MAGAZINE
California Lawyer

DISBARMENT

Michael B. Baker, State Bar #53099, Encino (August 28, 2012). Baker, 65, was disbarred for failing to participate in disciplinary proceedings after receiving adequate notice and opportunity to do so, and misappropriating $35,698 of his clients’ funds.

In aggravation, Baker had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect September 27, 2012

Joseph A. Bernal, State Bar #119448, Pasadena (May 22, 2012). Bernal, 55, was disbarred for failing to competently perform legal services and failing to refund unearned fees.

In aggravation, Bernal had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect June 21, 2012

Kelly W. Bixby, State Bar #53166, Los Angeles (July 11, 2012). Bixby, 65, was disbarred for engaging in acts of moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Bixby engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing that harmed his clients. The order took effect August 10, 2012

Robert J. Buscho, State Bar #122556, Anaheim (August 21, 2012). Buscho, 53, was disbarred for failing to competently perform legal services, failing to promptly refund unearned fees, collecting an advance fee in a loan modification matter, failing to take reasonable steps to avoid foreseeable prejudice to a client, violating the regulations of the profession in New Jersey and in Missouri, and collecting an illegal fee. There were 17 other similar matters involving conduct warranting discipline.

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

David L. Candaux, State Bar #65382, Woodland Hills (July 13, 2012). Candaux, 64, was disbarred for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In aggravation, Candaux failed to participate in the State Bar’s investigation and proceedings prior to entry of his default. The order took effect August 12, 2012

Thomas P. Carey, State Bar #131995, San Francisco (July 11, 2012). Thomas Patrick Carey, State Bar # 131995, San Francisco (July 11). Carey, 53, was disbarred for failing to maintain client funds in trust, commingling funds, and failing to maintain trust account records.

In aggravation, Carey failed to participate in the State Bar’s investigation and proceedings prior to entry of his default. The order took effect August 10, 2012

Brian Y. Ching, State Bar #79456, Oakland (August 16, 2012). Ching, 62, was disbarred for failing to maintain client funds in trust, failing to notify a client of the receipt of funds, failing to disburse client funds, failing to maintain records, failing to respond to reasonable status inquiries, failing to competently perform legal services, failing to refund an unearned fee, and committing an act involving moral turpitude. There were three other similar matters involving conduct warranting discipline.

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

Richard D. Comess, State Bar #198665, Monrovia (September 25, 2012). Richard David Comess, State Bar # 198665, Monrovia (Sept. 25). Comess, 62, was disbarred for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline, and failing to respond to the petition for disbarment or to move to set aside or vacate the default.

In aggravation, Comess had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect October 25, 2012

Richard D. Corona, State Bar #56795, El Cajon (May 22, 2012). Corona, 64, was disbarred for failing to comply with rule 9.20 of the Rules of Court.

In mitigation, Corona cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect June 20, 2012

Janice M. Crowell, State Bar #209659, Carlsbad (August 9, 2012). Crowell, 64, was disbarred following her conviction for violating Penal Code § 484, petty theft, a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude. After the conviction became final, the State Bar Court notified Crowell that failing to participate in disciplinary proceedings would result in a disbarment recommendation. Crowell failed to participate, and the State Bar petitioned for disbarment. The order took effect September 8, 2012
Thomas E. Cummings, State Bar #237925, Lake Elsinore (July 13, 2012). Cummings, 55, was disbarred for failing to competently provide legal services, failing to communicate with clients, failing to refund unearned fees, failing to maintain records of client funds, and failing to comply with rule 9.20 of the Rules of Court.

In aggravation, Cummings failed to participate in the State Bar’s investigation and proceedings before entry of his default. The order took effect August 12, 2012

James E. Curtis, IV, State Bar #140709, Riverside (September 25, 2012). Curtis, 55, was disbarred for failing to participate in a disciplinary proceeding after receiving adequate notice and opportunity relating to 36 counts of misconduct in 19 client matters. In addition, Curtis was ordered to pay restitution to his clients. The order took effect October 25, 2012
Nicholas G. Demma, State Bar #47318, Thousand Oaks (July 11, 2012). Demma, 73, was disbarred for failing to comply with rule 9.20 of the Rules of Court.

