October 2, 2008
Uneven Road To Rehabilitation
The California Bar Journal reports:
[An attorney] was suspended for three years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with an actual two-year suspension and was ordered to prove her rehabilitation, take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20. The order took effect May 22, 2008.
In 2003, [the attorney] was charged with felony embezzlement, grand theft and forgery for falsifying her time sheets while working for a school district. She claimed to have worked hours that she in fact did not work, improperly earning $6,000. She pleaded no contest to misdemeanor grand theft and stipulated in 2006 that the conviction involved moral turpitude.
The State Bar Court’s recommended discipline was postponed when [she] was admitted to the Alternative Discipline Program for attorneys with mental health or substance abuse issues. The court found that she suffered from a bipolar disorder and depression complicated by anxiety attacks and that there was a sufficient connection between her problems and the stipulated misconduct. It also considered as mitigation her claim that she acted on the insistence of her husband, from whom she is now divorced.
However, [she] was terminated from the program after testing positive for marijuana three times.
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