Thursday, January 23, 2014
The California State Bar Court has recommended the disbarment of an attorney for misconduct in matters involving the representation of her own son.
The opinion has this summary
This case involves serious overreaching of the attorney-client relationship under the guise of parental concern. Respondent...used the legal system to further her desire to control her adult son, who was also her client. In doing so, she lost sight of her ethical obligations and committed serious misconduct, including misappropriating over $57,000 of his settlement funds through conversion, commingling over $100,000 of her personal funds with his, and filing a lawsuit directly adverse to him. After her son filed a complaint with the State Bar’s Office of the Chief Trial Counsel (State Bar), [she] compounded her misconduct by conditioning the release of his funds on his agreement not to cooperate with the State Bar’s investigation. In the end, [she] withheld her son’s settlement funds for more than three years and released them only four days before her disciplinary trial.
The attorney had a record of prior discipline stemming from two shoplifting incidents. (Mike Frisch)