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Lawyers Professional Liability Insurance Program 
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CAUTION!!

Nearly 160,900 attorneys are eligible to practice law in California. Many attorneys share the same names.

All discipline reports should be read carefully for names, ages, addresses and bar numbers. Attorneys must report address changes within 30 days.


Disbarments

HENRY D. FANDEY [#76363], 44, of Los Angeles was disbarred April 4, 1998, and ordered to comply with rule 955 of the California Rules of Court.

Fandey failed to comply with an earlier rule 955 requirement; he did not file with the Supreme Court an affidavit stating that he notified all clients and pertinent parties of his prior suspension from practice.

His original discipline resulted from misconduct involving six clients in New Mexico. Fandey failed to perform legal services or communicate with his clients and he closed his office without notifying the clients.

He also has a prior record of discipline in California, stemming from a single client matter in which he aided and abetted a client's flight from California to avoid paying a child support order. He also improperly obtained an interest in a client's property and entered into a business transaction with a client.

"It would undermine the integrity of the disciplinary system and damage public confidence in the legal profession," wrote State Bar Court Judge Michael D. Marcus, "if [Fandey] were not disbarred for his unexplained wilful disobedience of the Supreme Court's order."

Fandey did not participate in the proceedings.

EUGENE CHARLES GOLDMAN [#82177], 49, of Encino was disbarred April 4, 1998, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

While handling a divorce case for a client, Goldman received about $55,000 which he was to hold in trust for his client's purchase of her ex-husband's equity in their home. Instead, Goldman misappropriated the money.

He never returned the money or completed the purchase of the home for his client.

Goldman has a prior record of discipline. In 1995, he received a six-month stayed suspension and 18 months of probation after stipulating that he received $110,000 in settlement funds but failed to pay his client's medical expenses. His client trust account fell below the required amount in that case.

In a second discipline, Goldman was placed on actual suspension when he failed to comply with the probation requirements of the first matter.

The entry of his default in the newest case, coupled with his prior discipline, misappropriation of a significant amount of money from a client and the lack of any mitigating factors led to Goldman's disbarment.

HUNSDON CARY STEWART [#46008], 54, of Los Angeles was disbarred April 11, 1998, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

Stewart was charged with seven counts of misconduct, involving misuse of his client trust account and two instances of failing to pay or report sanctions imposed on him by the courts.

The first sanction, in the amount of $1,000, was imposed in 1994. Stewart appealed the sanction but never paid it or reported it to the State Bar.

The second sanction, in the amount of $3,595, was imposed against both Stewart and his clients in 1995 and was to be paid within 30 days. He did not pay the sanction or report it to the bar, but argued he did not need to report it because he believed bar prosecutors were aware of various sanctions against him.

Stewart was suspended at the time the sanction was imposed, and had no resources to pay the amount owed, but he made no effort to inform the court or have the sanction reduced.

The misuse of his client trust account arose because Stewart deposited personal funds into the account six times and paid personal debts or extended loans with those funds by writing 29 checks.

There were no mitigating circumstances.

Stewart has a prior record of discipline and has been continuously suspended since July 1992. He was suspended for 90 days that year for failing to perform legal services competently or pay out entrusted funds on demand, commingling personal and entrusted funds, and misappropriating $1,000 in client funds.

He was disciplined in 1994 following a criminal conviction for battery of a police officer during a domestic dispute.

Stewart also has a pending discipline case as a result of multiple acts of wrongdoing over a significant time period.

Stewart "is woefully lacking in his appreciation or understanding of the basic ethical axioms that members of the State Bar must obey," wrote bar court Judge Eugene E. Brott in recommending disbarment. "[He] is unwilling or unable to conform his conduct to those ethical norms, and . . . as such, he represents a continuing risk with regard to further unethical behavior."

JEROME ANTHONY DeFILIPPO [#55578], 55, of San Francisco was disbarred April 16, 1998.

He did not comply with rule 955 by his failure to notify clients and pertinent parties of his prior suspension and submit an affidavit to that effect to the Supreme Court.

DeFilippo was privately reproved in 1993 for failing to diligently prosecute two personal injury cases on behalf of one client. When he did not comply with conditions of the reproval, and as the result of additional wrongdoing, he was given a stayed suspension and placed on probation for two years.

