MAGAZINE
California Lawyer

SUSPENSION

Bruce H. Atwater, III, State Bar #199011, San Francisco (March 26, 2014). Atwater, 42, was suspended for 60 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In July 2011 Atwater received an order of public reproval that required him to comply with certain conditions for one year. However, Atwater failed to timely submit two quarterly reports, failed to provide timely proof of attending at least four substance-abuse program meetings, failed to furnish laboratory blood and/or urine reports to the State Bar Office of Probation, and failed to timely furnish evidence of psychiatric treatment. In addition, he failed to provide proof of passage of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination.

In aggravation, Atwater had a record of prior discipline. He committed multiple acts of wrongdoing and failed to cooperate with the State Bar during its investigation and proceedings. Also, he demonstrated indifference toward rectification of or atonement for his misconduct. In mitigation, Atwater entered into a stipulation. The order took effect April 25, 2014

Kenneth B. Brock, State Bar #158311, Oxnard (March 26, 2014). Brock, 53, was suspended for 90 days and placed on two years of probation following his conviction on two misdemeanors.

In June 2011 a police officer saw a vehicle driven by Brock straddling lanes of traffic while traveling at high speed. The officer stopped Brock, who admitted he had been drinking. He was arrested, and breath samples showed his blood-alcohol level was .20 or .21 percent.

In a second incident in October 2011, after Brock was convicted and his license suspended, he was pulled over by a California Highway Patrol officer and admitted to driving with a suspended license.

In aggravation, Brock had a record of prior discipline. Also, he committed multiple acts of wrongdoing. In mitigation, Brock entered into a full stipulation with the State Bar. The order took effect April 25, 2014

Gordon D. Brown, State Bar #171745, Oakland (March 26, 2014). Brown, 68, was suspended for 60 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services, failing to obtain the written consent of his clients, and committing an act involving moral turpitude.

In March 2011 Brown was hired by a client and her two adult daughters following their involvement in an automobile accident. Brown did not explain the potential conflicts of interest between his multiple clients, and he failed to obtain their signed written consent to representation. From June 2011 through January 2013 USAA Insurance, the other driver’s insurance carrier, wrote Brown 13 letters requesting medical bills and records. Brown did not provide USAA with the requested information.

In January 2013 Brown met with the other driver and presented her with a proposed settlement agreement for $6,800. However, neither his clients nor USAA Insurance ever authorized a settlement. Brown was merely misleading the other driver regarding the status of the case. Once Brown’s clients realized his misconduct, the mother terminated his employment.

In aggravation, Brown committed multiple acts of wrongdoing. In mitigation, Brown had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1994. Also, he entered into a stipulation and admitted culpability. The order took effect April 25, 2014

Glen S. Fleetwood, State Bar #113429, Westlake Village (March 26, 2014). Fleetwood, 61, was suspended for 90 days and placed on three years of probation for improperly advancing facts prejudicial to his client and failing to maintain the confidence and secrets of his client.

In March 2012 Fleetwood was hired by a client to represent him in a criminal case arising from his arrest for driving under the influence (DUI). The following month the client went to Fleetwood’s office without an appointment. After waiting for what the client felt was a long time, the client placed a note containing profanities in a sealed envelope addressed to Fleetwood. The next day, Fleetwood lodged the note in the DUI matter as part of his motion to be relieved from representation. Fleetwood informed the client he had provided the note to the court and the city attorney prosecuting his DUI matter. Fleetwood sent several more letters to the client regarding his case, but at no time did Fleetwood ever indicate that he was threatened by the client’s conduct.

In May 2012 Fleetwood filed a motion to be relieved as counsel in the DUI matter, explaining that he believed disclosure of the client’s note was necessary because he felt threatened. The motion stated that the client had lied about his criminal past, was a rapist and a “violent criminal,” intimidated others by claiming to have expertise in civil litigation, and had a “personal assistant” who was a prostitute. Ultimately, the trial court granted Fleetwood’s motion to be relieved as the client’s counsel.

In December 2012 disciplinary proceedings were instituted against Fleetwood. Fleetwood claimed that his behavior was justified because he feared for his life. However, the State Bar Court found that his assertions lacked credibility and that his conduct warranted discipline.

