| Soliciting clients at an accident
scene, at a hospital or on the way to a hospital;
Seeking clients who, because of their physical, emotional or mental state, are unable to
exercise reasonable judgment; and
Seeking employment by mail unless the letter and
envelope are clearly labeled as an advertisement.
Last year, one attorney was disbarred and a second resigned as a result of their
representation of clients following a 1993 release of sulfuric acid from the General
Chemical Corp.'s Richmond plant. The gas release affected about 80,000 mostly poor
residents of Contra Costa County.
General Chemical paid $180 million to 62,000 plaintiffs to settle a class action suit.
Samuel Anya-Gafu of Walnut Creek was disbarred in April 1998 after irregularities were
discovered in signatures on claims questionnaires and releases submitted by clients. He
also negotiated settlement checks without client endorsements.
Jerry W. Varnado of Oakland submitted his resignation in November after the bar charged
him with submitting claims against General Chemical which contained false information and
bore false signatures.
Varnado submitted claims on behalf of 6,600 individuals. At least 800 claims were
duplicates; investigators determined Varnado himself had filled out and signed some of the
Within two weeks of the Chevron blast, three suits, two seeking class action status,
were filed in Contra Costa Superior Court.