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Discipline Report

May. 1, 2018

Discipline Report - May 2018

Recent attorney disbarments, suspensions, probations, and public reprovals in California.

DISBARMENT
Joseph Dulles Allen, Santa Barbara
Samuel Braslau, Beverly Hills
Karen Lee Caldwell, San Francisco
McKinley Dirk Eastmond, Sandy, Utah
Barry Steven Jorgensen, San Ysidro
Dan Romaine Kirkham, Corona
Juan Enrique Pearce, San Francisco
Mark Allen Peterson, Clayton
Joshua Lee Phelps, Long Beach
Demas W. Yan, San Francisco

SUSPENSION
Vickie Marie Baumbach, Ontario
Gregory Andrew Broiles, Campbell
Ingrid Marie Causey, South Pasadena
Marc Steven Duvernay, Los Angeles
Robert Frederick Farrace, Modesto
Del L. Hardy, Reno, Nevada
Scott Bunker Hayward, Santa Ana
Shell Kaminsky, Brentwood
Esther M. Kim, Hesperia
Abraham Antoine Labbad, Burbank
Randall James Lanham, Rancho Santa Margarita
Keon Joong Lee, Seoul, Korea
David John Lonich, Santa Rosa
Robert Alan Machado, San Jose
Jesse Soto Ortiz, III, Sacramento
Judy Unkyung Paik, Glendale
Michael David Peterson, Escondido
J.M. Sandlow, Golden, Colorado
Douglas Robert Shoemaker, Woodland Hills
Robert Samuel Simon, Santa Monica
Douglas Edward Stein, Placerville
Benjamin Prescott Tryk, Fresno
Steven Zelig, Santa Monica

PROBATION
Jan Elizabeth Van Dusen, Oakland

PUBLIC REPROVAL
Victor Rene Cannon, Glendale
Barry Fischer, Los Angeles
Matthew Allen Forkner, Farmington, Utah

DISBARMENT
Joseph Dulles Allen
State Bar #48922, Santa Barbara (March 31, 2018)
Allen was disbarred by default after he failed to participate in his disciplinary proceeding after receiving adequate notice and opportunity. He did not move to have the default order entered, set aside or vacated. He was found culpable of failing to comply with conditions of probation requiring him to contact the Office of Probation and meet with his probation officer there and to file two written quarterly reports. He was also found culpable of violating the California Supreme Court order requiring him to file a declaration of compliance with the court rule requiring notification of an actual suspension (Cal. Rules of Ct., Rule 9.20).
Allen had been disciplined by the State Bar for professional misconduct once previously.

Samuel Braslau
State Bar #200843, Beverly Hills (March 31, 2018)
Braslau was summarily disbarred after being convicted of 11 counts of aiding and abetting mail fraud (18 U.S.C. §§1341 and 2(a)); five counts of wire fraud, attempted wire fraud, and aiding and abetting wire fraud (18 U.S.C. §§1343, 1349, and 2(a)); and one count of making a false statement (18 U.S.C. §§1341 and 2(a)).
The offenses are all felonies, and all involve moral turpitude as a matter of law as they include the intent to defraud.

Karen Lee Caldwell
State Bar #181749, San Francisco (March 31, 2018)
Caldwell was disbarred by default. She failed to participate in the disciplinary proceeding in which she was charged with two counts of professional misconduct: failing to comply with three court-ordered sanctions and failing to cooperate in the State Bar's investigation. She did not move to have the default order set aside or vacated, and was found culpable of both counts charged.

McKinley Dirk Eastmond
State Bar #89470, Sandy, Utah (March 16, 2018)
Eastmond was disbarred by default after he failed to participate either in person or through counsel at his disciplinary proceeding, despite receiving adequate legal notice. He was found culpable of failing to comply with a California Supreme Court order requiring him to file a declaration of compliance with the court rule requiring notification of an actual suspension (Cal. Rules of Ct., Rule 9.20).
Eastmond had one prior record of discipline.

