California Bar Journal
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA - JULY 2000
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DISCIPLINE

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CAUTION!
Nearly 169,575 attorneys are eligible to practice law in California. Many attorneys share the same names. All discipline reports are taken from State Bar Court documents and should be read carefully for names, ages, addresses and bar numbers.
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DISBARMENTS

JAMES THEODORE BAKIS [#44415], 58, of Huntington Beach was disbarred Feb. 18, 2000.

Bakis failed to comply with rule 955 of the California Rules of Court after he was disciplined in 1998; he did not file an affidavit with the Supreme Court attesting that he had notified his clients and all other pertinent parties that he was suspended from practice.

The 1998 discipline resulted from misconduct which included improperly withdrawing from representation without protecting his client’s interests, and failure to keep his client informed of developments in his case, cooperate with the bar’s investigation or maintain a current address with the bar.

Bakis was publicly reproved in 1993 for failure to competently perform legal services, communicate with a client, or promptly return a client’s files and for improperly withdrawing from employment.

BRIAN D. BEAUDOIN [#128925], 41, of San Diego was disbarred Feb. 18, 2000.

Beaudoin failed to comply with rule 955, as ordered in a 1997 discipline, by not filing the required affidavit with the Supreme Court. His case was abated in 1998 during the State Bar’s funding crisis, but when the matter was reactivated, attempts to locate Beaudoin were unsuccessful. The bar still has not found him.

The original misconduct was the result of abandoning a client and failing to provide an accounting of funds he received on behalf of his client or preserving those funds in a client trust account. He was ordered to make restitution.

SUSAN LEE MESKO [#156763], 41, of El Segundo was disbarred Feb. 25, 2000, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

Mesko failed to comply with rule 955, as ordered in a 1998 discipline, by not filing the required affidavit with the Supreme Court stating she had notified her clients and other parties of her suspension.

She was originally disciplined for failing to perform competently for four clients, failing to communicate with clients, return their papers, refund unearned fees or cooperate with the bar’s investigation, and for making material misrepresentations to clients, improperly withdrawing from representation, appearing in litigation without the approval of a client, practicing law while suspended and holding herself out to practice law while suspended.

In recommending Mesko’s disbarment, State Bar Court Judge Michael Marcus wrote, “This court is unaware of any facts or circumstances that would justify departure from the usual sanction of disbarment for [Mesko’s] wilful violation of rule 955.”

ANDREW TODD FRISCH [#141624], 42, of Downieville was disbarred March 17, 2000, and ordered to comply with rule 955.

Frisch failed to comply with rule 955, as ordered in a 1998 discipline, by not submitting an affidavit to the Supreme Court attesting that he had notified all clients and other parties of his suspension from practice.

He had been suspended for taking an unconscionable fee from a client and obtaining an improper loan from the same client. He also was enrolled inactive by the bar in 1996 for failing to comply with a fee arbitration award.

Frisch did not participate in any of the disciplinary proceedings, which the court said “raises a grave concern that he has no regard whatsoever for his professional obligations.”

AARON B. PAYNE [#77713], 48, of El Cerrito was disbarred March 17, 2000, and was ordered to comply with rule 955.

Payne did not comply with rule 955, as ordered in a 1998 discipline. He did not respond to the notice of charges and his default was entered last September.

The original discipline resulted from a DUI conviction with three priors.

Payne “has a long history of failing to comply with probationary programs designed to help him overcome his clear pattern of alcohol abuse and reckless, drunken driving,” wrote bar court Judge Nancy Roberts Lonsdale. She said his failure to participate in the disciplinary proceedings “raises a grave concern that he has no regard whatsoever for his professional obligations.”

MARK N.J. BUSH [#107435], 54, of Torrance was disbarred March 24, 2000, and was ordered to comply with rule 955.

The State Bar Court found that Bush committed misconduct in eight consolidated cases, repeatedly disregarding his trust accounting obligations during a three-year period. He wrote at least 17 checks for personal use against his client trust account.

The same type of misconduct resulted in criminal charges in 1998, when he was convicted of property theft for taking $950 in client trust account funds that should have been used to pay a client’s doctor.

