Archive for the ‘attorneys disciplined’ Category

Supreme Court disciplines 25 attorneys

August 7, 2013

The Florida Bar, the state’s guardian for the integrity of the legal profession, announced the Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 25 attorneys, disbarring eight, suspending 15 and publicly reprimanding two.

Two attorneys received more than one form of discipline. One was placed on probation and another was ordered to pay restitution.
 
Marlene Garcia of St. Augustine was suspended for one year.
 
As an official arm of the Florida Supreme Court, The Florida Bar and its Department of Lawyer Regulation are charged with administering a statewide disciplinary system to enforce Supreme Court rules of professional conduct for the 96,000-plus lawyers admitted to practice law in Florida.
 
Case files are posted to attorneys’ individual Florida Bar profiles and may be reviewed at and/or downloaded from The Florida Bar’s website, floridabar.org.
 
Court orders are not final until time expires to file a rehearing motion and, if filed, determined. The filing of such a motion does not alter the effective date of the discipline.
 
Disbarred lawyers may not re-apply for admission for five years. They are required to go through an extensive process that rejects many who apply. It includes a rigorous background check and retaking the bar exam.
 
Historically, less than five percent of disbarred lawyers seek readmission.
 
Full Article and Source:

OH: Warren Lawyer is Suspended for 18 Months

December 3, 2012

The Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday suspended the law license of Warren attorney John H. Large for two years, with the final six months of that term stayed on certain conditions.

The court announced on its website the suspension was for professional misconduct in his dealings with three different clients and for making misrepresentations of fact in seeking reinstatement from a prior disciplinary suspension.

In a 7-0 opinion, the court adopted January findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline that after accepting fee advances from three clients, Large improperly deposited those unearned funds into his law office checking account rather than into a client trust account as required by state disciplinary rules.

The board forwarded to the Supreme Court seven aggravating factors against Large, including his prior one-year suspension for failing to pay income taxes and report employee wages in 2009 and testimony that the board said lacked truthfulness during his hearing. The previous one-year suspension followed a federal court case in which Large was found guilty of failing to pay the taxes from 2000 to 2004. He was sentenced to four years probation, six months in a halfway house, six months house arrest and ordered to pay $88,000 in restitution.

The board cited selfish motives when Large filed a divorce action for a woman in Lake County after she had fired him and after he received a $2,000 retainer. Large attempted to continue the relationship despite the client’s desire to terminate, according to a report.

Full Article and Source:
Warren Lawyer is Suspended for 18 Months

High court suspends lawyer after thefts reported

October 22, 2012

An attorney who leads Laurel’s school board has been temporarily barred from practicing law after he acknowledged keeping fees paid by clients hidden from other partners in his law firm, the state’s highest court says.

Patrick E. Vanderslice, 44, of Laurel, was suspended from the bar for a year by the Delaware Supreme Court, a more severe level of discipline than the public reprimand and probation the state’s Board on Professional Responsibility had advised was the proper punishment. The decision came after Vanderslice admitted to his partners at the Georgetown firm Moore & Rutt, P.A., he had stolen $1,780 in client fees from December 2010 to September 2011.

“Because Vanderslice committed theft (an offense involving dishonesty and a breach of trust,) we conclude that he should be ‘professionally answerable’ for his conduct,” the Supreme Court wrote in an Oct. 12 opinion. “A public reprimand, usually reserved for inexperienced lawyers… would be unduly lenient.

Full Article and Source:
High court suspends lawyer after thefts reported

10 local attorneys & a judge disciplined on October list

October 10, 2012

Disciplinary Actions — October 2012 list (verbatim from the State Bar of Texas)

General questions regarding attorney discipline should be directed to the Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s Office, toll-free (877) 953-5535 or (512) 453-5535. The Board of Disciplinary Appeals may be reached at (512) 475-1578. Information and copies of actual orders are available at http://www.txboda.org. The State Commission on Judicial Conduct may be contacted toll-free, (877) 228-5750 or (512) 463-5533. Please note that persons disciplined by the Commission on Judicial Conduct are not necessarily licensed attorneys.