In aggravation, Demma had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect August 10, 2012

Jonathan S. Dickstein, State Bar #185273, San Francisco (August 9, 2012). Dickstein, 45, was disbarred following his conviction for violating Penal Code § 487(a), grand theft, § 664/487(a), attempted grand theft, § 470(d), forgery, § 72, presenting a false claim, § 550(a)(6), presenting a false or fraudulent claim for health care benefits, and § 182(a)(2), conspiracy to commit grand theft, all felonies involving moral turpitude. His conviction is now final, and the State Bar Court concluded it met the criteria for summary disbarment. The order took effect September 8, 2012
Charla R. Duke, State Bar #95518, Oakland (August 16, 2012). Duke, 60, was disbarred for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline and failing to respond to the petition for disbarment. The order took effect September 15, 2012
Daniel L. Eisman, State Bar #248617, San Diego (July 13, 2012). Eisman, 37, was disbarred following his conviction for violating Alaska Statutes § 11.61.123(a)(f)(2), indecent viewing or photography, and § 11.61.127(a), possession of child pornography, felonies involving moral turpitude. His conviction is now final, and the State Bar Court concluded it met the criteria for summary disbarment. The order took effect August 12, 2012
Cheryl Jane Erber, State Bar #151382, Palo Alto (August 16, 2012). Erber, 54, was disbarred for failing to participate in a disciplinary proceeding. In addition, she was ordered to pay restitution to two clients. The order took effect September 15, 2012
Sydney K. Ericson, State Bar #50457, Brea (July 16, 2012). Ericson, 70, was disbarred for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In aggravation, Ericson failed to participate in the State Bar’s investigation and proceedings. The order took effect August 15, 2012

John R. Faith, State Bar #50474, Covina (June 28, 2012). Faith, 65, was disbarred for failing to comply with rule 9.20 of the Rules of Court. The order took effect July 28, 2012
Henry R. Gaxiola, State Bar #138498, Fontana (May 22, 2012). Gaxiola, 52, was disbarred for failing to competently perform legal services and failing to refund unearned fees.

In aggravation, Gaxiola had a record of prior discipline and engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. The order took effect June 21, 2012

Patricia A. Gregory, State Bar #226239, Apple Valley (July 18, 2012). Gregory, 62, was disbarred for failing to maintain client funds in trust, misappropriating funds, and failing to obey a court order.

In aggravation, Gregory committed multiple acts of wrongdoing that caused significant harm to her clients. In mitigation, Gregory cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect August 18, 2012

LeRue J. Grim, State Bar #37485, San Francisco (July 18, 2012). Grim, 84, was disbarred for failing to competently perform legal services, failing to obey court orders, failing to report sanctions, failing to communicate with a client, failing to return a client file, and failing to promptly return unearned fees.

In aggravation, Grim had a record of prior discipline and he engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. The order took effect August 17, 2012

Mohamed F. Haffar, State Bar #235731, San Diego (May 22, 2012). Haffar, 33, was disbarred for accepting advance fees in loan modification matters, failing to competently perform legal services, assisting others in the unauthorized practice of law, and failing to promptly refund unearned fees.

In aggravation, Haffar engaged in a pattern of wrongdoing that caused significant harm to his clients. The order took effect June 21, 2012

Moses S. Hall, State Bar #153759, Fullerton (May 22, 2012). Hall, 56, was disbarred for failing to competently perform legal services in loan modification matters, failing to maintain client funds in trust, and engaging in acts involving moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Hall had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect June 21, 2012

Gary L. Harre, State Bar #86938, Fountain Valley (June 27, 2012). Harre, 74, was disbarred for failing to competently provide legal services, misappropriating funds, and failing to refund unearned fees. In aggravation, Harre had a record of prior discipline, and he engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing that harmed his clients. The order took effect July 27, 2012
William T. Hays, Jr., State Bar #135264, Santa Ana (September 6, 2012). Hays, 54, was disbarred for failing to maintain client funds in trust, misappropriating funds, and misrepresentation.