In the newest case, the court found that Bush allowed the balance in his trust account to dip below the required amount, did not properly maintain client funds in trust, misappropriated client funds, failed to respond to client inquiries, failed to pay his clients’ doctors, and did not cooperate with the bar’s investigation. His actions constituted moral turpitude. The misappropriation totaled more than $35,000.

Bush did not participate in the disciplinary proceedings, and his default was entered.

In recommending disbarment, Judge Carlos Velarde noted that Bush demonstrated a pattern of misconduct over several years and offered no explanation for his conduct.  “The court has no reason to believe that [Bush] could or would conform his behavior to the ethical rules, particularly in light of his failure to participate,” Velarde wrote.

SUSPENSIONS/PROBATION

LEO JOSEPH MORIARTY JR. [#140093], 46, of Irvine was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on three years of probation with a 30-day actual suspension, and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Feb. 12, 2000.

Moriarty stipulated to misconduct in two matters.

In the first, he falsely told a court several times that a criminal defendant was represented by another attorney and that he was making special appearances for that attorney. He stipulated that he misled the court and by doing so committed an act of moral turpitude.

In the second matter, Moriarty stipulated that he improperly withdrew from employment by failing to communicate with his client and allowing her case to be dismissed.

In that case, he filed a product liability complaint over a car fire. The automobile did not remain in his client’s possession, so Moriarty determined there was no viable cause of action since the car was not available for inspection.

Moriarty did not appear at two hearings, the case was dismissed with prejudice, and he took no steps to set aside the dismissal.

Although Moriarty says he told his client the case would be dismissed if it could not be settled, his client claims Moriarty never communicated any intention to allow a dismissal. He also stated that his failure to appear and the resulting dismissal were intentional, since a case could not be made at trial.

Moriarty does admit he never spoke to the client after the matter was dismissed.

MARTIN H. RUB [#62586], 50, of Encino was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with a requirement that he make restitution and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Feb. 12, 2000.

Rub stipulated to misconduct involving settlement funds he received for five clients. Although he prepared breakdown sheets and contends he forwarded them, with releases for the clients’ signatures, the clients never received the documents. The funds were not disbursed for five months.

The doctor who treated the clients never was paid, although Rub wrote two checks for him.

Rub stipulated that he failed to communicate with clients, promptly notify them of his receipt of settlement funds, pay out funds as requested by the clients, or perform competently to insure that medical liens were paid, and he did not properly maintain his client trust account.

In mitigation, he paid his clients’ attorney fees when they hired new counsel and he has no record of prior discipline.

DAVID ALLEN TALLEY [#148057], 40, of Suisun was suspended for six months, stayed, placed on one year of probation with a 60-day actual suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Feb. 12, 2000.

Talley stipulated to four instances of misconduct.

He was hired in 1994 to prepare a living trust for a client. He was suspended in 1996 for non-payment of dues. Just prior to the suspension, the client asked him to revise her trust.

Over the next eight months, the client called Talley once a month; he never returned the phone calls or made the changes to the trust. He never told the client of his suspension or made arrangements for other counsel to represent her.

Talley stipulated that he failed to perform legal services competently, keep his client informed of significant developments in her matter, or promptly respond to her status inquiries.

He also represented another client in an immigration matter while he was suspended.

In another case, Talley agreed to prepare a living trust for another client, but when the client tried to contact him several years later, he did not return phone calls. The client fired him and asked that his files be returned. The file was not returned for 13 months.

Talley stipulated that he failed to respond to the client’s inquiries or promptly return his files when requested.

In mitigation, Talley practiced for nine years without any discipline, he cooperated with the bar’s investigation, and took steps to make amends with his clients.

ROBERT H. BARNHILL [#46513], 67, of Calabasas was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual 60-day suspension and until he proves rehabilitation, and was ordered to take the MPRE. The order took effect Feb. 17, 2000.

Barnhill stipulated to misconduct in two matters. In the first, he represented a client in two personal injury matters. He filed a claim in the first, but failed to pursue it after learning the defendant was not insured. He then told the client that he had filed a demand for arbitration when he had not.

He never filed a complaint in the second personal injury case.

Barnhill accepted a workers’ compensation case, an area with which he was unfamiliar, because he had represented the client in other matters. He then failed to do any work on the case.

For almost two years, the client, his son and daughter contacted Barnhill repeatedly. On each occasion, Barnhill informed them he was working on the case and that it was proceeding in court.