Barry Steven Jorgensen
State Bar #79620, San Ysidro (March 7, 2018)
Jorgensen was disbarred after stipulating to failing to comply with a California Supreme Court order requiring him to file a declaration of compliance with the court rule requiring notification of his actual suspension (Cal. Rules of Ct., Rule 9.20). In addition, he was culpable of failing to schedule and hold a meeting with his probation deputy and failing to file three quarterly written reports as mandated in an earlier disciplinary order.
In aggravation, Jorgensen committed multiple acts of wrongdoing and had been disciplined by the State Bar for professional misconduct twice before.
In mitigation, he entered into a pretrial stipulation acknowledging his misconduct.

Dan Romaine Kirkham
State Bar #60324, Corona (March 31, 2018)
Kirkham was disbarred after he stipulated to being convicted of two felonies: conspiracy to defraud the United States (18 U.S.C. §371) and attempting to evade and defeat paying taxes (26 U.S.C. §7201). He was found guilty after a jury trial of both counts and sentenced to 30 months in prison for each crime, to be served concurrently. The matter was referred to the State Bar's hearing department for a hearing, determination of whether the offenses involved moral turpitude, and recommendation of any professional discipline to be imposed.
In the underlying matter, Kirkham participated in a "warehouse bank" scheme designed to enable customers to conduct anonymous bank transactions and conceal income and assets from the IRS. Assets of more than 900 customers were commingled in commercial bank accounts; the bank then paid bills through the commercial accounts and mailed cash to customers as directed. Over a seven-month period, Kirkham received numerous packages of cash totaling $79,000. The IRS subsequently determined he had evaded tax obligations of nearly $694,000--besides committing other acts designed to hide his income and assets.
In aggravation, Kirkham's actions were intentional and involved bad faith and dishonesty.
In mitigation, he entered into a pretrial stipulation and had practiced law for approximately 19 years without a record of discipline.
The State Bar Court judge determined that the misconduct involved moral turpitude, and recommended disbarment.

Juan Enrique Pearce
State Bar #236228, San Francisco (March 31, 2018)
Pearce was summarily disbarred after the State Bar received evidence that his conviction had become final. He had earlier entered a plea of guilty to distributing child pornography (Cal. Penal Code §311.1(a)), possessing child pornography (Cal. Penal Code §311.11(a))--with two admitted allegations of possessing more than 600 images and possessing images containing sexual sadism (Cal. Penal Code §§311.1(a)(1) and (2)), and receiving or buying stolen property (Cal. Penal Code §496(a)).
All the offenses are felonies involving moral turpitude.

Mark Allen Peterson
State Bar #111961, Clayton (March 31, 2018)
Peterson was summarily disbarred. He had earlier entered a plea of no contest to one count of committing perjury (Cal. Penal Code §118), a felony involving moral turpitude.

Joshua Lee Phelps
State Bar #259067, Long Beach (March 31, 2018)
Phelps was summarily disbarred from practicing law. He earlier entered a plea of no contest to the charge of possessing more than 600 images of child or youth pornography (Cal. Penal Code §311.1(c)(1)). The offense is a felony involving moral turpitude.

Demas W. Yan
State Bar #257854, San Francisco (March 16, 2018)
Yan was disbarred from the practice of law after being found culpable of 27 counts of professional misconduct in a contested disciplinary proceeding involving four consolidated matters and concerning seven client matters.
His wrongdoing included: willfully failing to support the law; failing to maintain the respect due to courts and judicial officers; failing to report judicial sanctions imposed against him; seeking to mislead judges, which involved moral turpitude; failing to maintain only just legal actions; and seeking to mislead judges, which also involves moral turpitude.
The State Bar Court judge also found him culpable of eight additional counts of professional misconduct based on a decision issued by the Ninth Circuit revoking his bar membership in that forum. His underlying behavior included filing an unjust action, threatening a client, and engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.
In another matter, Yan was found to have acted in bad faith by filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition to delay a foreclosure. And in an action involving an attempt to stop foreclosure on property he had purchased, initiated several years before Yan was licensed to practice law, a bankruptcy court determined he was a vexatious litigant after filing 16 separate frivolous actions intended to harass the defendants. In a five-year period, judicial sanctions totaling $130,000 were imposed against Yan, which the State Bar Court judge noted "had failed to deter him."
In aggravation, Yan had a prior record of discipline, committed multiple actions of misconduct, significantly harmed his clients and the administration of justice, and demonstrated indifference toward atoning for the consequences of his misconduct.
In mitigation, he stipulated to the facts in the underlying matters.