In aggravation, Hays committed multiple acts of wrongdoing surrounded by dishonesty and overreaching. In mitigation, he had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1988. The order took effect October 5, 2012

Errol I. Horwitz, State Bar #86098, Woodland Hills (July 13, 2012). Horwitz, 67, was disbarred for failing to competently provide legal services and engaging in acts of moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Horwitz had a record of prior discipline, and he engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. The order took effect August 12, 2012

Ronald A. Jackson, State Bar #49536, Oxnard (August 21, 2012). Jackson, 73, was disbarred for failing to participate in a disciplinary proceeding after receiving adequate notice and opportunity. He was charged with ten counts of misconduct warranting discipline.

In aggravation, Jackson had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect September 20, 2012

George S. Kellner, State Bar #111670, Oakley (July 16, 2012). Kellner, 58, was disbarred following his conviction for violating Penal Code § 129, perjury, and Revenue and Taxation Code § 19706, failing to file tax returns, both felonies involving moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Kellner engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. In mitigation, Kellner had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1983. The order took effect August 15, 2012

Vafa A. Khoshbin, State Bar #165486, Los Angeles (September 6, 2012). Khoshbin, 52, was disbarred for failing to maintain client funds in trust, failing to promptly disburse client funds, failing to take reasonable steps to avoid foreseeable prejudice, collecting advance fees in loan modification matters, failing to competently perform legal services, failing to refund unearned fees, and committing an act involving moral turpitude. There were eleven other matters involving conduct warranting discipline.

In aggravation, Khoshbin had a record of prior discipline. In mitigation, he cooperated with the State Bar’s investigation and proceedings. The order took effect October 5, 2012

Daniel S. Kodam, State Bar #190703, Murrieta (July 18, 2012). Kodam, 39, was disbarred for fraudulently obtaining $320,000 from contingency fee lawyers an assignment of their fees on settled cases.

In aggravation, Kodam engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing that caused financial harm. In mitigation, he had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1997. The order took effect August 17, 2012

Philip A. Kramer, State Bar #113969, Calabasas (August 16, 2012). Kramer, 53, was disbarred for collecting advance fees in loan modification matters, accepting employment in a jurisdiction where he was not licensed to practice, and failing to refund unearned fees.

In aggravation, Kramer 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, and he cooperated with the State Bar by entering a stipulation. The order took effect September 15, 2012

Linda N. Lowney, State Bar #83670, Pacifica (August 9, 2012). Lowney, 61, was disbarred for filing a false marriage license, misappropriating more than $340,000, and engaging in acts involving moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Lowney engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. In mitigation, she had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1978. The order took effect September 8, 2012

Lee A. McCoy, State Bar #153631, Sherman Oaks (July 10, 2012). McCoy, 48, was disbarred for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, failing to competently perform legal services, collecting illegal fees, and failing to refund unearned fees.

In aggravation, McCoy had a record of prior discipline, and he committed multiple acts of wrongdoing that harmed his clients. In mitigation, McCoy cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect August 9, 2012

Per C. Onneflod, State Bar #146318, Clovis (May 22, 2012). Onneflod, 52, was disbarred for failing to maintain client funds in trust and engaging in acts involving moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Onneflod had a record of prior discipline. Also, his misconduct significantly harmed a client and demonstrated a pattern of wrongdoing. In mitigation, Onneflod cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect June 21, 2012

Paul F. Opel, State Bar #101874, Encino (August 9, 2012). Opel, 56, was disbarred for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law and failing to comply with a court order.

In aggravation, Opel had a record of prior discipline and engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. The order took effect September 8, 2012

Rickey B. Oxman, State Bar #72172, Santa Fe Springs (June 27, 2012). Oxman, 60, was disbarred for failing to maintain client funds in trust, commingling funds, and failing to timely report sanctions to the State Bar.

In aggravation, Oxman had a record of prior discipline and engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. The order took effect July 27, 2012

Rosemary Rodriguez, State Bar #64529, El Cajon (July 13, 2012). Rodriguez, 66, was disbarred for failing to competently perform legal services, failing to maintain client funds in trust, misappropriating advance costs, failing to avoid representing clients with adverse interests, failing to communicate, failing to refund unearned fees, failing to promptly return client files upon termination of employment, failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline, and engaging in an act involving moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Rodriguez had a record of prior discipline and engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. The order took effect August 12, 2012

Andrew E. Rubin, State Bar #62587, Los Angeles (July 10, 2012). Rubin, 63, was disbarred for failing to competently perform legal services, failing to respond to reasonable status inquiries, failing to keep a client informed of significant developments, and failing to refund unearned fees.

