|A San Pedro criminal defense attorney was arrested at State Bar offices
in Los Angeles on suspicion of soliciting the murders of his former partner and a bar
prosecutor. BARRY POST [#72286], 47, was taken into custody in February
by San Bernardino County sheriff's investigators and held on $500,000 bail. He later was
released on his own recognizance.
At the time of his arrest, Post was at the bar offices
discussing a possible settlement of charges of misconduct brought against him. He faces 13
counts of wrongdoing, including failure to perform legal services competently, return
unearned fees, return client files, or cooperate with the bar's investigations, and
collecting an unconscionable fee and aiding in the unauthorized practice of law.
Trial on the charges is scheduled to begin May 3.
Sheriff's detectives said they received a tip months ago that Post was upset about the
bar's investigation and solicited a private investigator to contract with someone to kill
the female prosecutor. The woman has been replaced by another attorney.
In addition, deputies said Post allegedly was upset with his former law partner and
wanted him killed as well.
The private investigator notified authorities of Post's solicitation and they began an
Sgt. Chris Elvert said the case was still under investigation late last month and was
expected to go to the district attorney's office by April.
The bar charges involve several instances of allegedly failing to represent clients
In the first case, a client in a criminal matter met with Post's paralegal and then
with Brent Carruth, an attorney in his office who was suspended from practice at the time.
According to the charges, the client signed a retainer agreement, paid $5,000 in
advance attorney's fees, and was told by the paralegal that Carruth would begin work on
After his phone calls to the office were not returned, the client learned that Carruth
was not entitled to practice and sought a refund of his fees.
The bar charges Post with aiding Carruth in the unauthorized practice of law and
failing to refund the client's $5,000.
In two other cases, Post is charged with failing to do the work for which he was hired,
or to return unearned fees.
Post was hired to handle another criminal matter which involved filing a motion to
withdraw his client's no contest plea. The client paid $20,000 up front.
The client ultimately was sentenced to six years in state prison, after Post guaranteed
that the sentence would be for less time, according to the bar's charges.
Prosecutors also charge that Post's fee was "grossly exorbitant" in view of
the amount of work he did on the case.
Post denies the charges. In several instances, he said he was unaware of telephone
calls or correspondence from clients and the State Bar.
In one matter, he says the client terminated his services before he had an opportunity
to prepare papers to sign or documents to file.
He claims Carruth, who was disbarred in 1997, took some client files when he left
Post's employ, and Post's efforts to retrieve them have been unsuccessful. He also says he
instructed Carruth to refund fees in one matter and does not know whether the refund was
Post says the $20,000 fee in one matter "was not unreasonable," given the
amount and type of research and other work required in establishing his client's