SUSPENSION
Vickie Marie Baumbach
State Bar #270604, Ontario (March 25, 2018)
Baumbach was suspended from the practice of law and her case was referred to the State Bar's hearing department for a hearing and decision recommending the professional discipline to be imposed. She was earlier convicted of being an accessory to a felon (Cal. Penal Code §32), a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.

Gregory Andrew Broiles
State Bar #229384, Campbell (March 7, 2018)
Broiles was suspended from practicing law for six months and placed on probation for two years after he stipulated to committing eight acts of professional misconduct related to three client matters.
His wrongdoing included: failing to perform legal services with competence, failing to respond promptly to a client's reasonable inquiries, failing to promptly return unearned advanced fees, failing to render an accounting of client funds, failing to update his official membership records address with the State Bar, and engaging in the practice of law when he was suspended from doing so. He was also culpable of two counts of failing to cooperate in the State Bar's investigations of the misconduct alleged.
In one client matter, Broiles was retained to help suspend the powers of a trustee of a family trust suspected of pilfering trust assets. He was paid $2,000 as a retainer fee, but took no action for six months, when the client terminated his services and hired new counsel. Broiles did not respond to the client's requests for an accounting and a return of the unearned fees, nor did he respond to the new counsel's requests for the accounting and fee or to the State Bar's investigation queries. He was subsequently placed on inactive status.
During that time, though not legally authorized to practice law, he agreed to represent another client in a trust matter.
In another case, Broiles was hired to update a trust and execute grant deeds. He requested that the client obtain documentation related to the matter; she did--and appeared at his San Jose office for an agreed appointment. Upon arrival, she was informed the practice had moved to Campbell. She sent Broiles several requests for updates on the case status, but he did not respond. He prepared the requested deeds, but failed to inform the client he had done so. The client subsequently discovered an eviction posting on the San Jose office, noting that Broiles owed the landlord more than $20,000 in back rent. She then requested a refund of fees paid to him. He did so nearly 10 months later, after the State Bar had instigated an investigation of his conduct.
In aggravation, Broiles committed multiple acts of wrongdoing.
In mitigation, he entered into a pretrial stipulation, had practiced law for more than 10 years without a record of discipline, and suffered emotional and family difficulties causing him to suffer depression and anxiety--now controlled through therapy and medication.

Ingrid Marie Causey
State Bar #166305, South Pasadena (March 31, 2018)
Causey was suspended from the practice of law for six months and placed on probation for two years after she stipulated to committing three acts of professional misconduct related to a single client matter. Her wrongdoing included: aiding the unauthorized practice of law, practicing law in a jurisdiction in which she was not licensed, and charging an illegal fee.
Causey, who incorporated a law practice in California, was retained by a client to modify her mortgage on an Illinois property. The client dealt only with a non-attorney at the firm, who gave her legal advice about how to proceed. After a year, the client terminated the employment relationship, unhappy that her mortgage loan had not been modified. Causey transferred the law firm ownership to a Michigan; the unearned advanced fee of $2,210 was refunded to the client several months after the State Bar initiated an investigation.
In aggravation, Causey committed multiple acts of misconduct, had a prior record of discipline, and demonstrated indifference about her wrongdoing, which was similar to that involved in a previous discipline case.
In mitigation, she entered into a prefiling stipulation.

Marc Steven Duvernay
State Bar #135547, Los Angeles (March 16 2018)
Duvernay was suspended from practicing law in the interim. He was earlier convicted of driving with a .08% blood alcohol content causing injury (Cal. Veh. Code §23153(b)), a felony, with an enhancement for infliction of great bodily injury during the commission of a felony (Cal. Penal Code §12022.7(a)).
The case was referred to the State Bar's hearing department for a hearing and decision as to whether the facts and circumstances surrounding the violations involved moral turpitude or other misconduct warranting professional discipline.

