding, which added to her stress.
Considered a mitigating circumstance was Larkin's discipline-free record of 14 years of law practice.
However, noted as aggravating circumstances were her indifference toward rectification of her misconduct and failure to maintain a current address with the bar.
JOYCE ANN COLEMAN [#130949], 55, of Laytonville was suspended for four years, stayed, and placed on probation for four years on the condition that she actually be suspended for three years and until she has shown proof of her rehabilitation, fitness to practice and learning and ability in the general law.
Credit was given for the period of interim suspension beginning June 15, 1993. She was ordered to pass the CPRE within one year or within the period of actual suspension, whichever is longer, following the effective date of the order, Dec. 17, 1995.
In 1993, Coleman was convicted in Sonoma County Superior Court of possession for sale of and cultivating marijuana.
Law enforcement officials found two marijuana gardens growing on Coleman's property in Santa Rosa, enclosed in chicken wire and camouflaged with brush. Officials estimated approximately 1,000 pounds of marijuana was growing, with a street value of $4,000 to $10,000, depending on where it was sold.
Marijuana found in and around the house was less than one ounce and no evidence of paraphernalia for processing, packaging or smoking was found.
Coleman stipulated that the facts and circumstances surrounding her convictions involved moral turpitude.
This conviction referral matter was consolidated with another matter in which Coleman also stipulated that she failed to comply with Rule 955 when she was placed on interim suspension as a result of her convictions.
A member of the bar since 1987, Coleman has no prior record of discipline.
GREGORY E. GRANTHAM [#125732], 38, of Dana Point was suspended for six months, stayed, and placed on probation for two years, effective Dec. 17, 1995. He was ordered to pass the CPRE.
Grantham allowed his client trust account to fall below the required balance, commingled funds, failed to keep a client informed about the status of his case and failed to perform legal services competently.
In one matter, during the course of representing a client in a lawsuit against a home construction company, Grantham failed to make an appearance at a bankruptcy court hearing because his wife went into labor. He neglected to arrange for another attorney to cover for him or to notify the court of his inability to appear.
He failed to inform his client that an order to show cause hearing was set and subsequently failed to inform him of the dismissal of the case.
Grantham and his client eventually reached an agreement whereby Grantham paid the client the reasonable value of his lawsuit.
In a second case, he advanced trust funds to a client erroneously, but in good faith, because he believed sufficient funds would be forthcoming shortly. The funds were advanced to the client to prevent the foreclosure of the client's home.
In mitigation, Grantham was candid and cooperated with the bar's investigation. Among other things, he promptly produced his client trust account records and other documents requested by the bar.
Grantham has since made changes in the management of his client trust account. During the period of his misconduct, he was caring for his terminally ill father and experiencing significant stress.
ROBERT W.M. CROSS [#52305], 50, of Selma was suspended for one year, stayed, and placed on probation for two years, including an actual suspension of 30 days, effective Dec. 17, 1995.
Cross was disciplined for practicing law while on involuntary inactive enrollment. Since he neglected to open any mail from the State Bar, Cross was unaware that he had been involuntarily enrolled as an inactive member at the time he made a court appearance for a client.
In aggravation, Cross has a prior record of discipline. He was privately reproved in 1991 and later received a 90-day stayed suspension in 1993 when he did not meet probation conditions of the 1991 private reproval.
In September 1994, he received a two-year stayed suspension with six months actual suspension and three years probation for misconduct in two client matters.
In October 1994, his probation was revoked and the 90-day stayed suspension was imposed after he failed to file three quarterly probation reports.
In mitigation, Cross suffered extreme emotional difficulties at the time of his misconduct, including the serious illness of his son.
In May 1995, he voluntarily began a treatment program with a clinical psychologist in a effort to address his problems with stress.
With the assistance of his probation monitor, he has set up a law office management plan and accounting system. In addition, he has completed approximately 56 hours of MCLE classes.
NICO CHARISSE [#74248], 54, of Paso Robles was suspended for 18 months, stayed, and placed on probation for three years, effective Dec. 17, 1995. He was ordered to pass the CPRE.
Charisse's misconduct involved three separate clients and included failing to properly maintain and supervise his client trust account, keep clients informed about the status of their case, perform legal services competently, and improper withdrawal from representation.
