JOHN FORREST FRANKLIN II [#100737], 46, of
Reseda was suspended for nine months, stayed, placed on two years of probation
and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect May 7, 2000.
Franklin was privately reproved in 1998, but failed to comply with
the conditions of probation, including failing to file quarterly probation reports, attend
ethics school or take the professional responsibility exam.
The reproval was the result of three counts of failing to perform
legal services competently, one count of failing to refund an unearned fee, one count of
failing to maintain proper records, and three counts each of failing to respond to clients
inquires and failing to cooperate with the bars investigation.
In mitigation, Franklin cooperated with the bar.
JEFFREY BRENT LUGASH [#41458], 60, of Encino was
suspended for six months, stayed, placed on two years of probation and was ordered to take
the MPRE within one year. The order took effect May 7, 2000.
Lugash did not comply with the conditions attached to a 1998 private
reproval: he failed to file a quarterly probation report on time or to take and pass the
professional responsibility exam. In mitigation, he cooperated with the bars
The reproval was imposed as a result of Lugash failure to keep
all agreements reached in lieu of disciplinary prosecution.
ANDREW JAMES PRENDIVILLE [#93003], 47, of Corona Del Mar
was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on three 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 May 7, 2000.
Prendiville stipulated to misconduct in seven consolidated matters.
In four of the matters, he wrote numerous checks against his client
trust account for payment of personal and business expenses, several against insufficient
funds. He stipulated that he commingled personal and client funds.
In two other matters, he allowed the balance in the trust account to
fall below what was required.
During the time of the misconduct, Prendiville was the plaintiff in a
major civil case and devoted much of his time to the litigation. He failed to withdraw
earned fees that accumulated in the trust account and he did not properly reconcile and
balance his trust account records.
In another case, Prendiville was retained to file a civil complaint
against a hospital for elder abuse and false imprisonment. He failed to timely file the
suit and as a result, his clients lost a potential cause of action.
Prendiville also was convicted in 1999 of driving under the influence
with two priors and having a blood alcohol level in excess of the legal limit.
Prendiville has a prior record of discipline; he was suspended and
placed on probation in 1996.
In mitigation, his misuse of his client trust account ended when he
attended ethics school in 1997, and he settled a potential claim for professional
negligence in the matter involving elder abuse.
ARNOLD LEE ROSEN [#48572], 62, of Encino was
suspended for one year, stayed, placed on three years of probation with an actual 30-day
suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect May 7,
Rosen was convicted of misdemeanor driving under the influence in
1994. In 1997, he was again convicted of a misdemeanor DUI following a two-vehicle
collision in which both Rosen and the driver of the other car sustained minor injuries.
Rosens blood alcohol level was .18. As a result of that conviction, his probation
from the first DUI was revoked.
He subsequently complied with all probation requirements.
In mitigation, Rosens alcohol abuse has not caused any known
adverse effect on his performance as a lawyer, and no client has been harmed. He
cooperated with the bars investigation.
BENJAMIN NEWTON WYATT JR. [#33214], 67, of Los Angeles
was suspended for three years, stayed, placed on five years of probation with an actual
three-year suspension, and was ordered to make restitution, prove his rehabilitation, take
the MPRE and comply with rule 955. The order took effect May 7, 2000.
Wyatt stipulated to misconduct in six cases.
In the first matter, he handled a clients divorce for a $1,500
fee. He checked in with the court clerk the day a hearing and mediation were scheduled,
and then went to the mediation, which did not go forward because neither the opposing
counsel nor the opposing client was present. Wyatt mistakenly assumed both the hearing and
the mediation were taken off calendar and left the court without confirming matters with
The hearing was held in Wyatts absence, his clients wife
won custody and his client was ordered to pay spousal and child support. He did not inform
his client about the ruling and did not return numerous phone calls.
Wyatt stipulated that he failed to perform legal services competently
or respond to a clients inquiries. He also failed to cooperate with a subsequent bar
investigation of his actions.
Wyatt stipulated to a private reproval in 1995, but did not comply
with its probationary conditions by failing to take and pass the professional
responsibility exam. In a 1997 disciplinary order, reference was made to evidence that
Wyatt had not taken the MPRE, as ordered as a condition of the reproval. Wyatt sought
review of the order and said under penalty of perjury that he had taken and passed the
MPRE when he had not.
Wyatt also practiced law on behalf of three clients while suspended
later the same year. He did not comply with the conditions of his probation.
Wyatt has been disciplined by the bar five times, beginning in 1975.
In mitigation, he appeared in court while suspended because he could
not find substitute counsel for his clients. He provided letters from attorneys attesting
to his reputation as a respected member of the legal community.
LAWRENCE CRAWFORD BRAGG [#33302], 67, of Hacienda Heights
was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with an actual
14-month suspension, and was ordered to make restitution and comply with rule 955. The
order took effect May 11, 2000.