Robert Frederick Farrace
State Bar #170377, Modesto (March 5, 2018)
Farrace was suspended from the practice of law in the interim pending final disposition of his convictions of three counts of wire fraud (18 U.S.C. §1343). The offense is a felony involving moral turpitude.

Del L. Hardy
State Bar #108926, Reno, Nevada (March 12, 2018)
Hardy was suspended in the interim pending final disposition of his conviction of three counts of making and subscribing a false tax return (26 U.S.C. 7206(1))--a felony involving moral turpitude.
Due to discrepancies between the transmittal form submitted by the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel of the State Bar and the verdict form included with it, there may be additional underlying convictions in the matter.

Scott Bunker Hayward
State Bar #138582, Santa Ana (March 26, 2018)
Hayward was suspended from practicing law pending proof of passing the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam as mandated in an earlier State Bar disciplinary order.

Shell Kaminsky
State Bar #284216, Brentwood (March 12, 2018)
Kaminsky was suspended from practicing law in the interim pending final disposition of his conviction of second degree burglary (Cal. Penal Code §459)--a felony involving moral turpitude.

Esther M. Kim
State Bar #271155, Hesperia (March 12, 2018)
Kim was suspended from practicing law pending proof of passing the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam as mandated in an earlier State Bar disciplinary order.

Abraham Antoine Labbad
State Bar #271349, Burbank (March 16, 2018)
Labbad was suspended from the practice of law for 60 days and placed on probation for two years after he stipulated to committing two acts of professional misconduct related to a single client matter: failing to obey a court order and failing to report a court-imposed sanction to the State Bar.
Labbad was hired to defend a client involved in an unlawful detainer action. After a hearing, the court granted a motion to stay the lockout order, but in a minute order, directed Labbad to pay $1,000 in sanctions and to file an answer in the case. He did neither, but instead, moved to quash, which the court rejected and issued a second minute order.
After State Bar investigators had sent him four letters asking for an explanation of his action and inaction, Labbad pay the sanction, and his attorney reported the sanctions to the State Bar as required.
In aggravation, Labbad committed multiple acts of misconduct and demonstrated indifference toward rectification and demonstrated a failure to maintain respect for the courts and judicial officers during court appearances.
In mitigation, he entered into a pretrial stipulation, presented letters from five individuals attesting to his good character, and was experiencing family problems related to his daughter's health problems.

Randall James Lanham
State Bar #164839, Rancho Santa Margarita (March 31, 2018)
Lanham was suspended from practicing law for 30 days and placed on probation for two years after he stipulated to two acts of professional misconduct related to a single client matter: practicing law while not entitled to do so and wrongly holding himself out as entitled to practice--an act involving moral turpitude.
Lanham was earlier placed on inactive status after he failed to pay his State Bar membership dues and failed to report his compliance with Mandatory Continuing Legal Education requirements. The day after he became ineligible to practice, he engaged in a conversation with IRS representatives on behalf of some clients, then exchanged emails with those clients and submitted an appeal on their behalf using his office letterhead. He received no fees for this work, and shortly after that, came into compliance and the State Bar reinstated him to practice.
In aggravation, Lanham committed multiple acts of misconduct.
In mitigation, he entered into a pretrial stipulation, had practiced law discipline-free for approximately 22 years, presented letters from eight individuals from both the legal and general communities--all of whom attested to his good character, and submitted evidence of substantial community service.

Keon Joong Lee
State Bar #210361, Seoul, Korea (March 31, 2018)
Lee was suspended from the practice of law for six months and placed on probation for two years after he stipulated to committing 10 acts of professional misconduct related to three client matters. His wrongdoing included: failing to properly withdraw from employment and failing to communicate a significant case development to a client; two counts of failing to promptly pay clients settlement funds to which they were entitled; and three counts each of failing to perform legal services with competence and failing to respond to reasonable client inquiries.
In all three cases, Lee agreed to represent clients in personal injury claims, then stopped responding to their calls. In two cases, he failed to pay medical providers for more than three years; and in the third, he failed to inform the client about a settlement offer received.
In aggravation, Lee committed multiple acts of misconduct, had a prior record of discipline, and caused significant harm to his clients.
In mitigation, he entered into a prefiling stipulation.