In one instance, Charisse was employed by a client who maintained that trees in his orchard were damaged by a crop dusting company. Charisse filed the complaint but did not comply with fast track rules; the case was dismissed and he was sanctioned for failing to appear at a hearing.
His client was unsuccessful at many attempts to check on the status of his case and Charisse did not tell him that the case was dismissed. The client requested an accounting and refund of unearned fees, which Charisse neglected to do.
In mitigation, Charisse was suffering from extreme clinical depression which was exacerbated by a personal family law matter, including a child custody fight.
Charisse was suffering from alcoholism at the time of his misconduct, but has received inpatient treatment and is involved in a continuing program of sobriety. He has been a member of the bar since 1977 with no prior record of discipline.
ANDREW MILTON BAKKER [#92493], 52, of Los Angeles was suspended for six months, stayed, and placed on probation for one year, effective Dec. 17, 1995. He was ordered to pass the CPRE.
Bakker's misconduct involved failure to communicate, supervise his staff, retain entrusted funds in his client trust account, pay medical liens, and commingling and improper withdrawal.
In one instance, a member of Bakker's staff erroneously told a medical provider that a case had not been settled when in fact it had. After a disciplinary complaint was filed against him, Bakker paid the provider.
In an immigration matter, Bakker missed a hearing and his client was ordered deported. Although Bakker investigated reversing the order, he did not communicate with his client regarding her case.
In mitigation, Bakker was admitted to the bar in 1980 and has no prior record of discipline. In 1991, he hired an accountant and took other corrective measures to properly maintain his client trust account.
WALTER PERCY WILLIAMS [#118862], 68, of Los Angeles was suspended for three years, stayed, placed on three years of probation and was ordered to take the CPRE within one year. The order took effect Dec. 17, 1995.
In 13 consolidated cases, Williams stipulated to numerous instances of failing to communicate with clients and complete their cases.
In some cases, he did not return files to clients, allowed the statute of limitations to run, improperly withdrew from representation without protecting his clients' interests, and told one client her case had been filed when in fact it was dismissed.
In several instances, Williams worked through an organization called Executive Legal Services, which was operated by a non-lawyer who sometimes represented Williams. Williams therefore aided in the unauthorized practice of law.
He was sanctioned by courts on three occasions, but did not report two of the sanctions to the State Bar as required.
In a class action case in which he represented the plaintiffs, his three clients have not heard from him since they hired him. He filed a class action complaint, but never named any of his clients as class members.
He failed to take steps to avoid prejudice to their potential claim for damages or keep them reasonably informed of the status of the case.
FREDERICK ROBERT PALUMBO [#92041], 42, of San Diego was suspended for three years, stayed, and placed on five years probation with an actual two-year suspension and until he makes restitution to four clients and proves his rehabilitation. He also was ordered to take the CPRE and to comply with Rule 955. The order took effect Dec. 17, 1995.
Palumbo stipulated to misconduct in eight consolidated cases, most involving problems with his client trust account. He commingled personal funds with settlement funds he received for his clients, misappropriated funds, failed to pay medical liens and wrote numerous checks for insufficient funds.
In addition, Palumbo was placed on inactive status for about two weeks in 1993 as a result of his failure to comply with continuing education requirements and practiced law during that time.
He was disciplined in 1991 following his convictions for battery, violations of a court order and trespass in a domestic altercation with his wife.
SUZANNE QUINE MALTIN [#104084], 52, of Austin, Texas, was suspended for three years, stayed, and placed on three years of probation with an actual two-year suspension and until she proves rehabilitation, fitness to practice and learning and ability in the law. The suspension began Dec. 20, 1995, and the period of probation will begin after she successfully proves her rehabilitation.
In addition, Maltin was ordered to take the CPRE and comply with Rule 955.
Maltin stipulated that she failed to perform legal services competently during the course of her employment as a subcontractor with San Benito County to represent indigent criminal defendants.