He then did not comply with the conditions of that probation, it was revoked, and DeFilippo was suspended for two years. The probation revocation order required compliance with rule 955.

WILLIAM SCHOFIELD MULLIN [#54194], 60, of San Diego was disbarred April 16, 1998, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

Mullin failed to comply with an earlier 955 order in a 1996 discipline matter. The misconduct in that case included failure to complete competent legal services, release to the client all papers and property, respond to status inquiries, keep his client informed of significant developments in the case, and cooperate with the bar's investigation. Mullin abandoned his clients completely.

He also was publicly reproved in 1986 for failing to perform the legal services for which he was hired and other violations.

SCOTT ANTHONY BLADEK [#165516], 32, of San Jose was disbarred April 19, 1998, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

Bladek was charged with 18 counts of misconduct, most involving his preparation of living trusts for clients.

The State Bar Court found that he failed to prepare a trust for one couple, and did not correct or amend trusts for three other clients, rendering the initial work he did largely without value.

The court found that he abandoned four clients after taking their fees, failed to communicate with those clients and two others, and failed to cooperate with the bar's investigation.

Bladek was admitted to practice for only three years before the misconduct began and he did not participate in the proceedings against him.

ALFONSO A. OLIVA [#107795], 46, of Los Angeles was disbarred April 19, 1998, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

The State Bar Court found that Oliva committed acts of wrongdoing in three consolidated cases including two conviction referral matters.

While employed to handle a personal injury matter, Oliva failed to pay his client the settlement funds to which he was entitled or to honor a medical lien. During the time he represented the client, he also was suspended from practice for a period of time as a result of his failure to pay bar dues and complete continuing education requirements.

In a second matter, Oliva pleaded no contest to obstructing a police officer after he interfered with a narcotics investigation next door to his home. He told a police officer that he represented his neighbors, although he did not.

The bar court found that Oliva's misrepresentation constituted an act of moral turpitude.

Oliva also pleaded no contest to the unauthorized practice of law in 1996, after he represented two defendants on separate occasions before the same judge.

There was no mitigation.

Oliva has a lengthy record of discipline, including a 1997 default proceeding involving the unauthorized practice of law which has not yet been finalized.

His record shows five suspensions for failure to pay bar dues, two inactive enrollments for failure to complete MCLE requirements, three more inactive orders last year for not responding to a notice of charges from the bar, three criminal convictions for a total of four counts of unauthorized law practice and one count of interfering with an officer. He also was placed on interim suspension for a criminal conviction last March.

KAREN RUCKER [#165653], 40, of Oakland was disbarred April 19, 1998, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

Rucker was disciplined last year in a default proceeding for failure to properly represent two clients. She was ordered to comply with rule 955 by notifying her clients and other pertinent parties of her suspension and to file an affidavit with the Supreme Court.

Her failure to comply with rule 955 resulted in the disbarment order.

BARRY RAY SMITH [#109959], 44, of Los Angeles was disbarred April 19, 1998, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

Smith's troubles began with a private reproval in 1994 as a result of his failure to return unearned fees to a client in a real estate case. The client had paid Smith more than $23,000, fired him, and won a fee arbitration award against Smith of more than $11,000.

Smith then sued his former client and the client's new attorney for fraud, but his client won summary judgment.

As part of the reproval, Smith was ordered to submit quarterly probation reports and make restitution payments to his client.

When he did not comply with those conditions, he was suspended and placed on probation, with similar requirements. Again he did not comply and did not keep his address current with the bar.

Smith did not participate in the disbarment proceeding.

COURTNEY L. TIPPIN [#135171], 45, of Torrance was disbarred April 19, 1998, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

The State Bar Court found Tippin committed 48 of 54 counts of misconduct charged by the bar in 17 consolidated matters.

The wrongdoing included nine failures to perform legal services competently, 11 failures to communicate, 10 improper withdrawals from employment, one failure to deposit funds into a client trust account, four failures to provide an accounting, one failure to return a client file, two failures to return fees, one failure to convey a written settlement offer, one failure to pay out monies and four failures to cooperate with a bar investigation.