Barnhill stipulated that he failed to perform the legal services for which he was employed in both cases and committed acts of moral turpitude by misrepresenting the facts to his clients.

Barnhill was publicly reproved in 1989, and in 1992 was disciplined for failing to perform legal services competently, keep a client informed about his case or promptly deliver client funds, improperly withdrawing from a case, and for committing acts of moral turpitude.

JOAN BAUMGARTEN [#108909],49, of North Palm Springs was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation and was ordered to take the MPRE and prove her rehabilitation. The order took effect Feb. 17, 2000.

Baumgarten stipulated to five counts of misconduct.

Publicly reproved in 1997, Baumgarten did not comply with the conditions attached to the reproval. She failed to submit quarterly probation reports, mental health reports and a law office reorganization plan, and she did not attend ethics school or take the professional responsibility exam.

In an insurance matter, Baumgarten did not file an answer on her client’s behalf and did not seek to set aside the resulting entry of default, despite repeated assurances that she would do so.

She stipulated that she failed to perform legal services competently, respond to her client’s reasonable status inquiries, and refund unearned fees. She also did not cooperate with the bar’s investigation.

Baumgarten was publicly reproved in 1997 for failing to act competently, promptly return client papers, respond to a client’s status inquiries or cooperate with the bar’s investigation.

In mitigation, Baumgarten suffered from chronic serious health problems, requiring several surgeries. She could not drive, was housebound and bedridden for a time, and she incurred thousands of dollars in uninsured medical and hospital bills. In addition, her mother died after a three-week hospitalization, exacerbating Baumgarten’s physical and mental stress.

STEVEN R. FINCH [#80033], 51, of Hollywood was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with an actual one-year suspension, and was ordered to prove his rehabilitation, take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. The order took effect Feb. 17, 2000.

Finch stipulated to two counts of making false representations to the court and committing acts of moral turpitude.

Finch was cited by the California Highway Patrol in 1997 for driving a car without a license plate and with tinted left and right front windows. In order to have such a citation cleared, the corrections must be made and the car inspected by a law enforcement officer.

Finch appeared in court, said the citation had been signed off, and although he did not produce documentation, the court dismissed the counts. Finch had not made the necessary changes to the car. When he was cited again several months later, he admitted he had not made the required changes and was given two $180 fines for the infractions. The fines were suspended since Finch provided proof of compliance.

In another matter, Finch represented a defendant who was charged with contempt for disobeying a court order. He twice told the district attorney the victim in the case wished to drop a temporary restraining order against Finch’s client. Based on those representations, the court dismissed the case against Finch’s client.

In fact, Finch never talked to the victim, who did not wish to drop the restraining order.

Finch was suspended for five years, beginning in 1987, as a result of a conviction for possession of goods stolen from interstate shipment.

KATHY LYNN HOLDER [#153045], 43, of San Bernardino was suspended for five years, stayed, placed on five years of probation with an actual three-year suspension and until she proves her rehabilitation and makes restitution, and was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. The order took effect Feb. 17, 2000.

In a personal injury matter, Holder wrote a check to her client’s chiropractor which was incorrectly returned by the bank for insufficient funds. Although the bank rectified its mistake, Holder never paid the medical lien. She stipulated to failure to maintain funds in a client trust account, promptly deliver client funds or cooperate with the bar’s investigation.

As part of a 1997 discipline order, Holder was required to comply with rule 955 of the California Rules of Court by notifying all her clients and other pertinent parties that she was suspended from practice and submitting an affidavit to that effect to the Supreme Court. She submitted her affidavit after the deadline and stipulated to failing to comply with a court order.

In addition, Holder did not comply with other conditions of that probation or the conditions attached to a 1996 probation by the required deadlines.

In mitigation, she expressed remorse and said she attempted to make restitution to the chiropractor, but he moved to another state. She submitted a lengthy declaration about personal problems, including the death of her secretary, her guardianship of her boyfriend’s three children after his death, eviction from her office and bankruptcy.

JOHN WALLACE LARSON [#30700], 72, of Walnut Creek was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with a nine-month actual suspension, and was ordered to prove his rehabilitation and take the MPRE. Credit toward the actual suspension will be given for a period of interim suspension which began April 2, 1999. The order took effect Feb. 17, 2000.