In aggravation, Rubin had a record of prior discipline and engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. The order took effect August 9, 2012

Dennis M. Sacks, State Bar #86377, Riverside (May 22, 2012). Sacks, 63, was disbarred for failing to comply with rule 9.20 of the Rules of Court.

In aggravation, Sacks had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect June 21, 2012

Roger H. Schnapp, State Bar #102861, Newport Beach (July 13, 2012). Schnapp, 66, was disbarred following his conviction for violating Penal Code § 487(a), grand theft, and § 476a(a), issuing a check with intent to defraud, both felonies involving moral turpitude. The conviction is now final and the State Bar Court concluded that it met the criteria for summary disbarment. The order took effect August 12, 2012
Quentin B. Simms, State Bar #153454, Pasadena (July 13, 2012). Simms, 54, was disbarred for failing to competently perform legal services, failing to take reasonable steps to avoid foreseeable prejudice to a client, failing to keep a client informed of significant developments, failing to promptly disburse client funds, disobeying a court order, and failing to refund unearned fees.

In aggravation, Simms had a record of prior discipline and engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. The order took effect August 12, 2012

David V. Skinner, State Bar #123426, Rancho Santa Margarita (July 10, 2012). Skinner, 51, was disbarred for failing to participate in disciplinary proceedings related to eight counts of misconduct in three client matters, which included failing to notify a client of the receipt of client funds, failing to promptly disburse client funds, and misappropriating funds. The order took effect August 10, 2012
Larry S. Spears, State Bar #195993, Herndon, VA (July 10, 2012). Spears, 48, was disbarred for failing to respond to a notice of disciplinary proceedings.

In aggravation, Spears had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect August 9, 2012

Reuben A. Spivey, State Bar #143654, Los Angeles (July 18, 2012). Spivey, 71, was disbarred for misappropriating funds.

In aggravation, Spivey’s misconduct was surrounded by dishonesty, concealment, and overreaching. In mitigation, he had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1989. The order took effect August 17, 2012

Nolan C. Stringfield, State Bar #113651, El Cajon (July 16, 2012). Stringfield, 69, was disbarred for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline and failing to participate in the State Bar’s investigation and proceedings. The order took effect August 15, 2012
Jay M. Tenenbaum, State Bar #134221, Irvine (July 19, 2012). Tenenbaum, 53, was disbarred for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, failing to comply with rule 9.20 of the Rules of Court, and committing an act involving moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Tenenbaum had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect August 18, 2012

Cedric Troncoso, State Bar #86625, Pasadena (July 10, 2012). Troncoso, 61, was disbarred for failing to promptly disburse client funds, failing to maintain client funds in trust, misappropriating funds, seeking to mislead a judge, and failing to obey a court order.

In aggravation, Troncoso engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. In mitigation, he had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1979. The order took effect August 9, 2012

Marc R. Tow, State Bar #78429, Overland Park, KS (July 16, 2012). Tow, 61, was disbarred for failing to participate in a disciplinary proceeding after receiving adequate notice and opportunity. He was charged with eight counts of misconduct in two matters, including misappropriating $10,000 in advance costs and making misrepresentations to his client. The order took effect August 15, 2012
Paul C. Ward, Jr., State Bar #92369, San Diego (July 12, 2012). Ward, 65, was disbarred following his conviction for violating 18 U.S.C. § 1343 and § 2(a), aiding and abetting wire fraud, a felony involving moral turpitude. His conviction is now final and the State Bar Court concluded that it met the criteria for summary disbarment. The order took effect August 11, 2012
Stanley Z. White, State Bar #118616, Los Angeles (July 10, 2012). White, 77, was disbarred for failing to competently provide legal services and failing to maintain client funds in trust.

In aggravation, White had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect August 9, 2012

Andrew M. Zanger, State Bar #73268, Santa Monica (May 22, 2012). Zanger, 62, was disbarred for failing to competently perform legal services, failing to respond to reasonable status inquiries, failing to obey a court order, improperly withdrawing from representation, and engaging in acts involving moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Zanger had a record of prior discipline and engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. The order took effect June 21, 2012

SUSPENSION

Jack I. Adler, State Bar #97380, Moreno Valley (July 19, 2012). Adler, 65, was suspended for 90 days and placed on two years of probation for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law and engaging in an act involving moral turpitude.