Bragg stipulated to three counts of misconduct.
In two cases, he split fees with nonlawyer employees and did not
cooperate with the bars investigation when the employees filed complaints about him.
In the third matter, Bragg settled a personal injury case for two
clients and withheld more than $53,000 to pay their medical care providers. He did not
tell the clients he negotiated a reduction in their medical bills totaling nearly $20,000,
which he kept.
Bragg asserts that he was informed by his staff that the clients had
approved his retention of the money as additional fees in exchange for negotiating reduced
medical bills. He also claims the staff said one of the clients signed a settlement
distribution sheet reflecting the fees.
He did not respond to the bars investigation of the matter.
Bragg also was disciplined in 1998 for sharing fees with a nonlawyer,
failing to perform legal services competently in a personal injury case, and engaging in
acts of moral turpitude by allowing a nonlawyer to practice law.
LINCOLN N. MINTZ [#37610], 58, of Oakland was
suspended for one year and until he attends ethics school and until the State Bar Court
grants a motion to terminate his actual suspension. If the suspension exceeds two years,
he must prove his rehabilitation. He also was ordered to comply with rule 955. The order
took effect May 11, 2000.
The State Bar Court found that Mintz committed misconduct in two
In the first, he abandoned a case he took over in 1996 that had been
filed in San Mateo Superior Court. He did not respond to his clients inquiries or
notify opposing counsel of his appearance, conducted no investigation or discovery, took
no action to move the matter forward and then failed to appear at a hearing for summary
judgment. He did not return his clients file.
In a second matter, Mintz filed a notice of appeal and an opening
brief in a criminal matter but then did not tell his client that he decided not to file a
rebuttal brief and had waived oral argument. He also did not notify the client when the
Court of Appeal affirmed the conviction or tell the client he had decided not to seek a
writ of review. The time to seek review expired before the client learned about the
developments in his case.
Mintz did not cooperate with the bars investigation of either
Mintz has a history of discipline beginning with a 1995 private
reproval for abandoning a client and failing to participate in the bars
investigation. In 1997, he was suspended for failing to comply with the conditions of the
reproval, and in 1999, he was disciplined again for failure to communicate with two
clients, comply with the terms of his probation or cooperate with eight bar
Hearing Judge Nancy Roberts Lonsdale declined to place Mintz on
probation, noting, These incidents are not isolated; they are part of a long pattern
of [Mintzs] failure to communicate with his clients and with the State Bar.
The probation of WILLIAM LESLIE OBRYAN [#42335], 63, of
Playa Del Rey was extended for nine months. The order took effect May 11, 2000.
OBryan was suspended and placed on probation in 1997, but he
did not file three quarterly probation reports on time, make two restitution payments or
submit evidence of having completed six
hours of MCLE.
The discipline was for failure to perform legal services competently,
refund unearned fees or respond promptly to client inquiries.
In mitigation, OBryan had financial problems, no clients were
harmed and he cooperated with the bars investigation.
BRIAN VICTOR WILLIAM POGUE [#118157], 46, of Los Angeles
was placed on actual suspension for 30 days and until the State Bar Court grants a motion
to terminate the suspension. If the suspension exceeds two years, he must prove his
rehabilitation. He was ordered to take the MPRE and, if the suspension exceeds 90 days,
comply with rule 955. The order took effect May 11, 2000.
In a default proceeding, the State Bar Court found that Pogue failed
to appear at a hearing in a suit he filed on behalf of three plaintiffs and was sanctioned
$500 and ordered to appear at a later hearing. He neither paid the sanctions nor appeared
at the subsequent hearing.
GERARD E. SABO [#74988], 50, of Glendale 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 one year. The order took effect May
Sabo stipulated to three counts of misconduct.
He failed to report to the State Bar a $1,300 sanction which was
imposed after he filed a cross-complaint on behalf of his clients, who were defendants in
a case, without the courts permission.
The other two counts involved Sabos failure to comply with
probation conditions attached to a 1996 disciplinary order. He did not submit two
In mitigation, Sabo was heavily involved in preparation for a
juvenile court matter at the time the first probation report was due and he mistakenly
believed the final report was not due until the investigation of the sanction matter was
He presented letters attesting to his good character and he performed
pro bono work.
The 1996 discipline was the result of a failure to perform legal
services competently, return client papers promptly, communicate with clients, keep an
agreement made in lieu of discipline or cooperate with the bars investigation. He
also appeared for a party without authority.
BARBARA SHARPE [#177488], 41, of San Jose was
suspended for one year and until she completes ethics school and the State Bar Court
issues an order to terminate the suspension. If the suspension exceeds two years, she must
prove her rehabilitation. She also was ordered to comply with any probation conditions
imposed as a condition for terminating the suspension, to take the MPRE and to comply with
rule 955. The order took effect May 11, 2000.