Maltin, who had little experience in criminal law, was hired by attorney Robert Pinto, the sole contractor in San Benito for indigent criminal defense, to help him with his caseload in 1988. She was eventually assigned the bulk of his caseload - 1504 cases in 1990 - when Pinto ran for justice court judge. Their shared secretary, who eventually was fired, did not properly file cases, leaving Maltin without adequate assistance in processing her cases.
In addition, during most of 1990, Maltin worked as the city attorney for San Juan Capistrano and handled two other client matters.
Although Pinto lost the election and resumed his work contracting for public defense cases, Maltin's workload remained unmanageable and she became ill. She did not provide adequate legal services to many clients and was frequently inadequately prepared for court.
She sought help from Pinto and the courts but was eventually fired by Pinto. (The San Benito County grand jury has since recommended that the public defender's office be staffed by at least three attorneys, which has been accomplished.)
Maltin subsequently was contacted by the attorney of a client she represented in a jury trial which resulted in a rape conviction and 21-year prison sentence. Maltin indicated that in that case, she provided no discovery, conducted virtually no investigation, failed to obtain the victim's rap sheet, filed no motions in limine, submitted no jury instructions and was unable to concentrate during the trial. The guilty verdict was set aside after a habeas corpus hearing.
Maltin had no discipline record since her admission to the bar in 1982 and she cooperated with the investigation.
JOHN MICHAEL CALVERT [#68733], 52, of Torrance was suspended for six months, stayed, placed on probation for two years and ordered to take the CPRE. The order took effect Dec. 20, 1995.
The State Bar Court found that Calvert committed multiple acts of misconduct, including failing to perform legal services competently, communicate with clients and return a client's file.
Calvert was a personal injury and workers' compensation attorney. When he signed on with a local "injury hotline," his caseload increased dramatically.
The State Bar charged Calvert with failure to perform legal services competently, alleging that he agreed to accept cases from the injury hotline even though he lacked sufficient time, resources and ability to handle the cases.
The bar also alleged that because of the large volume of cases, Calvert could not communicate with the clients or respond to their inquiries.
However, the State Bar Court said bar attorneys did not present "clear and convincing evidence" to support the charges with respect to Calvert's entire practice.
At the same time, it found misconduct with respect to several individual clients.
In two cases, he did not communicate with his clients for two and four years, respectively, and in another matter, he failed to appear at three scheduled depositions.
Calvert's misconduct included multiple acts of wrongdoing, he harmed a client, and according to a judge who testified before the court, he has a poor reputation among judges because of his numerous failures to appear.
In mitigation, Calvert has no prior discipline, was candid and cooperative with the State Bar, presented evidence of good character and has taken affirmative steps to change the nature of his caseload and improve office management.
JOSE CHAVEZ JR. [#91635], 41, of Los Angeles was suspended for four years, stayed, and placed on five years of probation with an actual three-year suspension and until he makes restitution to 10 clients and proves rehabilitation. He was ordered to take the CPRE and comply with Rule 955. The order took effect Dec. 20, 1995.
Chavez was charged with 33 counts of misconduct in 24 consolidated cases.
Between 198791, Chavez accepted a large volume of workers' compensation, personal injury, civil and criminal cases. His office manager accepted numerous cases without telling Chavez. He frequently was unaware that a court appearance was scheduled or that a client had called or requested a file. In some cases, Chavez misrepresented the status of the case to the client.
In 1991, he contacted other attorneys to take over some of his cases, but his clients were not notified and substitution of attorney forms were not executed.
At the same time, Chavez did not properly maintain his client trust account and 39 checks were written against insufficient funds.
In mitigation, Chavez experienced a number of tragedies during the time in question. His brother and nephew were murdered, he was divorced after many years of attempted reconciliation, and he became estranged from his parents despite his efforts to help them with numerous problems.
He is deeply remorseful and has tried to make restitution to some clients. He also was candid and cooperative with the State Bar.
RAMON STANLEY KUZBICKI [#94059], 42, of Whittier was suspended for five years, stayed, and placed on five years probation with an actual one-year suspension and until he makes restitution and proves rehabilitation. The order took effect Dec. 20, 1995.
Kuzbicki stipulated to numerous violations, including client trust account violations and failure to perform legal services competently.
He also stipulated that his criminal conviction for giving false information to a police officer involved moral turpitude. He was sentenced to 90 days in county jail as a result of the conviction.