Larson pleaded guilty to grand theft in 1999, based on retaining funds due to 21 different clients over a three-and-a-half year period. He had negotiated medical lien discounts and kept the difference rather than refunding it to his clients.

The aggregate amount of the loss to the clients was $8,600; Larson made restitution in amounts satisfactory to the court.

In mitigation, Larson cooperated with law enforcement and with the bar’s investigation and he has no prior record of discipline.

BRUCE JAY FRIEDMAN [#57053], 51, of San Anselmo was suspended for one year, stayed, and placed on three years of probation. The order took effect Feb. 18, 2000.

The State Bar Court’s review department increased the discipline which had been recommended by a hearing judge, particularly because an additional discipline was recommended in the interim.

Friedman’s problems began with a private reproval, imposed after he practiced law in Wyoming without a license. The review department characterized his misconduct as minor.

When he did not comply with the conditions attached to the reproval, he was again reproved, with additional conditions. That led to a third set of disciplinary charges, to which Friedman stipulated before the bar court. It recommended a six-month stayed suspension and two years of probation.

In a fourth proceeding in which Friedman’s default was entered, he failed to perform legal services, return a client’s business records, respond to a client’s requests for information, or refund unearned attorney’s fees, and he improperly withdrew from employment.

Bar prosecutors petitioned the review department to increase the recommended discipline, arguing that the hearing judge did not consider aggravation including multiple acts of misconduct, indifference toward rectification and a failure to cooperate in the last disciplinary matter.

The review department said it was “extremely troubled” by Friedman’s repeated failure to comply with “the simplest of reproval conditions,” and concluded that an actual suspension was necessary to impress on him the seriousness of his conduct.

MARTIN K. HARARY [#49911], 55, of Oxnard was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual one-year suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. Credit was given for a period of interim suspension which began March 31, 1998. The order took effect Feb. 18, 2000.

In 1998, Harary pleaded no contest to two counts of unlawfully paying client referral fees, a violation of the Insurance Code. In a sting operation in Ventura County, he accepted two personal injury cases referred by a fictitious medical marketing operation.

Although he declined the deal when it was first offered, Harary then suggested a way to circumvent rules governing fee-sharing.

In mitigation, he has no record of prior discipline and cooperated with the bar’s investigation, and no client was harmed by the misconduct.

KEITH GERARD LIGGINS [#124055], 43, of Los Angeles was suspended for three years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with an actual suspension of one year and until he makes restitution, and was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. If the actual suspension exceeds two years, he must prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect Feb. 18, 2000.

Liggins stipulated that he failed to comply with probation conditions attached to a 1997 discipline. Among other things, he failed to submit to the State Bar’s probation office proof that he made restitution, attended ethics school, completed three hours of MCLE instruction in law office management, joined the bar’s law practice management section or returned client files.

The original misconduct included seven counts of failing to perform legal services competently, five counts of failing to return client papers, two counts of failing to refund unearned fees, nine counts of failing to respond to client inquiries and three counts of violating a court order.

HAROLD SAMUEL WROBEL [#120783], 40, of Pacific Palisades was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on three years of probation and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Feb. 18, 2000.

In 1997, Wrobel was convicted of conspiracy to violate currency reporting requirements. He was acquitted of charges of conspiracy to launder drug trafficking proceeds and money laundering.

Wrobel was arrested with another California lawyer and a Las Vegas casino collections manager for their roles in exchanging large amounts of currency, supposedly derived from drug sales, for money orders. The scheme was actually a Drug Enforcement Agency sting operation, with the DEA supplying the money.

The other lawyer gave Wrobel two payments of $100,000 in currency which he exchanged for cashiers checks. Wrobel then structured deposits of the cash into his accounts to avoid the $10,000 statutory reporting requirement and was paid $3,000 for conducting the transactions.

He was arrested during a third, similar transaction.

NORMAN A. LEWIN [#123734], 40, of Glendale was suspended for 90 days, stayed, placed on one year of probation and was ordered to take the MPRE within a year. The order took effect Feb. 17, 2000.

Lewin stipulated that he failed to maintain his client trust account, misappropriated client funds, wrote checks against insufficient funds and commingled personal and client funds.

