Wednesday, February 19, 2014
The California State Bar Court Review Department has concluded that a criminal conviction involved moral turpitude and proposed disbarment on the following facts
Wyatt, an attorney since 1976, lives in Rossmoor, a gated senior community. On December 10, 2010, between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m., Wyatt drank vodka at home and then drove to a restaurant in a neighboring town where he ate dinner and drank one beer.
Meanwhile, Edward Phillips, an 85-year-old Rossmoor resident, was waiting near his home for a bus. It was his nightly routine to call for a Rossmoor shuttle bus to take him to P.F. Chang’s restaurant for dinner. At the time, Phillips was carrying his cane, which he occasionally used to assist him with walking.
Around 6:30 p.m., as Wyatt was driving home from the restaurant, he struck Phillips. Upon impact, Phillips smashed Wyatt’s windshield, was thrown between 38 and 52 feet, and landed with his head near the curb and his feet extending toward the middle of the road. Phillips was bleeding profusely from a severe head wound. Wyatt did not have a cellular phone. He got out of his car, found Phillips nonresponsive, returned to his vehicle, and drove one mile to the guard station at the front gate to get help, leaving Phillips alone. He reported the accident to the security guard, who told him to wait in the guard station. Wyatt drank coffee and water while he waited. The security guard called the paramedics and police.
The attorney claimed that the victim (who died 60 hours later) had "streaked" in front of his car. His story changed to a "hobbled gait" when he learned that the victim was 85. He also concealed the amount he had to drink before the incident.
The attorney is described as a leading environmental attorney and a dean of the environmental bar. (Mike Frisch)