In aggravation, Fleetwood had a record of prior discipline. Also, his misconduct significantly harmed his client. In addition, Fleetwood showed no remorse or understanding of his misconduct. In mitigation, Fleetwood presented two witnesses who testified to his good character. The order took effect April 25, 2014

Steven S. Hanagami, State Bar #165093, Rancho Santa Margarita (March 24, 2014). Hanagami, 54, was suspended for 30 days and placed on one year of probation for falsely reporting to the State Bar that he had met his minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) requirements when he had not, an act involving moral turpitude. After being contacted by membership services regarding an audit of his MCLE compliance, Hanagami completed the remaining 16 hours.

In mitigation, Hanagami had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1993. Also, he admitted to the misconduct and entered into a stipulation. The order took effect April 23, 2014

Barbara E. Irving, State Bar #108412, Sierra Madre (March 24, 2014). Irving, 72, was suspended for 90 days and placed on two years of probation for disclosing confidential information that was prejudicial to her clients’ reputation.

In June 2012 Irving was hired by a client to represent him and his family business in a breach-of-contract case. Irving also represented the client’s wife in an unrelated matter. The client’s wife was a potential witness in the breach-of-contract case.

In November 2012 Irving filed a motion to withdraw as attorney of record for the husband. In a declaration in support of her motion, Irving disclosed communications, observations, and personal opinions aimed at insulting and embarrassing the client and his wife. The information had no relevance to the breach-of-contract case, and it was potentially detrimental to both clients in other cases in which Irving represented them.

The clients did not authorize Irving to disclose the information in her declaration. Furthermore, disclosure was unnecessary to reasonably establish a breakdown of the attorney-client relationship.

In aggravation, Irving’s misconduct involved dishonesty and demonstrated bad faith. Her misconduct also caused her clients harm by exposing them to public embarrassment. In mitigation, Irving had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1983. Also, she entered into a stipulation. The order took effect April 23, 2014

Frederick T. Jelin, State Bar #105786, Los Angeles (March 24, 2014). Jelin, 65, was suspended for 90 days and placed on three years of probation for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In July 2012 the State Bar Court publicly reproved Jelin for conduct on a commercial airplane that resulted in his criminal conviction for resisting arrest when he refused to leave the plane. Under the reproval order, Jelin was required to schedule a meeting with his probation officer to discuss the terms and conditions of his discipline. Jelin failed to do so, and he also failed to file required quarterly reports.

In aggravation, Jelin had a record of prior discipline. Also, he committed multiple acts of wrongdoing and demonstrated defiance toward the disciplinary process. In mitigation, Jelin cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect April 23, 2014

Scott G. Lyon, State Bar #199800, Manteca (March 26, 2014). Lyon, 44, was suspended for 60 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services, failing to promptly respond to reasonable status inquiries, failing to refund unearned fees, and failing to keep all agreements made in lieu of disciplinary prosecution.

In May 2011 Lyon was hired by a client to handle a bankruptcy matter. The client paid Lyon $1,000 in advance fees and $75 in costs. Thereafter, Lyon failed to communicate with the client, and he effectively withdrew from representing the client. In addition, Lyon failed to refund the $1,000.

In 2012 Lyon signed an agreement in lieu of discipline (ALD) regarding the matter in which he agreed to comply with specified duties for one year. However, he failed to submit four required quarterly reports and did not attend the State Bar Ethics School. Lyon also failed to timely pay his client restitution. Ultimately, Lyon complied with all the ALD requirements.

In aggravation, Lyon committed multiple acts of wrongdoing that caused his client significant harm. In addition, he demonstrated indifference toward rectification of or atonement for his misconduct. In mitigation, Lyon had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1998. Also, he cooperated by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect April 25, 2014

Brian D. McMahon, State Bar #147662, Playa Del Rey (March 26, 2014). McMahon, 57, was suspended for two years and placed on four years of probation for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In February 2011 the California Supreme Court ordered that McMahon be placed on probation for three years, subject to certain conditions. However, McMahon failed to submit to a medical examination by a mutually agreed upon physician, failed to timely submit two quarterly reports, failed to timely submit eight monthly screening reports containing an analysis of his blood or urine, and failed to submit proof of attendance at the State Bar Ethics School and the Client Trust Accounting School. Finally, McMahon was required to make restitution payments to two former clients on the first of each month. He sought to have his restitution obligation reduced, and eventually he succeeded. However, he still failed to make monthly payments between April 2011 and October 2012.