Disciplinary Actions — October 2012

BODA Actions

On July 26, the Board of Disciplinary Appeals signed an agreed interlocutory order of suspension against William George Gammon III [#07611300], 51, of Houston. On Dec. 14, 2011, Gammon pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§2252A(a)(5)(B) and 2252A(b)(2), an intentional crime as defined in the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure, in Case No. H-10-340 styled, The United States of America v. William George Gammon, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division. Gammon was sentenced to four years in the custody of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Upon his release, Gammon shall be supervised for life with special conditions as a sex offender. He was also ordered to pay an assessment of $100 and $375,000 in restitution. Gammon has appealed his criminal conviction. The Board retains jurisdiction to enter a final judgment when the criminal appeal is final. BODA Cause No. 50072. Editor’s Note: This action does not refer to William B. Gammon[#07611280], 62, of Austin.

On July 31, the Board of Disciplinary Appeals signed a final judgment of disbarment against Helen Tyne Mayfield [#24014721], 64, of Houston. On Oct. 6, 2008, the Board of Disciplinary Appeals signed an interlocutory order of suspension against Mayfield because on July 30, 2008, Mayfield was convicted of three counts of forgery of a financial instrument, in violation of Texas Penal Code 32.21(d), an intentional crime as defined in the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure, in Case No. 07-05453-CRF-361 styled, The State of Texas v. Helen Mayfield, in the 361st District Court of Brazos County in Bryan and three counts of forgery of a financial instrument, in violation of Texas Penal Code 32.21(d), in Case No. 07-05454-CRF-361, styled, The State of Texas v. Helen Mayfield, in the 361st District Court of Brazos County. Mayfield was sentenced to two years in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for each count, the sentences to run concurrently. Mayfield appealed the conviction and on March 16, 2011, the Court of Appeals for the 10th District of Texas issued its mandates affirming the convictions. Mayfield answered and appeared at the hearing. BODA Cause No. 42845.

On July 26, the Board of Disciplinary Appeals signed an order granting a joint motion to reverse the judgment of disbarment signed by an evidentiary panel of the State Bar District 4-A Grievance Committee in Case No. S0031023393 and remand the matter for rendition and entry of an agreed judgment of an active suspension of William B. Harrison [#09125100], 58, of Houston. BODA Cause No. 49760. Editor’s Note: This action does not refer to William A. Harrison [#09125000], of Houston.

Full Article and Source:
10 local attorneys & a judge disciplined on October list

REVIEW OF LAWYER PENALTIES ORDERED

October 2, 2012

The state Supreme Court is taking a tougher stand on how lawyers are being punished, ordering the State Bar of California to take a second look at more than three dozen cases of disciplined attorneys.

The court’s move to turn back so many cases is unprecedented, and has sent a jolt through the state’s legal community.
 
The justices did not say what it was about the misconduct cases that required additional review, but bar officials and lawyers who follow the discipline process said it is clear the court questioned whether the punishments were too lenient.

That means the cases against 42 lawyers, including four from San Diego, that once appeared settled are now in doubt. The misconduct in the cases runs the spectrum:

• A lawyer in Berkeley who represented a man charged with murdering a journalist smuggled a letter out of jail for him, then lied about it to police. Prosecutors said the letter was a hit list for witnesses against him in his upcoming trial. The bar settled the matter with a six-month suspension.
 
• A Newport Beach lawyer collected more than $100,000 in fees for working on loan modifications for clients in nine states. He wasn’t licensed to practice law in any of the states, and in some of the cases did little or no work. The lawyer received a one-year suspension.

• San Diego lawyer Steven A. Guilin agreed to a six-month suspension of his license for misconduct in two instances, including forging a client’s signature and another lawyer’s, State Bar records show. He referred questions to his attorney, who declined to comment while the disciplinary matter is pending.

Full Article and Source:
REVIEW OF LAWYER PENALTIES ORDERED

Paralegal Blows Whistle on Ex-Boss, Says Cash Went in Book on Shelf; Lawyer Suspended for One Month

September 27, 2012

A paralegal who once worked for Iowa attorney Sara Anna Kersenbrock blew the whistle on her former boss, filing a 2010 disciplinary complaint that resulted in a one-month license suspension.

In a Friday opinion (PDF), the state supreme court imposed the sanction, rejecting a public reprimand proposed by the court’s attorney grievance commission.

