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DISBARMENT

Jaeffrey J. Artz, State Bar #163141, Santa Fe Springs (October 17, 2012). Artz, 59, was disbarred for failing to comply with rule 9.20 of the Rules of Court.

In aggravation, Artz had a record of prior discipline. Also, he lacked candor during his testimony at trial, and had uncharged misconduct for the unauthorized practice of law. The order took effect November 16, 2012

Daniel Duchanin, State Bar #189983, Oklahoma City, OK (October 17, 2012). Duchanin, 49, was disbarred for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline, and failing to participate in a disciplinary proceeding. The order took effect November 16, 2012
Ali E. Galam, State Bar #123778, Murrieta (October 9, 2012). Galam, 53, was disbarred for failing to inform clients of their settlement funds, failing to maintain client funds in trust, failing to render an accounting, misappropriating funds, and engaging in an act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, or corruption. In mitigation, Galam had no record of discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1986. The order took effect November 8, 2012
Nicholas O. Hedding, State Bar #227160, Winnetka (October 9, 2012). Hedding, 38, was disbarred for failing to maintain client funds in trust, engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, collecting an illegal advance fee in a loan modification matter, failing to keep a client informed of significant developments, and committing an act involving moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Hedding had a record of prior discipline. In mitigation, he cooperated with the State Bar and other law enforcement agencies during their investigations. The order took effect November 8, 2012

Bruce G. Jones, State Bar #43448, Oxnard (October 9, 2012). Jones, 71, was disbarred for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In aggravation, Jones had a record of prior discipline, engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing, and demonstrated indifference toward rectification of or atonement for his misconduct. In mitigation, he cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect November 8, 2012

Michael S. Kerekes, State Bar #130267, Santa Monica (October 9, 2012). Kerekes, 50, was disbarred following his conviction for violating 18 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy to defraud the United States) by attempting to evade income taxes (26 U.S.C. § 7201); making and subscribing a false income tax return (26 U.S.C. § 7206(1)); aiding and assisting the preparation of false tax returns (26 U.S.C. § 7206(2)); and corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the due administration of internal revenue laws (26 U.S.C. § 7212(a)). His conviction is now final, and the State Bar concluded it met the criteria for summary disbarment. The order took effect November 8, 2012
Jon R. Kniss, State Bar #141454, Santa Fe, NM (August 28, 2012). Kniss, 55, was disbarred for failing to participate in disciplinary proceedings after receiving adequate notice and opportunity to do so. In aggravation, Kniss had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect September 27, 2012
Francisco S. Nogales, State Bar #212819, Newhall (October 17, 2012). Nogales, 58, was disbarred for failing to competently perform legal services, failing to take reasonable steps to avoid foreseeable prejudice to a client, and collecting illegal advance fees in loan modification matters.

In aggravation, Nogales had a record of prior discipline, and his misconduct caused his clients significant harm. Also, he engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing that demonstrated a pattern of misconduct. In mitigation, Nogales cooperated with the State Bar’s investigation and proceedings. The order took effect November 16, 2012

Kerrington F. Osborne, State Bar #146539, Redlands (October 9, 2012). Osborne, 50, was disbarred following his conviction for violating Penal Code § 487(a), grand theft, a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude; failing to participate in disciplinary proceeding after receiving adequate notice and opportunity to do so; and failing to comply with rule 9.20 of the Rules of Court. The order took effect November 8, 2012
Kendall R. Paulson, State Bar #120688, Newport Beach (August 28, 2012). Paulson, 51, was disbarred for failing to maintain client funds in trust, misappropriating funds, and committing acts involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, or corruption.

In aggravation, Paulson caused significant financial harm to his client and exhibited indifference toward rectification of or atonement for his misconduct. In mitigation, Paulson had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the bar in 1985. The order took effect September 27, 2012

Deb C. Pedersdotter, State Bar #131815, San Diego (August 16, 2012). Pedersdotter, 55, was disbarred for failing to participate in a disciplinary proceeding after receiving adequate notice and opportunity to do so. The order took effect September 15, 2012
Michael T. Pines, State Bar #77771, Carlsbad (October 17, 2012). Pines, 60, was disbarred for failing to participate in a disciplinary proceeding after receiving adequate notice and opportunity to do so. The order took effect November 16, 2012
Theodore A. Pinnock, State Bar #153434, Carmona, (August 22, 2012). Pinnock, 49, was disbarred for filing cases without authority, failing to maintain client funds in trust, commingling funds, failing to render an accounting, and committing an act involving moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Pinnock had a record of prior discipline. In mitigation, Pinnock has severe health problems. The order took effect September 21, 2012

Holly J. Quint, State Bar #183681, Orinda (September 25, 2012). Quint, 55, was disbarred for failing to participate in a disciplinary proceeding after receiving adequate notice and opportunity to do so. She was charged with 13 counts of misconduct involving four different clients. The order took effect October 25, 2012
James W. Robertson, State Bar #140969, South Lake Tahoe (August 28, 2012). Robertson, 72, was disbarred following his conviction in British Columbia on ten counts of child sexual assault and two counts of common assault. The victims were Robertson’s children, stepchildren, stepgrandchild, and a friend of his stepchild.