In aggravation, McMahon had a record of prior discipline. Also, he committed multiple acts of wrongdoing. In mitigation, McMahon entered into a stipulation with the State Bar. Also, he presented evidence from 14 character witnesses. The order took effect April 25, 2014

David L. Naples, State Bar #233928, La Habra (March 26, 2014). Naples, 46, was suspended for 120 days and placed on two years of probation for collecting advance fees in home-loan modification matters in violation of Civil Code § 2944.7, an act of moral turpitude.

Between March and August 2010 Naples offered to perform mortgage-loan modification services for five different clients. Each client paid Naples between $3,500 and $3,525 in advance legal fees. In addition, his clients were financially desperate; some had to withdraw funds from their savings or use a credit card to pay the advance fees. However, Naples did little or no work in connection with the services he promised. One client, who was on disability income, ultimately lost his home to foreclosure. Another was forced to perform her own short sale due to Naples’s negligence.

In aggravation, Naples committed multiple acts of wrongdoing that significantly harmed his clients and demonstrated a pattern of misconduct. In mitigation, Naples acknowledged his good faith, but mistaken, interpretation of the mortgage-loan modification statutes. In addition, he presented several character witnesses. The order took effect April 25, 2014

Actions From Previous Issues

Patricia M. Boag, State Bar #174680, North Tustin (February 24, 2014). Boag, 53, was suspended for 90 days and placed on three years of probation for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, an act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, or corruption.

In January 2013 Boag appeared on behalf of a client at a pretrial hearing in a criminal matter, even though she was under suspension pursuant to a previous disciplinary order. Boag did not inform the court of her suspension.

In aggravation, Boag had a record of prior discipline. In mitigation, Boag presented evidence of her good character and cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect March 26, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

Michael A. Brush, State Bar #46576, Los Angeles (February 24, 2014). Brush, 74, was suspended for 60 days and placed on three years of probation for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In July 2012 the California Supreme Court publicly reproved Brush and ordered him to comply with certain conditions. However, Brush failed to contact the Office of Probation within 30 days of the reproval order, failed to attend meetings of an abstinence-based self-help group, failed to comply with conditions to his criminal probation in the underlying matter, failed to make restitution for property damage he had caused, and failed to timely submit three quarterly reports to the Office of Probation.

In aggravation, Brush committed multiple acts of wrongdoing. In mitigation, he cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect March 26, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

Kimberly R. Burke, State Bar #248051, Upland (February 24, 2014). Burke, 35, was suspended for one year and placed on three years of probation for failing to maintain client funds in trust, failing to competently perform legal services, failing to render appropriate accounts, and committing an act of moral turpitude.

In July 2011 Burke employed an office manager who became responsible for booking, bookkeeping, and billing clients. From December 2011 to February 2012 Burke failed to properly supervise the employee, whom she realized had been issuing fraudulent checks and making fraudulent debit charges using Burke’s accounts. Burke later opened a new client trust account and transferred funds from her accounts into it. In one workers compensation matter, Burke determined how much a client had been owed following deposit of a settlement check into the trust account, and she issued the client a check in that amount. However, Burke acknowledged that she had been careless in managing her office.

In aggravation, Burke committed multiple acts of wrongdoing. In mitigation, she expressed remorse for her misconduct and presented evidence of her good character. The order took effect March 26, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

Young S. Cho, State Bar #239773, Pacific Palisades (February 24, 2014). Cho, 35, was suspended for two years and placed on three years of probation following his conviction of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude. In April 2012 Cho called the Los Angeles Police Department to report that he was the victim of an attempted robbery. As a result, the police arrested two individuals matching the description Cho provided. The suspects were subsequently charged with attempted robbery. Later, surveillance footage of the alleged incident surfaced, which showed no attempt by the alleged perpetrators to rob Cho. Consequently, the charges against them were dropped. When the incident took place, Cho was being treated for depression with a prescription amphetamine drug. The drug’s side effects included paranoia, which was exacerbated by alcohol. Cho had consumed alcohol with the drug on the night of the alleged attempted robbery, which increased the potential for side effects. In November 2012 the Los Angeles district attorney charged Cho with one count of felony perjury and making a false report of a crime, a misdemeanor. In February 2013 Cho entered a plea of no contest on the misdemeanor count; the other charge was dropped. Cho was sentenced to serve time in county jail, and the State Bar subsequently placed him on interim suspension. In mitigation, Cho cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect March 26, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.
Raymond F. Choi, State Bar #227132, Huntington Beach (February 24, 2014). Choi, 36, was suspended for 90 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services, disobeying a court order, and failing to comply with agreements made with the State Bar in lieu of disciplinary action.