David John Lonich
State Bar #88784, Santa Rosa (March 12, 2018)
Lonich was suspended from the practice of law in the interim pending final disposition of his convictions of several felonies.
The offenses--all of which involve moral turpitude--include: conspiracy to commit bank fraud (18 U.S.C. §371), bank fraud (18 U.S.C. §§2 and 1344), conspiracy to commit wire fraud (18 U.S.C. §1349), attempted obstruction of justice (18 U.S.C. §§2 and 1512(c)) and five counts each of wire fraud (18 U.S.C. §§2 and 1343) and making false bank entries (18 U.S.C. §§2 and 1005).

Robert Alan Machado
State Bar #88836, San Jose (March 12, 2018)
Machado was suspended in the interim pending final disposition of his conviction of being an accessory to the unauthorized practice of law (Cal. Penal Code §32)--a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.

Jesse Soto Ortiz, III
State Bar #176450, Sacramento (March 5, 2018)
Ortiz was suspended from practicing law pending proof of passing the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination--one of the conditions imposed in an earlier disciplinary order.

Judy Unkyung Paik
State Bar #230988, Glendale (March 19, 2018)
Paik was suspended from the practice of law pending final disposition of her case. She was convicted of defrauding providers of food fuel, services, or accommodations (Cal. Penal Code §537(a)(1)). The offense is a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude. The State Bar hearing department will now hear the matter and recommend discipline.

Michael David Peterson
State Bar #231725, Escondido (March 19, 2018)
Peterson was suspended in the interim pending final disposition of his conviction of possession or control of child pornography (Cal. Penal Code §311.1 1(a)), a felony involving moral turpitude.

J.M. Sandlow
State Bar #90098, Golden, Colorado (March 26, 2018)
Sandlow was suspended in the interim pending final disposition of his conviction in Colorado of second degree assault (Colo. Rev. Stat. §18-3-203(1)(i)). The offense is a felony that may involve moral turpitude.

Douglas Robert Shoemaker
State Bar #230379, Woodland Hills (March 5, 2018)
Shoemaker was suspended from the practice of law pending proof of passing the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam--one of the terms imposed in an earlier disciplinary order.

Robert Samuel Simon
State Bar #187823, Santa Monica (March 7, 2018)
Simon was suspended for six months and placed on probation for two years after he stipulated to committing several acts deemed professional misconduct by the Supreme Court of Oregon. In the instant proceeding, the State Bar Court judge determined that his actions also warranted the imposition of discipline in California.
Simon, who was admitted to practice law in both California and Oregon, was hired by a client to represent other individuals and companies with which the client was involved. In the course of that work, Simon represented clients with potentially conflicting interests without securing their written consent in advance. He also collected an illegal fee by instructing a business partner in a real estate brokerage firm to pay $75,000 to another attorney he knew, then directed that attorney to send $25,000 of that amount to a law firm that was Simon's own creditor. Neither transaction was authorized by the client or partners involved, and both involved moral turpitude.
In aggravation, Simon committed multiple acts of misconduct and had a prior record of discipline.
In mitigation, he entered into a prefiling stipulation, saving the State Bar both time and resources.

Douglas Edward Stein
State Bar #131248, Placerville (March 31, 2018)
Stein was suspended from practicing law for one year and placed on probation for three years after he stipulated to committing four counts of professional misconduct in a single client matter. His wrongdoing included: failing to maintain the required balance in his client trust account, misappropriating the client's funds--an act involving moral turpitude, commingling personal and client funds, and failing to render the client an appropriate accounting.
Stein was hired to represent a client in a wrongful termination and retaliation case that the client had initiated in pro per. The client agreed to pay advanced fees and costs totaling $20,000. The two opened a joint client trust account solely owned and accessible by Stein. A check for $19,500 was deposited into the account--and the client paid Stein an additional $500 to use for personal expenditures.
Over the next six months, Stein issued 14 checks and initiated 31 debits from the trust account--none of which were attributable to the client's case. The client terminated Stein's employment after the two disagreed about case strategy. Shortly after that, the account had a negative balance, which the client paid off and closed. Stein had taken no steps to monitor the account balance, nor did he provide the client with any accounting of the funds.
In aggravation, Stein committed multiple acts of wrongdoing and failed to make restitution to the client.
In mitigation, he entered into a pretrial stipulation, had practiced law for approximately 27 years without a record of discipline, and had problems related to his daughter's chronic medical condition that caused him to relapse into chemical dependency--for which he sought residential treatment.

