December 3, 2011
Walking The Dogs
A disciplinary matter reported in the December 2011 California Bar Journal:
[An attorney] was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on four years of probation with a 30-day actual suspension and she was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect May 21, 2011.
[The attorney] stipulated that she committed three acts of misconduct, including two that involved moral turpitude. While walking her three dogs in a Los Angeles city park, she was stopped by a ranger who believed she was not in control of the animals. She gave a false name and refused to provide her address.
At a hearing with the city attorney, the question of whether she provided false information was resolved without criminal charges. [She] then sued the ranger and the city of Los Angeles alleging false arrest, negligence, assault and battery and a violation of her civil rights, among other things. When she was deposed, she claimed she never provided a false name.
About a year later, when [she] had applied to become a member of the State Bar, she disclosed the lawsuit in her moral character application. However, she also claimed the ranger wrote the name Mary Smith before she could provide her true name and said she offered to give him her mailing address. She admitted in the stipulation that her statements were false.
[The attorney] later settled the lawsuit by paying Los Angeles $600.
In mitigation, she had extreme emotional difficulties at the time of the misconduct.
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