License canceled for failure to disclose felony charges

In a highly unusual move, the Supreme Court canceled the license of EDMUND C. IKE [#158895], 48, of Inglewood to practice law because he misled the State Bar's admissions committee. Ike was awaiting trial on nine felony counts in Los Angeles in 1992 when he was seeking admission to the bar but did not notify admissions officials of the charges as required.

After his admission, he pleaded guilty to two counts, and the State Bar Court found that his crimes made him "manifestly unfit to practice law."

A bar court hearing judge recommended in 1994 that Ike's license be cancelled or that he be disbarred, and he appealed. The court's review department upheld the hearing judge's recommendation and the cancellation of his license took effect Oct. 18, 1996.

Ike had already taken the bar exam eight times when he was arrested in 1991 and charged with forgery, grand theft and conspiracy. He later was also charged with a special allegation of theft of more than $25,000.

As a payroll supervisor at a medical school, he stole and cashed 17 checks amounting to more than $23,000.

In June 1992, when Ike was admitted to practice, he was awaiting trial. He pleaded guilty to two counts, felony grand theft and felony conspiracy to commit grand theft, in March 1993 and informed the bar of his conviction within 30 days.

The review department rejected Ike's arguments that the hearing judge erred regarding mitigation and the license cancellation. In particular, Ike contended that the hearing judge's recommendation that his license be cancelled was inappropriate.

The court noted that he failed to disclose his arrest and pending trial on nine separate applications, but had disclosed that he was arrested in 1989 on insurance fraud charges which were dismissed.

Ike's "failure to disclose material facts to the [admissions] committee in response to its clear request for such disclosure in [his] initial application reflected bad faith and amounted to a fraud upon the Supreme Court," wrote review Judge Ronald Stovitz.

In addition, Stovitz affirmed the lower court's findings of these aggravating factors:

"This meritless argument is an aggravating circumstance," wrote Stovitz, "because it patently demonstrates that [Ike] lacks insight into the wrongfulness of his actions and that he has not accepted responsibility for them."