In mitigation, Adler had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1981. The order took effect August 18, 2012

Anthony Bayard de Volo, State Bar #210018, San Jose (July 16, 2012). Bayard de Volo was suspended for 90 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services in five loan modification matters, seeking an agreement not to file or withdraw a State Bar complaint against him, and having clients sign fee agreements that released him from malpractice liability.

In mitigation, Bayard de Volo had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 2003. The order took effect August 15, 2012

John M. Bouzane, State Bar #79804, Bloomington (July 16, 2012). Bouzane, 65, was suspended for four months and placed on two years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services, failing to maintain client funds in trust, and failing to promptly release client files upon termination of employment.

In aggravation, Bouzane had a record of prior discipline and engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing The order took effect August 15, 2012

Robin C. Carr, State Bar #154023, Chula Vista (July 11, 2012). Carr, 48, was suspended for 90 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In aggravation, Carr had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect August 10, 2012

Byron E. Congdon, State Bar #123286, San Bernadino (June 28, 2012). Congdon, 65, was suspended for 90 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to promptly respond to reasonable status inquiries and engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.

In aggravation, Congdon had a record of prior discipline and engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. In mitigation, Congdon cooperated with the State Bar by entering a stipulation. The order took effect July 28, 2012

James DeAguilera, State Bar #166315, Redlands (July 16, 2012). DeAguilera, 62, was suspended for 90 days and placed two years of probation for failing to competently provide legal services, failing to render an accounting, failing to keep clients informed of significant developments, failing to refund unearned fees, and failing to properly withdraw from representation.

In aggravation, DeAguilera had a record of prior discipline. He stipulated to 16 acts of misconduct in six client matters. The order took effect August 15, 2012

Edward G. Duree, State Bar #116569, Fairfield (June 28, 2012). Duree, 55, was suspended for 30 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to maintain client funds in trust and commingling funds. In aggravation, Duree had a record of prior discipline. In mitigation, Duree cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect July 28, 2012
Cynthia R. Flahive, State Bar #207823, Folsom (June 5, 2012). Flahive, 41, was suspended for 60 days and placed on three years of probation for collecting advance legal fees in loan modification matters and failing to maintain client funds in trust.

In mitigation, Flahive had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 2000. The order took effect July 5, 2012

Mark H. Galyean, State Bar #220617, Carson (June 5, 2012). Galyean, 43, was suspended for 30 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline, failing to render an accounting, and failing to return a client file.

In aggravation, Galyean had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect July 5, 2012

Albert M. Graham, Jr., State Bar #44490, Santa Ana (June 13, 2012). Graham, 75, was suspended for two years and placed on three years of probation for committing acts of moral turpitude based on a federal court’s finding that he underpaid his taxes for three years by about $157,000.

In aggravation, Graham had a record of prior discipline and engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. The order took effect July 13, 2012

Rodger B. Haglund, State Bar #216427, Abilene, TX (July 12, 2012). Haglund, 42, was suspended for six months and placed on three years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services, failing to refund unearned fees, failing to render an accounting, practicing law and collecting fees in a jurisdiction where he was not licensed, and violating a court order.

In aggravation, Haglund had a record of prior discipline and engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. In mitigation, Haglund cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect August 11, 2012

Susan K. Holliday, State Bar #96472, Irwindale (May 22, 2012). Holliday, 63, was suspended for four months and placed on two years of probation for failing to promptly refund an unearned fee.

In aggravation, Holliday had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect June 21, 2012

Maureen P. Jaroscak, State Bar #117677, Santa Fe Springs (July 12, 2012). Jaroscak, 61, was suspended for 18 months and placed on two years of probation for commingling funds, using a client trust account to evade creditors, breaching fiduciary duties as a trustee, failing to cooperate with a State Bar investigation, and engaging in acts of moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Jaroscak engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. In mitigation, she had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1985. The order took effect August 11, 2012

David L. Kagel, State Bar #58961, Los Angeles (July 19, 2012). Kagel, 74, was suspended for eight months and placed on two years of probation for failing to maintain client funds in trust, commingling funds, and engaging in an act of moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Kagel had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect August 18, 2012

Rita A. Kahlenberg, State Bar #200518, Valley Village (August 7, 2012). Kahlenberg, 65, was suspended for one year for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In aggravation, Kahlenberg had a record of prior discipline and engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. The order took effect September 6, 2012

Jerry A. LaCues, State Bar #77088, Chino Hills (June 4, 2012). LaCues, 61, was suspended for 30 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to maintain client funds in trust and failing to competently perform legal services.