He allowed the balance in the trust account to fall below the required amount numerous times, wrote several checks against insufficient funds, and used the account to pay personal expenses.

In mitigation, he has no record of discipline, has hired an accountant to monitor his trust account and cooperated with the bar’s investigation.

DAVID GREGORY ROTH [#123893], 44, of Portola Valley was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual 60-day suspension and was ordered to make restitution and take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Feb. 25, 2000.

Roth stipulated to misconduct in his handling of two criminal matters.

In the first, he twice failed to appear in court with his client, and he did not meet with the client or keep him informed about the status of his case. Roth was removed as attorney of record at his client’s request.

In the second matter, he nodded off and fell asleep three times during a criminal jury trial. A mistrial was declared upon a motion by his client’s co-defendants. Roth underwent a drug test, and although it was negative, the bailiff noticed several needle marks on his arm.

In mitigation, Roth cooperated with the bar’s investigation and sought help for his substance abuse problems.

ALAN G. KAROW [#131353], 39, of Santa Barbara was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with a 60-day actual suspension and until he proves his rehabilitation, and he was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect March 5, 2000.

Karow stipulated that he failed to comply with conditions attached to a 1997 probation: he failed to submit five quarterly probation reports or proof of attendance at a substance abuse program, and failed to attend ethics school, take the MPRE or maintain a current address with the bar.

In mitigation, he currently is enrolled in a substance abuse program.

The original discipline was imposed for failure to perform legal services competently or promptly return client files and for withdrawing from a case without protecting his client’s interests.

DIANE HELENE NADLER [#116798], 46, of San Jose was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on three years of probation and was ordered to take the MPRE within a year. The order took effect March 5, 2000.

In two separate cases, Nadler stipulated that she did not deposit client funds in a trust account.

In the first matter, she deposited a $25,000 settlement draft in her general account. She also maintained between $4,000-8,000 of her own money in her trust account.

In a second case in which she represented a client in an action for child support, Nadler deposited support payments for the client in her general account and then issued checks to the client from that account.

In mitigation, Nadler has no record of discipline and her clients were not deprived of any funds as a result of her actions.

MICHAEL BRUCE BAKER [#53099], 53, of Thousand Oaks was suspended for five years, stayed, and was placed on six years of probation with an actual three-year suspension and until he proves his rehabilitation. He was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. Credit toward the actual suspension will be given for a period of interim suspension which began Nov. 8, 1996. The order took effect March 17, 2000.

According to a stipulation Baker reached with the bar, he was convicted for the fourth time of indecent exposure in 1996. He served 15 months in jail.

His history of exhibitionism is the result of a medical condition for which he has undergone therapy. He has agreed to return to therapy as a result of the stipulation.

Baker was privately reproved twice for previous convictions.

In mitigation, his conduct did not involve clients.

BRENT O’MALLEY BARNES [#68656], 62, of San Diego was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with a 45-day actual suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect March 17, 2000.

Barnes stipulated that due to his misuse of his client trust account and poor record-keeping, the balance in the account fell below the required amount on nine dates. In addition, he deposited non-client funds belonging to a friend and employee in the trust account and he commingled personal  funds in the account as well.

Barnes was publicly reproved in 1990.

In mitigation, he cooperated with the bar’s investigation.

PATRIZIA JANE BOEN [#112399], 52, of Mission Viejo was suspended for two years, stayed, and was placed on three years of probation with an actual 60-day suspension. The order took effect March 17, 2000.

Boen stipulated to misconduct in two cases.

In the first, she represented a client who had been severely injured and hospitalized. His son hired Boen to handle a personal injury matter and to establish a conservatorship, paying a $1,000 fee.

When the son expressed concern two months later that he had heard nothing from Boen, she assured him she was handling the matter and she did contact some of the father’s creditors.

However, she did not petition the court for the conservatorship and decided the personal injury action could not be pursued. She did not advise the cli-ent’s son about her decisions.

The son fired Boen and sought a refund of the advanced fee, which she did not return.

The son then filed a small claims action against Boen, who eventually was ordered to refund $1,200 plus $77 in costs.

She stipulated that she failed to properly withdraw from employment and protect her client’s interests, and failed to respond to a client’s inquiries or promptly return an advanced fee.