In one case, Kuzbicki failed to file a bankruptcy petition he was hired to complete and never returned advance attorneys' fees. He misappropriated more than $30,000 from his client trust account to pay legal and other bills while he was in jail.
In a probation revocation matter, Kuzbicki was previously suspended and placed on probation following criminal convictions for possession of controlled substances and failure to perform for six clients and pay out funds. He violated the probation by failing to attend ethics school or complete a law office management course.
L. BURKE LEWIS [#114021], 49, of Vancouver, British Columbia, was suspended for five years, stayed, and placed on five years probation with an actual suspension of two years and until he makes restitution to a consultant in a civil case and proves his rehabilitation. He must take the CPRE and comply with Rule 955. The order took effect Dec. 20, 1995.
In a civil case, Lewis failed to notify his client of a scheduled deposition and instead filed a motion for a protective order. The motion was denied and Lewis was sanctioned $1,000. In addition, he, his cocounsel and his client were ordered to pay the $1,400 cost of a discovery referee.
Lewis did not notify his client of the sanction or orders; instead his co-counsel asked the client for $700 to pay for the referee's services.
Although a settlement agreement was reached, Lewis did not send the documents to his client promptly and the statute of limitations lapsed. The client had to hire a new attorney.
In another civil case in which he represented the plaintiffs, Lewis named as a defendant an individual who was not involved in any way. The individual later sued Lewis and won $500,000 in compensatory damages and $100,000 in punitive damages. Lewis had not satisfied the judgment at the time the bar filed charges against him.
In a third matter, he failed to pay a financial consultant on a case. The client was directed by Lewis to transfer part of the fee to the non-trust account of Lewis' law partner and former wife. The consultant brought a civil action against Lewis for fees and Lewis falsely denied under oath that the client had paid any of the consultant's fees. A judgment was entered against Lewis in favor of the consultant.
When the client hired a new attorney, Lewis would not turn over the files.
His misconduct included misappropriation, failure to surrender client files, perform legal services, communicate with clients, abide by a court's orders, or maintain a current address with the bar.
GREGORY TADD SMYTH [#92940], 44, of Dana Point was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on probation for two years with a six-month actual suspension and was ordered to take the CPRE within one year and comply with Rule 955. The order took effect Dec. 20, 1995.
In three landlord-tenant matters Smyth handled for one client, he either deceived his client or knowingly failed to present evidence favorable to the client in an appeal.
In another count, he represented a client in five matters. During the litigation of three of the cases, Smyth failed to respond to hearing dates, arbitration dates, discovery and motions to compel, resulting in sanction orders. He misinformed his client about the status of cases, telling him they were progressing well and not telling him of the discovery motions, trial dates or sanctions.
As a result of his deception and inactivity, default judgments and sanctions totalling $40,000 were entered against his client in three cases.
Smyth told the client he would appeal but never did.
In mitigation, Smyth has been a member of the bar since 1980 without discipline. He reported his misconduct to the bar before his clients were aware it.
WALTER WENKO [#93053], 51, of Arcadia was suspended for 30 days, stayed, and placed on probation for one year. The order took effect Dec. 20, 1995.
Although several charges the bar had brought against Wenko were dismissed, he stipulated that he failed to respond to the bar's letters to him about allegations of professional misconduct or cooperate with its investigation. Wenko has no prior record of discipline.
KEVIN SCOTT WASHBURN [#78504], 47, of Piedmont was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on one year of probation and ordered to take the CPRE within one year. The order took effect Dec. 20, 1995.
Washburn stipulated that he failed to provide competent legal services and communicate with a client in a wrongful death suit and that he misled a court.
Washburn was associated by another attorney to handle a wrongful death case against the Oakland School District and an individual who killed a high school student.
Washburn failed to respond to interrogatories and the case was dismissed. The client learned of the dismissal from a court clerk when she appeared in court, expecting the case to go to trial.
After a motion for reconsideration was denied, Washburn filed an appeal on behalf of the client, placing the name of the other attorney on the papers without that attorney's knowledge or permission.
In mitigation, he has no record of discipline in 17 years of practice and believed the other attorney would have wanted to be included in the appeal.
