The penalties that a California attorney facing administrative and legal challenges can face are both multiple and severe.
One attorney from the Los Angeles area knows that well. What he unquestionably discovered after criminal sentencing was pronounced against him recently in a Ventura County court was that practicing law in California while under suspension and even after disbarment was not a good idea.
Nor was pretending to be another lawyer and making formal court appearances under that guise before state judges.
The attorney’s professional license was suspended by the State Bar in 2016 for his alleged involvement in a real estate scam.
Bar officials subsequently followed up on that sanction by disbarring the lawyer a few shorts months later in 2017. That ultimate administrative exaction was levied after evidence revealed that the suspended license did not stop the individual from continuing to hold himself out as a duly licensed California attorney.
In fact, he continued to appear in court while impersonating another lawyer for more than half a year following disbarment.
That level of deceit brought heavy criminal repercussions. The ex-attorney was recently sentenced to a 9-month jail term and a following 3-year probationary period, plus ordered to pay restitution to defrauded victims.
The matter stands as a rather extreme example of attorney misconduct and resultingly harsh punishment.
Candidly, legions of other matters involving alleged misconduct and potential administrative/criminal penalties end differently. Extenuating circumstances often feature in disciplinary hearings before California agencies that allow for material mitigation.
A proven license-defense legal team can provide further information.