Benjamin Prescott Tryk
State Bar #253299, Fresno (March 31, 2018)
Tryk was suspended from the practice of law for 60 days and placed on probation for two years. He was found culpable of numerous counts of professional misconduct related to three client matters: failing to return a client's papers and property after being requested to do so, failing to notify a client of funds received in her behalf, misappropriating entrusted funds--conduct involving moral turpitude, misrepresenting his fees and charges to the client--which also involved moral turpitude, and two counts of failing to render accountings of clients' funds.
In one case, Tryk agreed to represent a client on a contingency fee basis in a slip and fall case. He subsequently received a settlement check for $4,500--and disbursed $2,000 to the client without an explanation or accounting.
In another personal injury case, Tryk signed his client's name to a settlement check, then deposited it into his client trust account. While the State Bar maintained it was improper for Tryk to negotiate the check, the State Bar Court judge found that based on his demeanor and explanation at trial, he sincerely believed he had a right to endorse the check in accord with a power of attorney clause in the client fee agreement. However, he provided no accounting to the client for the funds only after the State Bar initiated an investigation into the client's charges of misconduct.
In the third matter, Tryk was hired to help obtain a copy of a video he hoped would document an incident on a city bus. Upon viewing the DVD, Tryk concluded the client had no viable case; the client maintained the video had been edited and terminated the employment relationship. The former client then demanded a copy of the DVD, but Tryk tendered a CD that was not viewable; No other attorneys could review that evidence or take on the case.
In aggravation, Tryk committed multiple acts of misconduct, significantly harmed his client who effectively lost his cause of action, and was allotted moderate aggravating weight by taking advantage of one of the clients, who was deemed to be "vulnerable"--an immigrant with little schooling and not afforded a fee agreement in her native language.

Steven Zelig
State Bar #94654, Santa Monica (March 31, 2018)
Zelig was suspended for 30 days and placed on probation for two years after he stipulated to pleading no contest to two misdemeanors: battery (Cal. Penal Code §242) and challenging another person to a fight (Cal. Penal Code §415(1).
In the underlying incident, police officers were summoned to a restaurant where an altercation had been reported. When they arrived, they found Zelig and another male outside on the street, with Zelig lying on top of the man. The man told officers there had been a dispute inside the restaurant after Zelig had verbally attacked a waiter. Zelig was then escorted out of the restaurant, but punched the man in the face as he was leaving.
The State Bar Court judge found the facts and circumstances did not involve moral turpitude, but involved misconduct warranting professional discipline.
In aggravation, Zelig had a prior record of discipline.
In mitigation, he had entered into a pretrial stipulation, saving the State Bar time and resources.

PROBATION
Jan Elizabeth Van Dusen
State Bar #142700, Oakland (March 2, 2018)
Van Dusen was placed on probation for one year following her appeal of a hearing judge's order finding her culpable of failing to obey a Review Department order in a criminal conviction matter and recommending 30 days of actual suspension.

In the underlying matter, Van Dusen was suspended from practicing law following her felony conviction of cruelty to animals (Cal. Penal Code §597(b)), and ordered to comply with the court rule requiring suspended lawyers to notify opposing counsel and adverse parties and to file a copy of that notice with the court, agency, or tribunal in which litigation is pending (Cal. Rules of Ct., Rule 9.20).
She failed, however, to file an accurate and timely declaration and to notify the trustee and bankruptcy court of her suspension in two Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. Both cases were ultimately handled by another attorney, though Van Dusen remained counsel of record since no substitution of attorney forms were file successfully.
Among other claims, she contended that the bankruptcy trustees were neither "opposing counsel" nor "adverse parties" and that bankruptcy is not "litigation" as contemplated by the rule.
The panel on review rejected those arguments, but recommended probation rather than suspension as appropriate discipline.
In aggravation, Van Dusen committed multiple acts of wrongdoing.
In mitigation, she had practiced law discipline-free for 25 years.