Sharpe was suspended from practice August 12, 1996. Four days later,
she filed a civil action on behalf of a client and corresponded with two agencies stating
that she was the attorney for her client. She never notified the client of her suspension
as she pursued his case.
When she failed to respond adequately to his inquiries, however, the
client became suspicious and learned of her suspension, hired a new lawyer and sought the
return of his file. She has not returned the file.
In a default proceeding, the State Bar Court found that Sharpe
practiced law while suspended, violated a court order, failed to keep her client advised
of a development in his case or respond to his status inquiries, failed to return his file
and committed acts of moral turpitude. The court dismissed charges that Sharpe did not
cooperate with the bars investigation since she did not keep her address current and
all bar letters to her were returned.
LYNN S. YOUNG [#54860], 52, of Napa was suspended
for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation with a 90-day actual suspension,
and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year and comply with rule 955. The order took
effect May 11, 2000.
Young stipulated to misconduct in two matters and after a trial was
held on a third matter, the State Bar Court found that she committed acts of moral
turpitude by fabricating a document.
Young stipulated that she accepted an unlawful fee without approval
of the bankruptcy court and failed to repay it in a timely fashion. In the second matter,
she agreed she had filed and pursued a frivolous appeal and failed to pay attorneys
fees as ordered by the court.
In the case which went to trial, Youngs co-counsel allowed the
statute of limitations to expire in a personal injury matter in which their client had
been injured by a drunk driver. They had rejected a $35,000 settlement offer from an
insurance company but had failed to file a complaint on time.
About three weeks after the statute expired, Young and the other
attorney filed a complaint, taking the position that the continuing settlement
negotiations would prevent the company from asserting a statute of limitations defense.
They knew that restitution would be available to their client as a result of the criminal
prosecution of the other driver. However, they were unaware of a statute that provides an
additional year to file a complaint if the other driver is found guilty.
After the statute expired, Young made a counter-demand of the insurer
for $90,000. When the insurance adjustor asked for a copy of the complaint, neither Young
nor her co-counsel responded. Through a series of phone calls, the adjustor learned the
date the complaint had been filed. When she asked Young what the filing date was, Young
said she did not know. Eventually, the adjustor received a fax of the complaint from Youngs
office which showed an endorsed date prior to the expiration of the statute
rather than the actual date the complaint was filed.
According to the court, Young did nothing to investigate or
attempt to determine who had faxed an altered document. . . . She stated that the matter
had nothing to do with [her], and was innocuous and unimportant.
The court found that Young misrepresented to the insurance adjustor
that she did not know the filing date of the complaint and was responsible for faxing an
altered complaint. She stood accused, wrote Judge Nancy Roberts Lonsdale,
publicly and in writing, of fabricating a court document and sending it to an
opposing party. An innocent attorney would never have let such a serious, public
accusation stand uninvestigated and unrefuted.
DALLAS D. BROCK [#26459], 72, of San Francisco was
suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with a 30-day actual
suspension, and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect May
Brock stipulated that he wrote seven checks against insufficient
funds in his client trust account over a two-year period. None of the checks involved
misappropriated funds, but resulted from his payment to clients, third-party lienholders
or himself before settlement checks deposited in the account had cleared. Brock rectified
each overdraft as soon as it was brought to his attention.
His actions involved moral turpitude.
Brock has five prior instances of discipline, from 1989 to 1995, for
misconduct including failure to perform legal services competently, communicate with
clients or comply with probation requirements and improperly withdrawing from
In mitigation, he cooperated with the bars investigation and no
client funds or funds owed to any other party were involved.
PHILIP JOSEPH GIRARDIN [#142664], 54, of Glendale
was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on five years of probation with a six-month
actual suspension, and was ordered to prove his rehabilitation and take the MPRE within
one year. Credit towards the actual suspension will be given for the period of interim
suspension which began May 16, 1999. The order took effect May 19, 2000.
In 1998, Girardin pleaded no contest to two felony counts of driving
under the influence and was sentenced to two years in state prison. He had six prior DUI
He stipulated that his actions constituted misconduct warranting
discipline because his behavior showed a lack of respect for the legal system as well as
an alcohol abuse problem. Both problems, if not checked, could spill over into his
practice and adversely affect his representation of clients, according to the stipulation.
In mitigation, Girardin has been sober for two years and attends
daily AA meetings. He cooperated with the bars disciplinary proceedings.
ABRAHAM N. GOLDMAN [#102080], 50, of Oregon House
was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation with a six-month
actual suspension, and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year and comply with rule
955. The order took effect May 19, 2000.
Goldman stipulated to misconduct in five consolidated cases.