In the second matter, Boen was publicly reproved with conditions in 1995. She did not file nine quarterly probation reports or complete six hours of MCLE courses.

In mitigation, Boen suffered health problems and had to care for her terminally ill mother for more than a year. She presently does not practice.

RAYMOND ORTIZ BUENDIA [#94975], 47, of San Diego was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual 60-day suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within a year. The order took effect March 17, 2000, but the actual suspension began April 2.

Buendia stipulated that he failed to perform legal services competently in three immigration matters. In the first, he filed a single asylum application for a family of four. When informed individual applications were required for each family member, he re-submitted the applications, which were denied because they were incomplete. He never completed the filing.

Buendia then represented two sons in the family separately before the INS. As a result of his actions, one son was deported and the case of the other son, who faced a deportation proceeding, was considered abandoned. In those matters, Buendia failed to file court papers or explain his failure to file papers in a timely fashion, paid an incorrect filing fee, and entered an incorrect alien registration number on the motion.

Buendia also stipulated that he failed to properly manage his client trust account, letting the balance fall to a negative amount and writing two checks against insufficient funds.

Buendia was publicly reproved in 1990 as a result of false advertising, and was disciplined in 1993 for failing to comply with the conditions of the reproval, mishandling his client trust account and failing to perform legal services competently or communicate with clients.

In mitigation, he cooperated with the bar’s investigation.

JACK SAMUEL FELTSCHER, aka JACOB SAMUEL FELTSCHER [#91973], 48, of Escondido was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation with a 30-day actual suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within a year. The order took effect March 17, 2000.

Feltscher practiced law and held himself out as entitled to practice while he was suspended in 1995 for non-payment of bar dues.

He has no record of discipline since his 1980 admission to the bar.

GERALDINE D. GREEN [#50282], 67, of Los Angeles was suspended for five years, stayed, placed on five years of probation with an actual two-year suspension and was ordered to comply with rule 955. The order took effect March 17, 2000.

Green petitioned for review of a hearing judge’s findings of misconduct and sought a reduction of the recommended discipline, arguing that the State Bar failed to prove she committed any violations. The review department upheld the hearing judge’s findings on most charges, and reduced the actual suspension from 30 months to 24 after finding “serious aggravation, which compels significant actual suspension.”

Green, who is a former California Commissioner of Corporations, represented a client in the  wrongful death of his wife and unborn child in a car accident. The case was dismissed, following mediation, by attorneys for the plaintiff, who signed a release as to the drivers and owners of two automobiles involved in the accident and their insurance carriers.

Green then filed a products liability action in superior court against Nissan. When Nissan demurred, she filed no opposition and the demurrer was sustained without leave to amend. Several months later, Green tried to vacate the court’s order, blaming her staff for not scheduling a response or an appearance.

The review department agreed with the hearing judge that Green did not respond to the demurrer because she concluded she could not overcome it. It did not find, however, that her conduct was reckless.

Although not charged, the review department found that Green misrepresented to the superior court her reasons for neither opposing the demurrer or appearing in court for the hearing. It also agreed that Green did not keep her client notified about developments in the case.

In a second matter, Green represented a psychologist in litigation involving breaches of a lease. The review judges found she failed to attend two status conferences and tried to obscure that failure by billing the client for attending one conference and for mileage. She had her client sign blank forms, and did not show the client proposed responses to interrogatories before filing them.

She did not inform her client about developments in her case.

Green was privately reproved in 1993 for writing two bad checks on her trust account. When she failed to comply with the conditions of the reproval, she was disciplined in 1995. That discipline also included her acknowledgment of failing to perform legal services competently or to keep clients advised of developments in their cases.

In mitigation, Green has a history of involvement in social and civic affairs, including serving as president of the Beverly Hills NAACP and accepting pro bono referrals from two Los Angeles congresswomen.

CONNIE SUE KRAMER [#100973], 52, of Long Beach was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual six-month suspension, and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year and comply with rule 955. The order took effect March 17, 2000.

Kramer stipulated that she failed to perform legal services competently by not supervising an employee’s work in 12 different matters, by not finalizing a divorce and by failing to confirm a settlement and appear at trial. She also did not appear at a hearing when no settlement had been reached and did not file a cross-complaint as promised.