The bar court found that Tippin's conduct, "which began only four years after she began practicing law, has been far-reaching. It involved 23 different clients over a period of four years," wrote hearing Judge Michael D. Marcus.

He singled out Tippin's dishonesty toward opposing counsel in a personal injury matter, her failure to make restitution of settlement funds she had not paid out, and the overall harm to her clients.

Five personal injury cases she handled were dismissed for failure to prosecute.

FREDERICK MICHAEL WALKER [#38357], 57, of Walnut Creek was disbarred April 19, 1998.

He failed to comply with rule 955, as ordered in a 1997 discipline in which his probation was revoked.

Originally disciplined in 1996 in a default proceeding, Walker was found to have aided a suspended attorney in the unauthorized practice of law. He also did not cooperate with the bar's investigation.

Walker's probation was revoked when he failed to file his first probation report. He had changed his address without notifying the bar, and notice of the probation violation was served at his official address.

SAMUEL N. ANYA-GAFU [#148421], 38, of Walnut Creek was disbarred April 25, 1998, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

In this default proceeding, Anya-Gafu misappropriated thousands of dollars from numerous clients and did not pay their share of settlement monies. He abused his client trust account by commingling personal and business funds and repeatedly allowed the balance of the account to drop below the required amount.

He did not refund unearned fees in one immigration case, and did not file another immigration matter or repay advanced fees of more than $1,900. When the client hired a new lawyer who told Anya-Gafu that his actions could constitute malpractice, Anya-Gafu told the attorney that if the matter were pursued, he "would be sorry" and the client would not receive a refund.

In a fraud scheme against a natural gas company, Anya-Gafu submitted false invoices for which the company paid more than $140,000 for deliveries of natural gas from Anya-Gafu to the company. The deliveries were never made.

In a civil matter, he misappropriated funds by skimming $500 from a client's settlement proceeds and taking a 40 percent fee instead of the 34 percent he originally agreed to. He only paid the client her funds after denying receipt of the settlement check for more than two weeks.

Between 1993-96, Anya-Gafu represented more than 200 claimants in a civil action arising from a toxic chemical spill in Contra Costa County. The court issued two restraining orders against him after the defendant found irregularities in signatures on claim questionnaires and releases submitted by clients, and found that Anya-Gafu had negotiated settlement checks without client endorsements. It was later discovered that one client executed multiple releases submitted for various claimants and that signatures on some releases did not match the signatures on the verification of claim questionnaires.

"There is no question that [Anya-Gafu] repeatedly violated his fiduciary duty to a number of clients and others," wrote State Bar Court Judge Eugene Brott in his disbarment recommendation. "His misconduct as to his clients alone was exceptionally egregious and repeatedly violated fundamental precepts of the attorney-client relationship."

Suspensions/Probation

CHARLES EDWARD SMITH, JR. [#152034], 57, of Oakland was suspended for six months, stayed, and placed on probation for one year, including 30 days of an actual suspension, effective March 5, 1998. He was ordered to pass the MPRE.

Smith failed to comply with conditions of a 1995 agreement in lieu of discipline, the result of his reckless failure to perform legal services competently in one matter. Having violated the agreement, he was found culpable of failure to render services.

No mitigating circumstances were found. Smith had been admitted to practice only about two years when his misconduct began, which is not considered a sufficient period to show the absence of a prior record of discipline.

In aggravation, he failed to participate in the current matter prior to entry of default. In addition, his misconduct harmed his client.

The bar's trial counsel had originally recommended a 90-day actual suspension with a one-year stayed suspension and two years of probation. However, the bar court hearing department considered that recommendation too severe.

The previously ordered probation of SUSAN PATRICIA KENNEY [#124609], 38, of San Francisco was extended for one year, effective March 21, 1998.

Kenney failed to submit a timely quarterly probation report, a requirement of 1996 discipline order.

In mitigation, Kenney cooperated with the bar's investigation and filed her report as soon as she was contacted by the bar.

Considered as an aggravating factor was her prior record of discipline involving the 1996 order.

RICHARD MICHAEL LADEN [#82188], 52, of Los Angeles was suspended for six months, stayed, and placed on probation for two years on the condition that he is actually suspended for 30 days and until he makes restitution, effective March 21, 1998.