In aggravation, LaCues had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect July 4, 2012

Mayra I. Laureano, State Bar #194702, Santa Ana (July 12, 2012). Laureano, 46, was suspended for six months and placed on two years of probation for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, failing to competently provide legal services, failing to keep a client reasonably informed of significant developments, failing to render an accounting, failing to promptly refund advance fees, and failing to cooperate with a State Bar investigation.

In aggravation, Laureano had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect August 11, 2012

Brandon L. Moreno, State Bar #233750, Reno, NV (July 11, 2012). Moreno, 37, was suspended for two years and placed on four years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services in loan modification matters, failing to take steps to avoid reasonably foreseeable prejudice to his clients, and failing to properly withdraw from representation.

In aggravation, Moreno’s misconduct caused serious harm to his clients. The order took effect August 10, 2012

Peter L. Nisson, State Bar #62276, Laguna Beach (June 4, 2012). Nisson, 62, was suspended for 90 days and placed on two years of probation for accepting advance fees in loan modification matters and failing to refund unearned fees.

In aggravation, Nisson had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect July 4, 2012

Emeka G. Onwualu, State Bar #161868, Inglewood (May 21, 2012). Onwualu, 60, was suspended for 60 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services, failing to promptly refund an unearned fee, and aiding a nonattorney in the unauthorized practice of law.

In aggravation, Onwualu had a record of prior discipline. In mitigation, he entered into a stipulation with the State Bar. The order took effect June 21, 2012

Gregory A. Paiva, State Bar #207218, Rancho Cucamonga (June 28, 2012). Paiva, 38, was suspended for 18 months and placed on four years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services, failing to promptly refund unearned fees, and engaging in an act involving moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Paiva had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect July 28, 2012

Shelley F. Palm, State Bar #74879, La Quinta (July 12, 2012). Palm, 70, was suspended for two years and placed on two years of probation following her conviction for violating Penal Code § 487(a), grand theft by embezzlement, a felony involving moral turpitude. In mitigation, Palm had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1977 The order took effect August 11, 2012
Joseph A. Parks, State Bar #160473, Windsor (August 9, 2012). Parks, 57, was suspended for three years and placed on five years of probation for failing to maintain client funds in trust, commingling funds, failing to promptly disburse client funds, misappropriating funds, and engaging in acts of moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Parks had a record of prior discipline and engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. The order took effect September 8, 2012

James H. Pasto, State Bar #48445, San Diego (July 12, 2012). Pasto, 67, was suspended for 30 months and placed on five years of probation for commingling funds and engaging in acts involving moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Pasto had a record of prior discipline, and his misconduct caused significant harm to his clients. The order took effect August 11, 2012

Jonathon R. Patterson, State Bar #220037, Las Vegas, NV (July 19, 2012). Patterson, 39, was suspended for two years and placed on three years of probation following his conviction for gross lewdness in Nevada and engaging in acts of moral turpitude. In mitigation, Patterson had no record of discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 2002, and he cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect August 18, 2012
Alexander J. Pecel, State Bar #167229, Valencia (July 16, 2012). Pecel, 44, was suspended for two 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, Pecel had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect August 15, 2012

Christopher L. Persaud, State Bar #262620, San Bernardino (June 28, 2012). Persaud, 38, was suspended for two years and placed on three years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services, accepting advance fees in loan modification matters, failing to respond to reasonable status requests, failing to return unearned fees, and practicing law in jurisdictions where he was not licensed.