In May and June 2009 Choi failed to appear for pretrial hearings in his client’s criminal matter. He also did not inform the court, his client, or opposing counsel that he would not appear at the scheduled hearings. In 2010 the court required Choi to appear in another client’s criminal matter. When Choi failed to do so, the court issued a bench warrant against Choi for his failure to appear. The court subsequently sanctioned him $1,000 for his misconduct. Choi has not paid the full amount of the sanction.

In December 2011 Choi entered into an Agreement in Lieu of Discipline with the State Bar in connection with the two matters. He was required, among other things, to comply with the State Bar Act and the California Rules of Professional Conduct. However, while representing another client in a third criminal matter, Choi failed to appear at a pretrial conference and failed to appear at the client’s trial, delaying the matter.

In aggravation, Choi engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing that harmed the administration of justice and caused delay in his clients’ criminal matters. In mitigation, Choi had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 2003. Also, he cooperated by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect March 26, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

Patrick B. Condon, State Bar #144012, Carlsbad (January 30, 2014). Condon, 65, was suspended for 90 days and placed on three years of probation for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In April 2011 Condon entered into a pretrial stipulation with the State Bar regarding conditions to his probation. However, Condon failed to timely file quarterly reports and failed to attend the State Bar’s Ethics School.

In aggravation, Condon had a record of prior discipline. Also, he committed multiple acts of wrongdoing. In mitigation, at the time of his misconduct Condon experienced serious medical problems that resulted in physical disabilities. The order took effect March 1, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

Scott M. Currey, State Bar #242320, Dixon (March 24, 2014). Currey, 41, was suspended for 30 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In January 2012 Currey received a private reproval and was ordered to comply with the conditions attached for a period of two years. However, Currey failed to timely submit a quarterly report to the Office of Probation, and he failed to make monthly restitution payments to a former client.

In aggravation, Currey had a record of prior discipline. Also, he committed multiple acts of wrongdoing. In mitigation, Currey cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect April 23, 2014

This action originally appeared in our August 2014 issue.

Mark D. Estes, State Bar #110518, San Diego (February 24, 2014). Estes, 58, was suspended for one year and placed on three years of probation for failing to avoid interests adverse to a client, making misrepresentations, issuing checks against insufficient funds, and failing to cooperate with a State Bar investigation.

In 2006 Estes represented a client in litigation related to the client’s family trust. The matter settled, and the trust’s real estate was sold. The client received $575,000 from the proceeds and paid Estes a fee of $10,000. Estes then contacted the client, seeking a loan from the client of $50,000 at 10 percent interest. The client agreed to the deal, but he requested a legally binding paper or note. Estes prepared a note and a deed of trust, presented them to the client, and told him that nothing else was needed to secure the loan. Estes did not inform the client that there were already two liens on his property or that the deed needed to be recorded and notarized. Estes also did not inform the client that he should seek the advice of an independent lawyer before agreeing to the loan.

In 2008 Estes prepared a second deed of trust for the client in order to obtain an extension on the loan, but he did not record it. In 2010 Estes stopped making interest payments to the client and stopped making mortgage payments on his property. When the client tried to contact Estes regarding the loan, Estes did not respond. Eventually, the client filed a civil complaint against Estes and a disciplinary complaint with the State Bar. When the State Bar attempted to contact Estes, he did not respond.

In aggravation, Estes committed multiple acts of wrongdoing that harmed his client. He also demonstrated indifference toward rectification of or atonement for his misconduct. In mitigation, Estes had no prior record of discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1983. Also, he cooperated by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect March 26, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

Steven C. Feldman, State Bar #103676, Laguna Niguel (February 27, 2014). Feldman, 60, was suspended for 60 days and placed on two years of probation for practicing law in a jurisdiction where he was not licensed, charging illegal fees, receiving advance fees for a loan modification matter in violation of Civil Code § 2944.7(a), and failing to return unearned fees.