If he remains actually suspended for 90 days or more, he must comply with rule 955 of the California Rules of Court. He was ordered to pass the MPRE.

As a condition of a 1993 private reproval, Laden was required to submit a legal malpractice matter filed by a former client to binding arbitration and honor the client's award of $21,350.

Laden was granted an extension of two years to satisfy the award, but he failed to pay the money he owed the client during the allotted period.

In aggravation, Laden has a prior record of discipline.

In mitigation, he cooperated with the bar's investigation. In addition, he suffered from severe financial stress at the time of his misconduct.

FRANKLIN K. MOORE [#134411], 36, of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, was suspended for one year, stayed, and placed on probation for two years, with a 90-day actual suspension, effective March 21, 1998. He was ordered to pass the MPRE and comply with rule 955.

In this decision, Moore was found culpable of failure to competently perform legal services and refund unearned fees to his client.

In addition, his misconduct involved moral turpitude as a result of misrepresentations to both his client and the State Bar in an effort to conceal his failure to perform.

Moore was hired by a client to represent him in a complaint against a former employee for embezzlement. Moore was unable to work out a settlement with the former employee and did not file the complaint as instructed by his client.

However, Moore misrepresented to the client that he had filed and served the complaint.

The client fired Moore, but was unsuccessful in obtaining a refund of unearned advanced fees. He brought a small claims court action against Moore and was awarded a judgment of $1,500 and costs of $40. The client agreed to accept $1,200 from Moore.

Moore's discipline-free prior record was not given significant weight in mitigation because he had practiced law for less than eight years when the misconduct occurred.

In aggravation, Moore was found culpable of multiple acts of misconduct.

HOWARD LESLIE HUSTED [#165328], 55, of Newbury Park was suspended for one year, stayed, and placed on probation for two years with conditions, including restitution and a 90-day actual suspension. He was ordered to pass the MPRE and comply with rule 955. The order was effective March 21, 1998.

Husted was found culpable of misconduct in three separate matters. In one case involving a personal injury matter arising from a traffic accident, he failed to respond to a client's case status inquiries, deposit a check for costs into his client trust account, cooperate with the bar's investigation and misappropriation.

In another matter, he did not perform legal services competently when he failed to appear for trial and respond to a settlement offer.

In addition, he also did not respond to a client's reasonable case status inquiries, failed to protect his client's interests before withdrawing from the case and did not respond to the bar's inquiry regarding the matter.

In a third case, Husted was hired to represent a man in a personal injury matter against a clothing manufacturer involving an eye injury from a drawstring on a jacket.

Husted sent one letter to the manufacturer and failed to follow through on the case by filing a complaint. He did not respond to the client's case inquiries, failed to return the client's file after he was fired and did not respond to the bar's inquiries regarding the matter.

Husted's misconduct involved multiple acts, considered a factor in aggravation. In addition, he did not cooperate with the bar's investigation prior to his entry of default and made no effort to rectify the consequences of his misconduct in one of the cases.

Husted's prior discipline-free record was not considered in mitigation because he was in practice less than two years before the misconduct took place in one case, and less than three years in the other two matters.

BARRY LYNN GREENHALGH [#52436], 51, of Encino was suspended for 90 days, stayed, and placed on probation for two years, effective March 21, 1998. He was ordered to pass the MPRE.

Greenhalgh was involved in an auto accident in 1997 and charged with drunk driving. The charge was later reduced to public intoxication, after the district attorney discovered problems with proving the original charge.

The cause of the accident was uncertain due to the background of the individuals occupying the other car in the collision. They were suspected of involvement in phony auto accidents and one occupant had been previously convicted of insurance fraud arising from such staged accidents.

Greenhalgh pleaded no contest to the public intoxication charge, was fined, placed on criminal probation, ordered to abstain from alcohol and attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Attendance at AA meetings also was a disciplinary probation condition ordered by the State Bar.

In mitigation, Greenhalgh has no prior record of discipline. In aggravation, Greenhalgh was previously convicted in 1995 of driving under the influence of alcohol after he was involved in an auto accident.

CHESTER DOUGLAS SPICER [#43721], 60, of Pollack Pines was suspended for two years, stayed, and placed on probation for two years on condition that he is actually suspended for six months and until he makes restitution, effective March 21, 1998.