Kramer formed a business relationship with a paralegal in 1995, opening a bank account to which he was a co-signatory. By March 1996, the paralegal was paying Kramer’s business bills, making deposits for her and maintaining her client files. Kramer, who had closed her law office but maintained a post office box and handled some work out of the paralegal’s office,  was neither regularly checking on the status of her cases nor picking up her mail.

In the 12 client matters in which she was charged, the paralegal variously entered into settlement negotiations, signed Kramer’s name on legal documents without her knowledge, did not tell Kramer she had been hired by clients, failed to return advance fees, made misrepresentations to clients and opposing lawyers and deposited client funds into his personal account.

Several clients were harmed: a judgment was ordered against a couple, a mother’s visitation rights were negatively affected and a writ of attachment was issued against another client.

Kramer was disciplined with a public reproval in 1996, but did not comply with probation conditions — she did not attend ethics school or take the professional responsibility exam.

She also stipulated to writing a check against insufficient funds in her client trust account.

In mitigation, Kramer was suffering from depression, lost her home to foreclosure, has taken steps to compensate the injured clients and cooperated with the bar’s investigation.

INTERIM SUSPENSION

FRANCIS LEONARD GILL [#112768], 41, of Agana, Guam, was placed on interim suspension Jan. 3, 2000, following his conviction for conspiracy to commit theft, attempted theft, and conspiracy to tamper with public records. He was ordered to comply with rule 955.

INNA ELANA GOFMAN [#152356], 39, of Van Nuys was placed on interim suspension Jan. 7, 2000, following her conviction in federal court for mail fraud. She was ordered to comply with rule 955.

F. THOMAS ECK III [#45095], 55, of Napa was placed on interim suspension Jan. 21, 2000, following his conviction in federal court for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. He was ordered to comply with rule 955.

SOCRATES G. DOMINGO [#137333], 44, of Simi Valley was placed on interim suspension Jan. 21, 2000, following his conviction on federal charges of mail fraud, money laundering and aiding and abetting. He was ordered to comply with rule 955.

MARC SEAN HARVEY [#115689], 40, of Woodland Hills was placed on interim suspension Jan. 21, 2000, following his conviction for two counts of possession of a controlled substance. He was ordered to comply with rule 955.

JEFFREY J. WIEBE [#147834], 37, of Alameda was placed on interim suspension Feb. 28, 2000, following a 1999 conviction for hit and run with property damage and resisting arrest. He was ordered to comply with rule 955.

ELIZABETH PRICE [#85536], 54, of San Rafael was placed on interim suspension March 4, 2000, following her conviction on federal charges of perjury and making false statements for use in determining Social Security benefits. She was ordered to comply with rule 955.

RESIGNATIONS/CHARGES PENDING

JAMES LEE CARTER [#88061], 49, of San Francisco (Feb. 24, 2000)

LEONARD DALE BASINGER [#52200], 56, of Orange (March 19, 2000)

SETH JORDAN KELSEY [#61696], 49, of Westminster (April 23, 2000)

SUSPENSION/FAILURE TO PASS PRE

TRACY D. BEALL [#161168], 36, of Mechanicsburg, Ohio (Jan. 10, 2000)

EARL F. TRITT III [#141754], 44, of Poway (Jan. 28, 2000)

WILLIAM RANDOLPH NEILL [#43582], 58, of Los Angeles (March 10, 2000)

PUBLIC REPROVAL

BILL J. WEIR JR. [#98824], 51, of Joshua Tree (Nov. 24, 1999)

JANG WOO LEE [#116980], 54, of Los Angeles (Nov. 26, 1999)

KYLE MARIE LAPESARDE [#110812], 48, of Los Angeles (Dec. 10, 1999)

MICHAEL JOHN ROARK [#41685], 58, of Bonita (Dec. 15, 1999)

GARY VICTOR DUBIN [#34595], 51, of Honolulu (Dec. 31, 1999)

ROBERT JOHN CORRY [#171979], 32, of Washington, D.C. (Jan. 6, 2000)

HUGH E. COMISKEY JR. [#52292], 56, of Alturas (Feb. 12, 2000)

REINSTATEMENT
BARRY STEVEN MARLIN [#35096], 66, of Los Angeles (Jan. 4, 2000)