The paralegal was a witness for the prosecution in the attorney discipline case, testifying that Kersenbrock didn’t deposit a number of client retainers into her trust account when she worked for the attorney between 2005 and 2010. Instead, Kersenbrock put retainer checks into her law firm operating account and put cash retainers into a drawer or in books on her bookshelf, then spent them when she needed money, the paralegal testified.

Testifying on her own behalf, Kersenbrock said she wasn’t required to deposit most of the retainers into her trust account, because they had already been earned when she put them into her operating account. She acknowledged some record-keeping issues, which she said she had taken steps to correct. She also said she had temporarily put one $3,000 cash retainer in her “sock drawer” for several weeks.

Full Article and Source:
Paralegal Blows Whistle on Ex-Boss, Says Cash Went in Book on Shelf; Lawyer Suspended for One Month

State Bar Says It Will Seek Discipline of Lawyer Targeted in Federal Suit

September 26, 2012

The State Bar said Friday it will seek to discipline a Los Angeles attorney who is being sued by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for loan modification fraud.

A spokesperson said a 30-count notice of disciplinary charges had been filed against Mid-Wilshire lawyer Chance Gordon. Gordon, 41, allegedly committed 30 counts of misconduct in 13 cases, most related to promises of foreclosure relief or loan modification.

Among the State Bar’s accusations are that Gordon:

Failed to perform with competence on behalf of six distressed homeowners whose cases were either dismissed or improperly filed. In one case, Gordon submitted a falsified document in a loan modification application;

Accepted illegal fees for loan modification services in Illinois, Florida and North Carolina, jurisdictions where he was not authorized to practice law;

Wrote three checks that bounced from his client trust account and misrepresented the facts about the overdrawn funds to the State Bar;

Falsely advertised on his now-disabled website that his firm, Resource Law Center, provided nationwide real estate legal services when he was only admitted to practice in California, and made unsubstantiated claims of successful loan modifications involving 42 lenders; and

Promised to pay clients $100 for new client referrals, in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
 
 

Full Article and Source:
State Bar Says It Will Seek Discipline of Lawyer Targeted in Federal Suit

Bar suspends local lawyer Edwin Tilton

September 24, 2012


The Florida Bar has suspended a Gainesville lawyer after he pleaded no contest in two crimes.

Edwin Richard Tilton, 58, was suspended for 30 days from a June 19 court order, according to a release sent out by The Florida Bar.
 
Tilton, who listed his last known address as 2066 NW 20th Lane in Gainesville, was arrested on Nov. 20, 2011, and charged with burglary of a structure and violation of pretrial release for domestic violence, according to published reports. He was also arrested on Nov. 11 and charged with domestic violence.
 
Police said the same victim was involved in both of Tilton’s arrests. In the Nov. 20 incident, police found Tilton “disheveled, dirty, intoxicated and disoriented” inside the residence of the victim, who told police she was asleep when he broke in, according to a police report.
 


Full Article and Source:
Bar suspends local lawyer Edwin Tilton

Supreme Court disciplines 24 attorneys

September 12, 2012

The Florida Bar, the state’s guardian for the integrity of the legal profession, announces that the Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 24 attorneys, disbarring eight and suspending 13. Some attorneys received more than one form of discipline. One attorney was placed on probation; three attorneys were publicly reprimanded; and four were ordered to pay restitution.

As an official arm of the Florida Supreme Court, The Florida Bar and its Department of Lawyer Regulation are charged with administering a statewide disciplinary system to enforce Supreme Court rules of professional conduct for the 93,000-plus lawyers admitted to practice law in Florida. Since Aug. 1, 2007, case files have been posted to attorneys’ individual Florida Bar profiles and may be reviewed at and/or downloaded from The Florida Bar’s website, http://www.floridabar.org.

Court orders are not final until time expires to file a rehearing motion and, if filed, determined. The filing of such a motion does not alter the effective date of the discipline. Disbarred lawyers may not re-apply for admission for five years. They are required to go through an extensive process that rejects many who apply. It includes a rigorous background check and retaking the bar exam. Historically, fewer than 5 percent of disbarred lawyers seek readmission.

Full Article and Source:
Supreme Court disciplines 24 attorneys


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