PUBLIC REPROVAL
Victor Rene Cannon
State Bar #159841, Glendale (March 13, 2018)
Cannon was publicly reproved after being found culpable of four counts of professional misconduct: improperly withdrawing from employment, failing to promptly respond to reasonable client inquiries, failing to obtain the court's permission to withdraw, and failing to timely notify the State Bar of his change of address.
When Cannon left his position in a federal public defender's office to open a private practice, he was appointed to as the attorney in 18 cases assigned to him while serving as a public defender. While 17 were resolved, one involving a charge of mail fraud related to an alleged Ponzi-type investment scheme remained. At that time, Cannon and his wife were relocating to Sacramento so she could take on a work position there. The assistant U.S. attorney tried to contact Cannon by voice mail and email to discuss the case shortly before he moved, but he did not respond. She understood his silence to mean he was not interested in a pretrial resolution.
The court granted the ex parte request for a status conference hearing; Cannon, unaware of the hearing because he rarely checked his email during the hectic time of the family's relocation, failed to appear. The court then removed him from the case and ordered him to show cause in writing why he should not be sanctioned and reported to the discipline committee. He did not learn of the deadline for his response until after it had passed. A State Bar investigator's subsequent attempts to reach Cannon by mail were returned as undeliverable.
Cannon eventually changed the address on his official State Bar membership records, but he did not respond to the Notice of Disciplinary Charges mailed there. A court later set aside the default ordered against him.

In aggravation, Cannon showed indifference toward rectification by failing to act promptly to clear up the problem being investigated after receiving the State Bar's letters and notice of the motion to enter a default.
In mitigation, he had practiced law for 19 years discipline-free, expressed remorse for his "serious errors in judgment," and presented evidence from several current and former judicial officers and attorneys and friends--all of whom attested to his good character and competence as a lawyer.

Barry Fischer
State Bar #122412, Los Angeles (March 23, 2018)
Fischer was publicly reproved after he stipulated to one count of failing to promptly refund an unearned advanced fee after his representation was terminated.
Fischer was hired to represent a husband in a dissolution proceeding, who paid him a $5,000 advanced fee. The couple subsequently reconciled, and the client terminated the legal services and requested a refund of his fees. The client agreed that Fischer had performed legal services in the case worth $1,000, with $4,000 left as unearned.
Fischer made two installments of $1,000 each to the client, but the third $1,000 check he issued was returned for insufficient funds--and he made no additional payments to the client until after the State Bar began an investigation of the matter. He then repaid the $2,000 owed, and also paid the client the extra $1,000 they had agreed had been earned in legal work.
In aggravation, Fischer had a prior record of discipline.
In mitigation, he entered into a pretrial stipulation, provided letters from 14 individuals attesting to his good character, and presented evidence of financial difficulties due to a prior employer failing to pay his agreed salary over an extended period.

Matthew Allen Forkner
State Bar #232821, Farmington, Utah (March 27, 2018)
Forkner was publicly reproved after he stipulated to one count of practicing law in another jurisdiction without the proper court authority to do so.
Forkner, license to practice law in California, worked in Arizona as an associate counsel working on mergers, acquisitions, and securities for an Internet domain name registrar company. After working there for approximately two years, he applied for a Registration Certificate with the State Bar of Arizona.
After the certificate was recorded and took effect, the Arizona Bar authorities initiated a screening investigation, inquiring into the untimeliness in filing for it. Forkner defended that he delayed due to the uncertainty of his future with the company and the time-consuming work of preparing its initial public offering. The State Bar of Arizona found him culpable of the unauthorized practice of law and referred the matter to California Bar authorities, who found his actions also violated state strictures on unauthorized practice.
In mitigation, Forkner entered into a prefiling stipulation, had practiced law in California for approximately nine years without a record of discipline, and fully cooperated with State Bar authorities in both California and Arizona.

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