He has closed his law practice to pursue pro bono legislative work for crime victims' rights and is involved in public education on safety in schools.
MICHAEL JUDSON BIGLOW [#47473], 50, of Fresno was suspended for six months, stayed, placed on probation for two years and ordered to take the CPRE within one year. The order took effect Dec. 29,1995.
Biglow was given a private reproval in 1994 and was ordered to attend ethics school, complete four hours of MCLE law office management courses and take the CPRE.
His failure to timely comply with those conditions led to the new suspension order.
THOMAS J. DIXON [#146405], 50, of Sacramento was suspended for two years, stayed, and placed on two years probation with a one-year actual suspension and an order to make restitution. He also must take the CPRE within one year and comply with Rule 955. The order took effect Dec. 29, 1995.
Dixon stipulated that he misappropriated client funds twice, commingled funds by using client trust account money to pay personal debts, bounced a check on his client trust account, and failed to promptly pay a medical lien, do the work for which he was hired, return unearned advanced legal fees or cooperate with the bar's investigation.
In mitigation, Dixon has no prior record of discipline since his admission to the bar in 1990. He also paid the medical lien.
ALBERT J. GARCIA [#70917], 47, of Los Angeles was suspended for five years, stayed, placed on probation for five years with a one-year actual suspension, and was ordered to take the CPRE within one year. Credit toward the actual suspension will be given for the period of interim suspension which began Jan. 31, 1995. The order took effect Dec. 29, 1995.
Garcia, who was a municipal court judge in Los Angeles at the time, pleaded no contest in 1994 to charges of vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence, and felony hit and run. He was given a suspended sentence of three years in prison and spent four months in the county jail. He resigned from the bench in July 1994.
After a long lunch and several glasses of wine, Garcia lost control of his car and his girlfriend was killed. Distraught over her death, he wandered away from the scene of the accident. He made several phone calls from a nearby pay phone and waited there for several hours for a friend to meet him. He surrendered to police that evening; his blood alcohol level was .10 percent at the time of his arrest.
The facts surrounding Garcia's conviction did not involve moral turpitude but did constitute other misconduct warranting discipline.
In mitigation, Garcia cooperated with the investigation, offered a wide range of good character letters, and reached a civil settlement with the victim's family requiring a substantial monetary contribution on his part. He practiced law for 10 years before becoming a judge.
JOSEPH M. MONTOYA III [#86477], 42, of Paramount was suspended for 90 days, stayed, and placed on one year of probation with an actual 60-day suspension and until he proves rehabilitation. Probation will begin Jan. 27, 1998, and the actual suspension began Dec. 29, 1995, when the order took effect.
While Montoya was suspended from practice as a result of discipline imposed in 1992, he accepted a divorce case without informing the client of his suspension. Although he hired another attorney to file the dissolution documents, he accepted a fee which he deposited in his client trust account.
In addition to the 1992 discipline, Montoya was suspended and placed on probation in 1994 and has another suspension order pending.
His previous offenses include failure to communicate with clients, perform legal services competently, supervise an employee, provide a financial accounting to a client, keep his address current and cooperate with the bar's investigation.
LARRY E. NEWTON [#74840], 53, of Long Beach was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on one year of probation and ordered to take the CPRE within one year. The order took effect Dec. 29, 1995.
Newton was publicly reproved in 1992 but did not comply with some conditions of the reproval. He failed the CPRE and did not retake it, and although he took several law office management classes, he did not provide proof of compliance to the State Bar Court within one year.
He received an extension to take the professional responsibility exam, but never did so.
He originally was disciplined for failing to perform in two cases for a client and lending the client funds without complying with the rules regulating such conduct.
In mitigation, he admitted his misconduct and responded immediately to the bar's investigation.
LEE ALLEN WARSAW [#54760], 51, of Santa Monica was suspended for two years, stayed, and placed on two years probation with an actual one-year suspension and until he makes restitution to two clients. If the actual suspension exceeds two years, he must prove rehabilitation. He also was ordered to take the CPRE within one year and comply with Rule 955. The order took effect Dec. 29, 1995.
The State Bar Court found that Warsaw committed misconduct in five separate counts.