In the first matter, he was hired to represent a client in a dispute
with a former employer. Goldman did not file the suit for more than five months and did
almost nothing to move the case forward. Without consulting his client, he moved to
dismiss with prejudice the claims against one defendant and the remainder was dismissed by
the court. Goldman did not appear at the hearing or submit an objection. After the case
was dismissed, Goldman asked his client for authority to dismiss the lawsuit.
He stipulated that he did not keep his client informed about
developments in his case or perform legal services competently and he committed an act of
In a second case, Goldman brought a series of lawsuits on behalf of
several clients against two groups of defendants involved with nursing homes. Without
obtaining their informed, written consent, he settled the case against one defendant for
an aggregate of $150,000, a violation of a rule of professional conduct. Goldman says he
obtained global settlement waivers from each client before complaints were filed with the
bar. He provided some of the waivers to the bar.
Goldman used the $150,000 settlement as seed money to fund the
litigation against the second group of defendants. When that matter settled, Goldman
prepared settlement statements that did not accurately reflect how the original settlement
was to be distributed. With respect to two clients, he did not provide an accounting
showing cost deductions from their settlement funds.
He settled one clients claims for less than the client had
In a related matter, Goldman represented a client individually and as
conservator of an estate in connection with their claims against one of the groups of
defendants. The client authorized Goldman to settle for $100,000. The clients family
members objected, however, and signed an authorization which changed the settlement
authority level to $125,000. Goldman settled for $100,000 and stipulated that he did not
perform legal services competently.
He also stipulated to mishandling his trust account and client funds.
However, he did not act intentionally to misappropriate client funds. He represents that
his clients received all the funds to which they were entitled and he admitted that he
failed to adequately supervise his staff and monitor their activities with respect to his
client trust account.
In mitigation, Goldman has no record of discipline since his 1981
admission to the bar and he demonstrated good character and rehabilitation. His wife
became seriously ill after the birth of the couples second child, and Goldman had to
care for his wife and their children. He himself became ill and arranged for another
lawyer to take over the nursing home cases.
RICHARD WAYNE LINDSTROM [#107863], 57, of Sacramento
was suspended for one year, stayed, and was placed on one year of probation. The order
took effect May 19, 2000.
Lindstrom stipulated that he represented two clients in the same
criminal matter in which their cases had been consolidated but there was a potential
conflict in their legal interests. He did so without their informed written consent. He
also accepted compensation from one client without obtaining the others consent.
When a third case was consolidated, Lindstrom represented two
criminal defendants in an action in which the facts surrounding the case presented the
parties with an actual conflict of interest.
Lindstrom also was disciplined in 1997 for misconduct that included
failure to perform legal services competently, refund unearned fees or keep clients
informed of developments in their case, and withdrawing from employment without protecting
his clients interests
In mitigation, he cooperated with the bars investigation and no
clients were harmed.
JEFFREY A. TEPPER [#96176], 48, of San Jose was
suspended for two years, stayed, placed on probation for two years with a 30-day actual
suspension, and was ordered to take the MPRE, comply with rule 955 and comply with the
requirements of a Santa Clara County court order. If the actual suspension exceeds two
years, he must prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect May 19, 2000.
Tepper stipulated that he failed to perform legal services
competently as executor of and attorney for an estate: He failed to act expeditiously to
allow the estate to close, to take appropriate steps regarding notice to interested
parties and filing court documents or to prevent certain assets from going to the state.
He was subsequently removed as executor and ordered by a judge to
turn over to an estate representative any estate property in his possession.
He did not cooperate with the bars investigation.
In mitigation, Tepper has no record of discipline since his 1980
admission to the bar, he cooperated with the bars investigation and he faced a wide
array of personal problems at the time of the misconduct, including the death of his
father, a serious injury to his mother, for whom he is the primary caregiver, and his
divorce. He also was a defendant in civil litigation of a serious nature, which eventually
was resolved in his favor.
The probation of MICHAEL JUDSON BIGLOW [#47473], 55, of
Fresno was revoked, the previous stay of suspension was lifted and he was
actually suspended for two years and until he proves his rehabilitation. He was ordered to
attend ethics school, take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. The order took effect May
Biglow violated the terms of a 1998 disciplinary probation by failing
to submit three quarterly probation reports or to provide evidence that he obtained
psychiatric or psychological treatment at least twice a month.
The original discipline resulted from Biglow practicing law while
He has a record of three other disciplines. In 1994, he was privately
reproved for failing to perform competently in one client matter. Because he failed to
comply with the probation terms attached to the reproval, he was disciplined the following
year. In 1997, the probation was extended and Biglow was suspended for again failing to
comply with probation conditions from the earlier discipline.
Biglow should not be permitted to remain on probation,
wrote bar court Judge Eugene Brott. His noncompliance with his probation conditions
demonstrates his inability or unwillingness to conform to the requirements of the law and
raises concerns about the need to protect the public.
Biglow did not participate in the disciplinary proceeding against