In aggravation, Robertson was convicted of twelve criminal acts involving moral turpitude. In mitigation, he cooperated with the State Bar by stipulating to disbarment. The order took effect September 27, 2012

Charles V. Stebley, State Bar #158219, El Dorado Hills (October 9, 2012). Stebley, 67, was disbarred for failing to participate in a disciplinary proceeding after receiving adequate notice and opportunity to do so. The order took effect November 8, 2012
Angela K. West, State Bar #139555, Chicago, IL (August 21, 2012). West, 51, was disbarred following her conviction for violating Penal Code §§ 417(a)(1) and 243(b), drawing or exhibiting a deadly weapon other than a firearm in a rude, angry, or threatening manner; and battery against a police officer, both misdemeanors. In addition, she failed to participate in a disciplinary proceeding after receiving adequate notice and opportunity to do so. The order took effect September 20, 2012
Thomas M. Witte, State Bar #107542, Fair Oaks (September 19, 2012). Witte, 57, was disbarred for failing to maintain respect due to the courts, failing to maintain just or legal proceedings, and committing acts of moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Witte had a record of prior discipline. Also, he demonstrated a lack of insight and remorse for his misconduct. The order took effect October 19, 2012

SUSPENSION

Thomas J. Bayard, State Bar #226247, Diamond Bar (October 17, 2012). Bayard, 43, suspended for 60 days and placed on four years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services and failing to return unearned fees.

In aggravation, Bayard had a record of prior discipline, and he engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing that caused significant harm to clients. In mitigation, during the period of his misconduct he suffered from severe health problems. The order took effect November 16, 2012

Marc J. Bourget, State Bar #91848, Stockton (August 29, 2012). Bourget, 62, was suspended for 60 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to maintain client funds in trust, failing to competently perform legal services, failing to render an accounting, failing to obey a court order, and failing to return a client’s file. In mitigation, Bourget cooperated with the State Bar’s investigation and proceedings. The order took effect September 28, 2012
Philip Deitch, State Bar #29164, Santa Monica (August 21, 2012). Deitch, 80, was suspended for 90 days and placed on three years of probation for commingling funds.

In aggravation, Deitch had a record of prior discipline. In mitigation, he caused no harm to his client, cooperated with the State Bar, and demonstrated remorse by changing the accounting procedures in his office. The order took effect September 20, 2012

Fabrice J. Desbrosses, State Bar #175640, La Mesa (August 28, 2012). Desbrosses, 47, was suspended for four months and placed on two years of probation following his conviction for violating Penal Code § 653m(b), making annoying phone calls, a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Desbrosses had a record of prior discipline. In mitigation, he cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect September 27, 2012

Aaron M. Ellis, State Bar #248862, Whittier (August 28, 2012). Ellis, 32, was suspended for six months and placed on three years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services, failing to respond to reasonable status inquiries, failing to pay funds a client was entitled to receive, failing to render an accounting, and failing to promptly refund unearned fees.

In aggravation, Ellis’s misconduct harmed his clients. In mitigation, he cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect September 27, 2012

Nwabueze C. Ezeife, State Bar #165472, Antioch (August 29, 2012). Ezeife, 50, was suspended for three years and placed on four years of probation for practicing law while his license was suspended in 2010 and 2011.

In aggravation, Ezeife had a record of prior discipline. In mitigation, Ezeife cooperated with the State Bar’s investigation and proceedings. The order took effect September 28, 2012

Philip O. Falese, State Bar #222428, Los Angeles (August 21, 2012). Falese, 56, was suspended for six months and placed on two years of probation for collecting an illegal fee, failing to render appropriate accounts, and seeking to mislead a judge.