In aggravation, Persaud engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing that harmed his clients. In mitigation, Persaud cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect July 28, 2012

Tung T. Pham, State Bar #241735, Westminster (July 16, 2012). Pham, 35, was suspended for 30 days and placed on two years of probation following his conviction for violating Penal Code § 370, misdemeanor public nuisance, for allowing his law office to accept a questionable claim arising from a staged accident. The order took effect August 15, 2012
Michael S. Pratter, State Bar #40277, Las Vegas, NV (May 22, 2012). Pratter, 71, was suspended for two years and placed on three years of probation for failing to maintain client funds in trust and engaging in acts involving moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Pratter had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect June 21, 2012

Warren W. Quann, State Bar #140032, Sacramento (June 20, 2012). Quann, 53, was suspended for two years and placed on three years of probation for aiding in the unauthorized practice of law in seven loan modification matters and failing to promptly refund unearned fees.

In aggravation, Quann had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect July 20, 2012

Sally A. Reynoso, State Bar #185037, West Sacramento (May 22, 2012). Reynoso, 52, was suspended for two years and placed on three years of probation for forming a partnership with a nonattorney, sharing legal fees with nonattorneys, aiding in the unauthorized practice of law, failing to competently perform legal services in loan modification matters, commingling funds, and failing to promptly return unearned fees.

In aggravation, Reynoso engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing that caused financial harm to her clients. The order took effect June 21, 2012

David J. Ruyle, Jr., State Bar #234569, San Diego (July 12, 2012). Ruyle, 36, was suspended for 60 days and placed on one year of probation for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law and collecting an illegal fee. The order took effect August 11, 2012
Jagdip S. Sekhon, State Bar #170324, Salida (July 5, 2012). Sekhon, 45, was suspended for two years for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In aggravation, Sekhon had a record of prior discipline and engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. The order took effect August 4, 2012

Mark S. Smith, State Bar #158734, Long Beach (July 10, 2012). Smith, 53, was suspended for two years and placed on five years of probation for failing to maintain client funds in trust, commingling funds, and engaging in an act involving moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Smith had a record of prior discipline and engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. In mitigation, Smith cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect August 9, 2012

Jerry A. Stevenson, State Bar #262798, San Diego (July 19, 2012). Stevenson, 42, was suspended for six months and placed on three years of probation for charging advance fees in loan modification matters, failing to competently perform legal services, and failing to refund unearned fees. He stipulated to 16 counts of misconduct in five client matters.

In aggravation, Stevenson engaged multiple acts of wrongdoing. The order took effect August 18, 2012

Daniel T. Streeter, Jr., State Bar #183703, Los Angeles (August 9, 2012). Streeter, 51, was suspended for six months and placed on three years of probation for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In aggravation, Streeter had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect September 8, 2012

Jaime V. Stringfield, State Bar #179846, Santa Clara (July 13, 2012). Stringfield, 44, was suspended for 30 days and placed on one year of probation for misleading a judge with a false statement of fact. The order took effect August 13, 2012
Andree D. Taylor, State Bar #226117, Hayward (July 16, 2012). Taylor, 38, was suspended for 60 days and placed on two years of probation for sharing fees with a nonattorney.

In mitigation, Taylor cooperated with the State Bar’s investigation by entering into a stipulation The order took effect August 15, 2012

Charles D. Trejo, State Bar #187529, Los Angeles (July 10, 2012). Trejo, 51, was suspended for two years and until he complies with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In aggravation, Trejo had a record of prior discipline and engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. The order took effect August 9, 2012

John Y. Tu, State Bar #146945, Monterey Park (May 22, 2012). Tu, 63, was suspended for six months for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline and placed on probation for three years and until he provides proof of his rehabilitation, fitness to practice, and learning and ability in the law.

In aggravation, Tu had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect June 21, 2012

David C. Venie, State Bar #204954, Albuquerque, NM (July 10, 2012). Venie, 40, was suspended for six months and placed on two years of probation for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In aggravation, Venie had a record of prior discipline. In mitigation, he cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect August 9, 2012

Mitchell B. Young, State Bar #118441, San Pedro (May 22, 2012). Young, 54, was suspended for one month and placed on two years of probation for failing to inform clients about significant developments, making false statements to the court, and engaging in acts involving moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Young had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect June 21, 2012

PROBATION

David E. Allen, State Bar #73848, Vista (July 19, 2012). Allen, 64, was placed on one year of probation for failing to render an accounting and failing to cooperate in a disciplinary proceeding.