In September 2008 a Florida resident employed Feldman and paid him $3,995 in advance fees to provide legal services in connection with a loan modification matter. Feldman was not authorized to practice law in Florida. Despite this, Feldman gave legal advice and performed legal services in Florida, which constituted the unauthorized practice of law. Feldman also failed to later refund the client’s advance fees. There were nine other matters involving similar misconduct warranting discipline.

In aggravation, Feldman committed multiple acts of wrongdoing. In mitigation, Feldman had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1982. Also, he cooperated with the State Bar’s investigation and proceedings and expressed remorse for his misconduct. He sought advice from experts in loan modification matters who suggested he acted in good faith, and he also presented character witnesses. The order took effect March 29, 2014

This action originally appeared in our August 2014 issue.

David A. Harper, State Bar #112913, Maitland, FL (February 19, 2014). Harper, 60, was suspended for 90 days and placed on one year of probation following his suspension by the Supreme Court of Florida.

In 2006 Harper, who is licensed to practice in both Florida and California, became involved in a case involving his mother that was filed in Seminole County, Florida. In 2008 Harper had a dispute with opposing counsel, which escalated into a relentless campaign against several judges in the county.

From 2008 to April 2009 Harper filed at least ten pleadings to disqualify judges who were assigned to his mother’s case. His petitions were denied because his allegations had no factual basis. During the same period, he made several misrepresentations to the trial court and to the appellate court.

Ultimately, the Florida Supreme Court suspended Harper in 2011 for 90 days in connection with his misconduct. Because his misconduct in Florida also violated the laws of California, the State Bar recommended a 90-day suspension. However, the California Supreme Court concluded that Harper’s misconduct warranted more discipline. It found Harper culpable of failing to competently perform legal services, making statements without an objectively reasonable factual basis, failing to obey a court order, and making false statements, an act involving moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Harper committed multiple acts of wrongdoing and demonstrated a lack of insight and indifference about his misconduct. In mitigation, Harper had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1984. The order took effect March 21, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

Nathan V. Hoffman, State Bar #135155, Los Angeles (February 24, 2014). Hoffman, 53, was suspended for 30 days and was placed on two years of probation for willfully disobeying or violating court orders, improperly withdrawing from representation, and failing to report sanctions imposed against him.

In January 2012 Hoffman represented a defendant in a breach of contract case. The court conducted an initial status conference and then referred the case to mediation, which was to be completed by May 2012. However, Hoffman repeatedly failed to comply with the court’s orders by failing to cooperate with opposing counsel in completing mediation, failing to appear for a post-mediation status conference, and failing to appear for an order to show cause hearing on why he and his client should not be sanctioned for his previous acts. As a result, the court imposed a total of $3,000 in sanctions against him and his client, jointly and severally. Hoffman also withdrew from representation without filing a proper substitution of attorney or a motion to withdraw. Next, Hoffman failed to appear for another order to show cause hearing, resulting in the court striking the defendant’s answer and entering a default judgment against him. Neither Hoffman nor his client paid the sanctions. Additionally, Hoffman did not report the monetary sanctions ordered against him. He eventually paid the sanctions after having been informed that the court had reported him to the State Bar for an investigation.

In aggravation, Hoffman had a record of prior discipline. He also engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing that caused his client significant harm. In mitigation, Hoffman cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect March 26, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

Joshua S. Mayesh, State Bar #193282, Los Angeles (February 13, 2014). Mayesh, 43, was suspended for 30 days and placed on one year of probation for failing to comply with MCLE requirements, an act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, or corruption.

In January 2012 Mayesh reported to the State Bar that he was exempt from the MCLE requirements because he was an employee of the state of California. However, Mayesh was actually employed by the Los Angeles Unified School District, which is not a state entity. Although he had an honest belief that he was exempt from the MCLE requirements, his belief was unreasonable. He later took the necessary MCLE courses to come into compliance.

In mitigation, Mayesh cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect March 15, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

William A. Miller, State Bar #98426, Hughson (February 27, 2014). Miller, 32, was suspended for six months and placed on two years of probation for making misrepresentations to the court, failing to cooperate with a disciplinary investigation, and committing an act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, or corruption.