In aggravation, Falese had a record of prior discipline. In mitigation, he cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect September 20, 2012

Scott A. Galland, State Bar #211330, Bakersfield (August 16, 2012). Galland, 41, was suspended for one year and placed on three years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services, failing to take steps to avoid reasonably foreseeable prejudice to his client, violating a court order, failing to report judicial sanctions to the State Bar, failing to keep a client informed of significant developments, failing to render an accounting, failing to promptly return unearned fees, failing to promptly release a client’s file, failing to cooperate and participate in a disciplinary investigation, and failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In aggravation, Galland had a record of prior discipline. In mitigation, he cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect September 15, 2012

Jon E. Gelb, State Bar #168848, Pasadena (September 25, 2012). Gelb, 45, was suspended for 30 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to comply with various conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In aggravation, Gelb had a record of prior discipline and engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. The order took effect October 25, 2012

Kimberly A. Hansen, State Bar #167597, Orange (September 25, 2012). Hansen, 47, was suspended for one year and placed on two years of probation for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In aggravation, Hansen had a record of prior discipline. Also, she engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing and failed to participate in the State Bar’s investigation and proceedings. The order took effect October 25, 2012

Nazareth V. Jansezian, State Bar #193159, Pasadena (September 6, 2012). Jansezian, 43, was suspended for four months and placed on three years of probation for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In aggravation, Jansezian had a record of prior discipline. In mitigation, he cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect October 5, 2012

Milton Kerlan, Jr., State Bar #39719, Fresno (August 30, 2012). Kerlan, 71, was suspended for three years and until he provides proof of his rehabilitation, fitness to practice, and learning and ability in the law. He was disciplined for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline. In aggravation, Kerlan had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect September 29, 2012
Kamran A. Khawar, State Bar #216551, Irvine (August 28, 2012). Khawar, 37, was suspended for 60 days and placed on two years of probation following his conviction for violating Penal Code § 488, petty theft, a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.

In mitigation, Khawar cooperated with the State Bar’s investigation and proceedings. The order took effect September 27, 2012

Robert W. Logan, State Bar #198922, Redding (August 28, 2012). Logan, 42, was suspended for nine months and placed on three years of probation for failing to maintain client funds in trust, failing to return unearned fees, failing to participate in a disciplinary investigation, and engaging in acts involving moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Logan had a record of prior discipline, and he committed multiple acts of wrongdoing that harmed his client. In mitigation, he cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect September 27, 2012

Leodis C. Matthews, State Bar #109064, Los Angeles (October 9, 2012). Matthews, 63, was suspended for 30 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to disclose a potential conflict of interest with a client and failing to obtain a supplemental written conflict of interest waiver.

In mitigation, Matthews had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1983, and he cooperated with its investigation and proceedings. The order took effect November 8, 2012

Kim T. Nguyen, State Bar #162783, Tustin (August 30, 2012). Nguyen, 44, was suspended for three years for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline. In aggravation, Nguyen had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect September 29, 2012
Peter D. Nitschke, State Bar #174123, Newport Beach (August 29, 2012). Nitschke, 45, was suspended for 30 days and placed on three years of probation for failing to keep clients reasonably informed, entering into a settlement without the client’s knowledge or consent, and failing to respond promptly to a client’s status inquiries.

In aggravation, Nitschke engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. The order took effect October 28, 2012

Michael J. O'Brien, State Bar #147414, Upland (August 21, 2012). O’Brien, 50, was suspended for one year and placed on two years of probation for improperly entering into an unfair business transaction with a client.

In aggravation, O’Brien had a record of prior discipline, and his misconduct significantly harmed his client. In mitigation, he cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect September 20, 2012

Thomas D. Pham, Jr., State Bar #183521, Huntington Beach (August 16, 2012). Pham, 52, was suspended for 60 days and placed on one year of probation for failing to competently provide legal services and committing acts of moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Pham engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. In mitigation, he had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1996, and he cooperated with its investigation and demonstrated remorse for his misconduct. The order took effect September 15, 2012

Richard J. Ruszat, State Bar #220432, Newport Beach (August 24, 2012). Ruszat, 42, was suspended for two years and until he provides proof of his fitness to practice and learning and ability in the law. He was disciplined for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In aggravation, Ruszat had a record of prior discipline. Also, he committed multiple acts of wrongdoing, demonstrated indifference toward rectification of or atonement for his misconduct, and failed to cooperate with the State Bar’s investigation and proceedings. The order took effect September 23, 2012

Vivian C. San Jose, State Bar #222909, Corona (September 6, 2012). San Jose, 47, was suspended for three years and placed on four years of probation for entering into a business transaction with a client without properly complying with disclosure requirements, collecting illegal advance fees in loan modification matters, failing to competently perform legal services, creating a bankruptcy practice with non-lawyers, aiding in the unauthorized practice of law, and failing to refund unearned fees.

In aggravation, San Jose’s misconduct harmed her clients. In mitigation, she had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 2002. The order took effect October 6, 2012

Kim D. Scovis, State Bar #182059, Thousand Oaks (August 29, 2012). Scovis, 46, was suspended for 60 days and placed on three years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services.