If his actual suspension exceeds two years, he will remain suspended until he has provided proof of his fitness to practice. He was ordered to pass the MPRE and comply with rule 955.

Spicer was charged with six counts of misconduct arising from two client matters.

In one matter involving a personal injury case, Spicer was found culpable of failing to show proper respect for the court and violating a court order.

In the second matter, he failed to perform competently, communicate and return unearned fees, and he violated a court order.

The second matter involved his representation of a veterinarian facing disciplinary charges before the Board of Veterinary Medicine.

The veterinarian hired Spicer to substitute in for another attorney whose services she had terminated. However, Spicer failed to make an appearance at his client's hearing before the board and did not adequately communicate with her.

At the client's hearing, discipline was imposed after the client appeared in pro per.

The veterinarian successfully sued Spicer in small claims court for return of the $2,000 in advanced fees she paid him. Spicer has yet to honor the judgment.

Considered as an aggravating factor was Spicer's prior record of discipline; in 1975, he was found culpable of misconduct in eight client matters and in 1983, he was again disciplined for similar misconduct.

His failure to participate in the current disciplinary proceedings before the entry of his default also was seen as an aggravating factor.

"[Spicer] has not displayed any insight into his misconduct or atonement for the problems which resulted," wrote the bar court judge.

No mitigating factors were found.

LAWRENCE RUSSELL WEBB [#107404], 46, of Los Angeles was suspended for two years, stayed, and placed on probation for two years, with a 90-day actual suspension, effective March 21, 1998. He was ordered to pass the MPRE and comply with rule 955.

On review, the State Bar Court found Webb culpable of gross negligence involving moral turpitude.

Webb was hired by a client to handle a personal injury matter, which he settled for $8,350. After depositing the settlement check into his client trust account, he sent the client a check for his share of the proceeds.

However, the client's check bounced and for the next 45 days, Webb's client trust account fell below the required balance.

Webb stated that he contacted the bank and was assured the check was paid, although he received no documentation to that effect.

Shortly after, his bank branch was closed as a result of the 1994 earthquake in Los Angeles.

Webb said he failed to receive proper information about his client trust account to resolve the problem and did not intentionally allow the balance of his account to fall below the required amount. During the disciplinary hearing he stipulated that he negligently administered his client trust account.

Even though Webb's misappropriation stemmed from mismanagement rather than from intentional acts, the bar court review judge found that moral turpitude was involved, as it related to Webb's breach of his fiduciary duty owed to the client.

The client was successful in obtaining a small claims court judgment against Webb, which he honored.

The review judge disagreed with the hearing department and found that Webb was candid and cooperated with the bar's investigation, which deserved significant weight in mitigation. However, the review judge did not find clear evidence of significant harm to the administration of justice.

Aggravating factors included harm to the client and, to a lesser degree, his prior private reproval for assault and battery convictions and violation of two ethical rules.

Although the hearing department had recommended a one-year stayed suspension with a one-year probation and a 30-day actual suspension, the review judge recommended a more severe sanction, stating "[b]alancing all relevant circumstances, we believe that the hearing judge's recommendation of 30 days actual suspension must be increased to 90 days."

Interim Suspensions

MARTIN K. HARARY [#49911], 53, of Oxnard was placed on interim suspension, effective March 31, 1998. Harary was convicted of felony violations of Insurance Code §750, unlawful offer for the consideration of a referral of a client. He was ordered to comply with rule 955 of the California Rules of Court.

Resignations/Charges Pending

HOWARD EARL BLUMENTHAL [#44869], 53, of Marina Del Rey (April 5, 1998)

DANIEL RICHARDS BUCKNUM [#37828], 62, of Mission Viejo (April 5, 1998)

ROBERT WOODROW BALL [#50061], 46, of San Bernardino (April 19, 1998)

RODERICK G. BOUYER [#112926], 43, of Sherman Oaks (April 19, 1998)

RAYMOND W. NOONAN [#89997], 44, of San Diego (April 19, 1998)

CHARGES G. PAGE [#144726], 46, of Bakersfield (April 19, 1998)

NICHOLAS JOHN MACCARONE [#130732], 46, of Newbury Park (April 25, 1998)

[CALBAR JOURNAL]