In July 2011 Miller substituted into criminal proceedings, representing the defendant. At the time, the proceedings had been put on hold to determine the defendant’s competency. A court-appointed expert opined that the client was competent to stand trial. At the trial-readiness conference, Miller requested a continuance because his supposed expert witness was not available. However, at no time did Miller retain the expert in his client’s case. Moreover, Miller knew that the statements he made to the court were false. Nevertheless, the court continued the matter.

On separate occasions Miller made numerous other representations to the court that he knew were false, including stating that his expert would be available for trial on a certain date, and that the expert would testify that his client was incompetent to stand trial. Miller later admitted that he never retained an expert and that his purported expert had not spoken with his client.

In aggravation, Miller had a record of prior discipline. Also, he engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing that harmed the administration of justice. In mitigation, Miller cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect March 29, 2014

This action originally appeared in our August 2014 issue.

John C. Monohan, State Bar #141092, Lucerne Valley (February 13, 2014). Monohan, 68, was suspended for 30 days and placed on one year of probation for failing to comply with MCLE requirements, an act involving moral turpitude.

In January 2012 Monohan reported to the State Bar that he was in compliance with his MCLE requirements when he was not. After being contacted by membership services regarding an audit of his compliance, Monohan took additional MCLE courses necessary to meet his requirements.

In mitigation, Monohan had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1989. Also, he cooperated by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect March 15, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

Roger A. Moore, State Bar #146375, Stockton (February 27, 2014). Moore, 53, was suspended for 30 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services, failing to keep all agreements made in lieu of disciplinary prosecution, failing to cooperate with a disciplinary investigation, and committing acts involving moral turpitude.

In May 2008 Moore was hired to prosecute a personal injury lawsuit on a client’s behalf. Moore did not immediately file the lawsuit, and he failed to file it before the statute of limitations had expired. Moore eventually dismissed the lawsuit after realizing it had no merit. The State Bar then initiated an investigation against him, based on a complaint from his client. During the investigation, Moore claimed he had legal malpractice insurance coverage, although he did not. He later entered into an Agreement in Lieu of Discipline, which required Moore to comply with certain conditions. He failed to meet the conditions by not informing his client that his legal malpractice insurance had lapsed. A State Bar investigator later sent Moore a letter of inquiry, but Moore did not respond to it.

In aggravation, Moore engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing that significantly harmed his client. In mitigation, Moore had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1990. Also, he cooperated by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect March 29, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

Mark S. Mooschekian, State Bar #82423, San Clemente (February 11, 2014). Mooschekian, 59, was suspended for 30 days and placed on one year of probation for falsely reporting to the State Bar that he had complied with his MCLE requirements, an act involving moral turpitude.

In mitigation, Mooschekian had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1978. Also, he cooperated by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect March 13, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

Michael Parra, State Bar #216596, Santa Ana (February 13, 2014). Parra, 45, 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, disobeying a court order, failing to report an order of discipline, failing to cooperate in a disciplinary investigation, failing to render appropriate accounts, failing to release client papers, and failing to refund unearned fees. In March 2012 Parra was ordered in a federal civil matter to file both paper and electronic copies of claim-initiating documents. Parra failed to comply with the court order. In June 2012 he failed to appear at a hearing on an order to show cause as to why $500 in sanctions should not be imposed against him. The court ultimately increased the sanctions to $1,500. Parra never reported the sanctions to the State Bar and did not respond to letters sent by a State Bar investigator looking into a complaint about his conduct.

In a second matter, in November 2011 a client hired Parra to represent her interests as a plaintiff in a pending civil matter. The client paid Parra $2,500 in advance fees. Between November 2011 and April 2012 the client made weekly phone calls to Parra and left messages inquiring into the status of her case. Parra did not respond to the calls, but he spoke with the client in June 2012. In November 2012 Parra finally informed the client that he would take no further action in her case because his research established that her claim would fail. The client requested an accounting, the return of her file, and a refund of advance fees, but Parra did not comply.

In aggravation, Parra had a record of prior discipline. Also, he committed multiple acts of wrongdoing that significantly harmed his clients. In mitigation, Parra cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect March 15, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

Chad T. Pratt, State Bar #149746, Pasadena (February 11, 2014). Pratt, 50, was suspended for 30 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to maintain client funds in trust, commingling funds, and failing to maintain a written ledger of client funds.