In aggravation, Scovis had a record of prior discipline. In mitigation, she cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect September 28, 2012

Kulvinder Singh, State Bar #182109, Roseville (October 17, 2012). Singh, 46, was suspended for 30 days and placed on two years of probation for committing an act of moral turpitude and misleading the court.

In aggravation, Singh’s misconduct significantly harmed the administration of justice. In mitigation, during the period of his misconduct Singh was engaged in a highly contentious divorce that related to his wrongdoing. The order took effect November 16, 2012

Lori Smith, State Bar #196156, Riverside (October 17, 2012). Smith, 66, was suspended for 30 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services.

In aggravation, Smith had a record of prior discipline. In mitigation, she cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect November 16, 2012

Kerry L. Steigerwalt, State Bar #116264, San Diego (September 6, 2012). Steigerwalt, 54, was suspended for one year and placed on two years of probation for failing to supervise his staff attorneys, failing to render an accounting, and failing to promptly refund unearned fees.

In aggravation, Steigerwalt engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing that demonstrated a pattern of misconduct. In mitigation, he had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1984. The order took effect October 6, 2012

G. C. Stokes, State Bar #112473, Sacramento (August 29, 2012). Stokes, 58, was suspended for 90 days and placed on two years of probation for committing acts involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, or corruption.

In mitigation, Stokes had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1984. The order took effect September 28, 2012

Hamid Taghizadeh, State Bar #194627, Los Angeles (August 16, 2012). Taghizadeh was suspended for one year for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline. The order took effect September 15, 2012
Katherine M. Townley, State Bar #226566, Red Bluff (September 6, 2012). Townley, 42, was suspended for 60 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to obtain a client’s written consent to the payment of fees, failing to competently perform legal services, failing to keep a client reasonably informed of significant developments, failing to respond to reasonable status inquiries, failing to take reasonable steps to avoid foreseeable prejudice, failing to render an accounting, failing to cooperate in a disciplinary proceeding, and failing to promptly refund unearned fees. There were two other matters involving conduct warranting discipline.

In aggravation, Townley’s engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing that demonstrated a pattern of misconduct. In mitigation, Townley had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 2003. The order took effect October 5, 2012

Surekha M. Weinberg, State Bar #244039, Agoura Hills (October 9, 2012). Weinberg, 34, was suspended for three years and placed on four years of probation following her conviction for violating Penal Code § 191.5(a), gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated; Vehicle Code § 23153(a), driving under the influence of alcohol and/or a drug and causing bodily injury with a prior conviction for § 23152(a); and Vehicle Code § 23153(b), driving with a blood-alcohol content of .08 percent or more and causing bodily injury with a prior conviction for § 23152(a).

In aggravation, Weinberg’s misconduct caused death to one victim and serious injuries to four others. Moreover, she had previously been convicted for misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol and was sentenced to probation; the complaint was later dismissed after she complied with the conditions of her probation. In mitigation, Weinberg cooperated with the State Bar’s investigation and exhibited sincere remorse for her misconduct. The order took effect November 8, 2012

Jennifer Y. Williams, State Bar #242146, Long Beach (September 18, 2012). Williams, 31, was suspended for three years for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline. In aggravation, she had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect October 18, 2012

PROBATION

Mary E. Daniels, State Bar #118730, Riverside (September 25, 2012). Daniels, 62, was placed on 18 months of probation for failing to competently perform legal services. In aggravation, Daniels’s misconduct significantly harmed her client. The order took effect October 25, 2012
Dani J. Handell, State Bar #130346, Las Vegas, NV (August 21, 2012). Handell, 50, was placed on 18 months of probation for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In aggravation, Handell had a record of prior discipline. In mitigation, she cooperated with the State Bar’s investigation and proceedings. The order took effect September 20, 2012

Chris D. Kiernan, State Bar #147669, Bermuda Dunes (September 25, 2012). Kiernan, 51, was placed on one year of probation for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In aggravation, Kiernan had a record of prior discipline. In mitigation, he acknowledged his wrongdoing and cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect October 25, 2012

Patrick L. Lund, State Bar #86371, Newport Beach (September 6, 2012). Lund, 58, was placed on two years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services.

In aggravation, Lund had a record of prior discipline. In mitigation, he cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect October 5, 2012

Peter S. Park, State Bar #152619, Newport Beach (August 29, 2012). Park, 53, was placed on two years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services and failing to serve a written notice on the State Bar. In mitigation, Park cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect September 28, 2012

There are no recent disciplinary actions of this type.