In two matters, he failed to perform legal services competently and withdrew from employment without protecting his client's interests. He also failed to refund advanced attorney's fees.
Warsaw also practiced law while on administrative suspension for failing to complete his continuing education requirements, failed to perform competently, return files or refund advanced fees in another matter, and did not cooperate with the bar's investigation.
STANLEY SAMUEL FEINSTEIN [#34243], 63, of Chatsworth was placed on interim suspension Nov. 14, 1995, following his conviction for sexual battery. He was ordered to comply with Rule 955.
EDUARDO ZAMARRIPA [#106671], 40, of Rowland Heights was placed on interim suspension Nov. 25, 1995, following his conviction of violating Business & Professions Code §6126(b), a felony. He was ordered to comply with Rule 955.
WELDON REEVES [#62485], 50, of Sacramento was placed on interim suspension Nov. 30, 1995, following his conviction for aiding and abetting and making a false statement in a bankruptcy petition. The State Bar Court has recommended that he be summarily disbarred. He was ordered to comply with Rule 955.
RICHARD H. BILLINGS [#35842], 62, of Elizabeth, Colo. (Nov. 3, 1995)
BRUCE BRIGHT [#127315], 38, of Los Angeles (Nov. 3, 1995)
CLAUDE F. COOPER [#42015], 63, of Oakland (Nov. 3, 1995)
WAYNE BOYCE HARBARGER III [#68980], 46, of Sacramento (Nov. 3, 1995)
JOSEPH STEPHEN O'CONNELL [#57920], 50, of Manhattan Beach (Nov. 3, 1995)
THOMAS MICHAEL PATTERSON [#127222], 41, of Westminster (Nov. 3, 1995)
STANTON GILMORE WARE [#28245], 65, of Watsonville (Nov. 3, 1995)
HOYLE H. KIGER [#141663], 43, of Westlake Village (Nov. 12, 1995)
MARK ADAIR RONEY [#109724], 39, of Los Angeles (Nov. 12, 1995)
STUART MARK SHERMAN [#128373], 36, of Los Angeles (Nov. 12, 1995)
FREDERICK ALLEN CONE [#34066], 62, of Mill Valley (Nov. 24, 1995)
FRED HENRY ARM [#50027], 59, of Los Angeles (Dec. 1, 1995)
HARRY ARTHUR CONNICK [#30418], 72, of Novato (Dec. 1, 1995)
ELIZABETH D. MERCER [#157600], 40, of Santa Cruz (Dec. 1, 1995)
CARLOS MARIO HERNANDEZ [#90450], 48, of Santa Ana (Dec. 8, 1995)
JEFFREY ALAN JOSEPH [#80230], 44, of Marina Del Rey (Dec. 8, 1995)
MASALINE TSWAGO [#135200], 52, of Walnut (Dec. 17, 1995)
JACK F. HANNIG [#30141], 67, of Los Angeles (Oct. 11, 1995)
DALE C. MILLER [#25735], 71, of Riverside (Nov. 16, 1995)
SUSPENSION/FAILURE TO PASS CPRE
CAREY F. SCOTT [#56080], 53, of Los Angeles (Oct. 31, 1995)
DON HUU DAO [#152772], 33, of Newport Beach (Oct. 31, 1995)
HENRY DANIEL FANDEY [#76363], 42, of Los Angeles (Nov. 6, 1995)
ERNEST SOSNICK [#51621], 53, of Beverly Hills (Dec. 5, 1995)
KRISTI K. FREDERICKSON [#127680], 43, of Santa Cruz (Dec. 5, 1995)
RODERICK GEORGE BOUYER [#112926], 41, of Sherman Oaks (Dec. 5, 1995)
MADELINE NISSEN [#80405], 62, of Oakland (Dec. 16, 1995)
STEVEN JEFFREY SCHWARTZ [#67458], 47, of Mission Hills (Dec. 16, 1995)
HOWARD FRANK POTTER [#30244], 65, of Los Angeles (Dec. 19, 1995)
RICHARD DOUGLAS WORSLEY [#56306], 56, of Norco (Dec. 19, 1995)
RALPH DANIEL DRAYTON [#23968], 67, of Sacramento (Dec. 20, 1995)