In aggravation, Allen had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect August 18, 2012

Richard B. Beauchesne, State Bar #53134, San Jose (August 9, 2012). Beauchesne, 68, was placed on two years of probation for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline. The order took effect September 8, 2012
Edward A. Esqueda, State Bar #146057, Montebello (July 16, 2012). Esqueda, 64, was placed on one year of probation for failing to competently perform legal services and failing to promptly refund an advanced fee.

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

Marc A. Fisher, State Bar #47794, Alameda (June 28, 2012). Fisher, 68, was placed on 18 months of probation for failing to competently perform legal services.

In aggravation, Fisher had a record of prior discipline. The order took effect July 28, 2012

Jeffrey S. Hoffman, State Bar #71240, Encino (July 10, 2012). Hoffman, 61, was placed on four years of probation for failing to competently provide legal services and disobeying a court order.

In mitigation, Hoffman had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1976. The order took effect August 9, 2012

Steve Larkin, State Bar #112934, Los Angeles (June 5, 2012). Larkin, 62, was placed on one year probation for failing to competently perform legal services.

In mitigation, Larkin cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect July 5, 2012

Cheryl A. Lee, State Bar #193595, Santa Clara (May 22, 2012). Lee, 42, was placed on two years of probation following her conviction for violating Unemployment Insurance Code § 2118, failing to withhold or pay taxes by underreporting the number of employees, a misdemeanor.

In mitigation, Lee had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1997. The order took effect June 21, 2012

Andrea S. Loveless, State Bar #231735, Laguna Hills (June 28, 2012). Loveless, 34, was placed on one year of probation for illegally accepting advance fees in loan modification matters.

In mitigation, Loveless had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 2004. The order took effect July 28, 2012

Michael B. McDonnell, State Bar #107053, San Diego (May 22, 2012). McDonnell, 55, was placed on three years of probation for commingling funds.

In aggravation, McDonnell’s misconduct involved a trust fund violation. In mitigation, he had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1982. The order took effect June 21, 2012

Geoffrey C. Morrison, State Bar #172059, San Diego (July 16, 2012). Morrison, 43, was placed on two years of probation for failing to competently provide legal services and failing to refund unearned fees.

In aggravation, Morrison demonstrated indifference toward rectification of or atonement for his misconduct. In mitigation, he had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1994. The order took effect August 15, 2012

Tyler P. Nixon, State Bar #220059, Wilmington, DE (June 4, 2012). Nixon, 40, was placed on two years of probation following his conviction for possession of marijuana, ecstasy, and drug paraphernalia in Delaware. In mitigation, Nixon had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 2002, and he cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect July 4, 2012
Rene C. Nunez, State Bar #226171, San Gabriel (July 16, 2012). Nunez, 40, was placed on three years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services and failing to promptly refund unearned fees.

In mitigation, Nunez had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 2003. Also, she cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect August 15, 2012

James M. Powell, State Bar #165639, Riverside (July 12, 2012). Powell, 49, was placed on one year of probation for failing to competently perform legal services, acquiring an ownership or security interest adverse to a client, failing to promptly return a client file upon termination of employment, and failing to refund unearned fees. In mitigation, Powell had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1993, and he cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect August 11, 2012
Keyvan Samini, State Bar #166239, Irvine (May 22, 2012). Samini, 45, was placed on two years of probation for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law in states where he was not licensed, and illegally accepting advance fees in loan modification matters.

In aggravation, Samini engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. In mitigation, he had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1993, and he cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect June 21, 2012

Debra Torres-Reyes, State Bar #146724, Spring Valley (May 22, 2012). Torres-Reyes, 58, was placed on three years of probation for illegally accepting advance fees in loan modification matters.

In aggravation, Torres-Reyes engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing that harmed her clients. In mitigation, she had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1990. Also, she cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect June 21, 2012

Fredrick T. Uebbing, State Bar #106890, San Diego (August 9, 2012). Uebbing, 59, was placed on one year of probation for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In aggravation, Uebbing had a record of prior discipline. In mitigation, he cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect September 8, 2012

Charles R. Wear, State Bar #102381, Glendale (July 18, 2012). Wear, 62, was placed on two years of probation for failing to promptly disburse client funds and failing to promptly refund unearned fees. In aggravation, Wear’s misconduct harmed his client. In mitigation, he had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1982. The order took effect August 18, 2012

There are no recent disciplinary actions of this type.