In aggravation, Pratt engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. In mitigation, Pratt had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1990. Also, he cooperated by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect March 13, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

Samuel J. Saltalamacchia, State Bar #94353, Tujunga (January 30, 2014). Saltalamacchia, 60, was suspended for one year and placed on three years of probation for failing to comply with conditions to a reproval action in 2008 and a probation action in 2011.

In aggravation, Saltalamacchia had a record of prior discipline. In mitigation, Saltalamacchia cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. Also, during the period of misconduct Saltalamacchia suffered from clinical depression. The order took effect March 1, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

Joseph Sclafani, State Bar #134026, Beverly Hills (February 13, 2014). Sclafani, 54, was suspended for six months and placed on three years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services, failing to obtain his client’s informed consent before accepting compensation from someone other than his client, failing to promptly respond to reasonable status inquiries, failing to render proper accounts, failing to return client funds, failing to refund unearned fees, failing to cooperate with a disciplinary matter, and failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In October 2011 Sclafani was retained by a husband and wife to file a civil complaint against their lender. The clients paid Sclafani $6,200 in advance legal fees and $410 for costs. After that initial meeting, Sclafani did not meet with the clients again, despite their repeated requests. Sclafani also failed to respond to their emails, phone calls, and inquiries regarding the status of their case.

In February 2012 the clients terminated Sclafani’s employment, demanded an accounting, and requested a refund. Sclafani never filed a complaint on their behalf. He also never refunded the fees and costs.

In a second matter, a client retained Sclafani to represent her adult son in a criminal matter. The client paid Sclafani $2,500 in advance fees and advised him of the next court appearance date. However, Sclafani failed to appear and failed to communicate with either the client or her son. In addition, he did not obtain the son’s informed consent before accepting compensation from his mother. He also did not refund any portion of the unearned fees. The client filed a complaint against Sclafani with the State Bar, but Sclafani did not cooperate with the State Bar’s investigators.

In 2012 Sclafani entered into a stipulation with the State Bar that required him to comply with certain conditions to a reproval action. He was required to timely submit quarterly reports, pay $1,500 in restitution with interest, attend and pass the State Bar’s Ethics School, and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. Sclafani made only one payment of $382, which was sufficient to satisfy accrued interest, and made no other attempt to pay restitution. He also failed to comply with the other conditions.

In aggravation, Sclafani had a record of prior discipline. He also committed multiple acts of wrongdoing that significantly harmed his clients. In mitigation, Sclafani cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect March 15, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

Roger W. Shpall, State Bar #47142, Beverly Hills (February 11, 2014). Shpall, 70, was suspended for 90 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to render appropriate accounts, failing to promptly disburse client funds, failing to respond to reasonable status inquiries, and failing to cooperate in a disciplinary investigation.

In aggravation, Shpall engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing that harmed his client. In mitigation, Shpall had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1970. Also, he cooperated by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect March 13, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

David S. Silber, State Bar #176377, Nevada City (March 30, 2014). Silber, 55, was suspended for 60 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In November 2011 Silber was placed on two years of probation and ordered to comply with the conditions attached. However, Silber failed to timely file quarterly reports with the Office of Probation, failed to provide proof of attendance at the State Bar Ethics School, and failed to timely develop an adequate law office management plan; his initial plan was rejected by the Office of Probation for numerous deficiencies. Silber later submitted an amended plan, which was approved after it was due. Finally, Silber was required to obtain psychiatric or psychological treatment from a licensed professional, but he failed to do so.

In aggravation, Silber had a record of prior discipline. Also, he engaged in multiple acts of wrongdoing. In mitigation, during the period of his misconduct Silber was experiencing family problems. The order took effect April 19, 2014

This action originally appeared in our August 2014 issue.

Jason A. Smith, State Bar #237584, Mission Viejo (February 13, 2014). Smith, 40, was suspended for 90 days and placed on two years of probation for accepting advance fees in loan modification matters in violation of Civil Code § 2944.7(a), failing to respond to client inquiries, and failing to render appropriate accounts. He was charged with four counts of misconduct involving four client matters.

In aggravation, Smith committed multiple acts of wrongdoing that caused significant harm to his clients. Also, he demonstrated indifference toward rectification of or atonement for his misconduct. In mitigation, Smith had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 2005. The order took effect March 15, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

Rosemary Stathakis-Cook, State Bar #104143, Sun City West, AZ (February 24, 2014). Stathakis-Cook, 56, was suspended for one year and placed on four years of probation following five alcohol-related driving convictions in Arizona, including felony aggravated assault, and a disciplinary decision by the Arizona Supreme Court issued largely as a result of those criminal convictions.

In aggravation, Stathakis-Cook had a record of prior discipline. Also, she committed multiple acts of wrongdoing that significantly harmed the other driver in one accident. In mitigation, Stathakis-Cook cooperated with the Arizona State Bar by entering into pleas of no contest in all five criminal matters against her. Also, at the time of her misconduct she was going through substance-abuse and emotional problems that she later took steps to address. The order took effect March 26, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

William F. Vogel, State Bar #119421, Van Nuys (February 27, 2014). Vogel, 58, was suspended for 60 days and placed on two years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services and failing to keep a client reasonably informed of significant developments in the client’s case.

In January 2012 Vogel appeared in court on behalf of a client who had been involved in an automobile accident and was then cited by police. The court continued the client’s arraignment and plea, and Vogel received oral notice of the continued hearing. However, he did not inform the client of the continued hearing date. On that date, Vogel did not appear on the client’s behalf, and a bench warrant was issued for the client’s arrest. In July 2012 the client was arrested at his place of work for failing to appear. The client was released on bail and resolved the traffic matter on his own.

In aggravation, Vogel had a record of prior discipline. Also, his misconduct significantly harmed his client. In mitigation, Vogel cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect March 29, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.

Charles R. Wear, State Bar #102381, Moreno Valley (February 27, 2014). Wear, 64, was suspended for one year for failing to comply with conditions to a previous order of discipline.

In July 2012 the California Supreme Court placed Wear on probation and ordered him to comply with certain conditions. However, Wear failed to provide the Office of Probation with proof that he had completed the State Bar Ethics School or attended its Client Trust Accounting School.

In aggravation, Wear had a record of prior discipline. Also, he committed multiple acts of wrongdoing and demonstrated indifference toward rectification of or atonement for his misconduct. The order took effect March 29, 2014

This action originally appeared in our August 2014 issue.

Thaddeus Z. Wolny, State Bar #119113, Pittsburg (February 27, 2014). Wolny, 63, was suspended for six months and placed on three years of probation for failing to competently perform legal services, failing to promptly refund unearned fees, failing to cooperate in a disciplinary investigation, and failing to timely comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

In February 2012 Wolny was hired by a client to file and prosecute a bankruptcy petition. The client paid Wolny $1,325 in advance fees. From June to September 2012 the client attempted to contact Wolny but was unable to do so. The following month the client terminated Wolny’s services. Wolny finally responded to the client, and he promised to refund the advance fees. Wolny did not provide any legal services, and he failed to refund the advance fees until July 2013. When a State Bar investigator sent Wolny a letter, he failed to reply.

In a second matter, in July 2013 the California Supreme Court issued an order requiring Wolny to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. Wolny received the order and filed a compliance declaration, which was rejected. After the original deadline had passed, he filed a second compliance declaration that was accepted.

In aggravation, Wolny had a record of prior discipline. Also, he committed multiple acts of wrongdoing that harmed his client. In mitigation, Wolny cooperated with the State Bar by entering into a stipulation. The order took effect March 29, 2014

This action originally appeared in our August 2014 issue.

Dennis L. Wright, State Bar #60210, San Rafael (February 13, 2014). Wright, 68, was suspended for 120 days and placed on three years of probation for committing 14 counts of misconduct involving six client matters. Wright stipulated to repeatedly failing to competently perform legal services, failing to adequately communicate with clients, commingling funds, failing to promptly return his clients’ files, failing to promptly execute substitution of attorney forms and forward client files, failing to cooperate with the State Bar’s investigations, and committing acts involving moral turpitude.

In aggravation, Wright committed multiple acts of wrongdoing that involved client trust funds. Also, his misconduct significantly harmed his clients or the administration of justice. In mitigation, Wright had no record of prior discipline since being admitted to the State Bar in 1974. The order took effect March 15, 2014

This action originally appeared in our July 2014 issue.