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The State Bar of California Takes Action Over Lawyers’ Complaints

The State Bar of California Takes Action Over Lawyers' Complaints

Tom Girardi faced more than 150 complaints before State Bar took action, records show

The State Bar of California has taken action against more than a dozen lawyers over complaints that they harassed their clients’ relatives.

Some have even been banned from practice for up to 15 years.

They include an attorney who falsely claimed in court that a teenager who claimed he was physically abused by her stepfather was lying and a trial lawyer who threatened to sue a victim of domestic abuse to keep her from testifying in court.

All of the complaints against the attorneys were reported in 2014 or 2015, according to the records obtained by the Times through a public records request.

They occurred between 2011 and 2013, when the State Bar had four active complaints against them.

“We’re not in this business (of) silencing speech. We take action,” state bar President Jonathan Harris said Thursday.

The complaints described some of the most egregious violations of the rules in the legal profession.

Some were found to be “highly inappropriate,” according to the records, which include affidavits from victims and attorneys who have spoken with The Times about the case.

An attorney is banned from practicing law for the rest of his or her life after serving more than five years in prison on a felony conviction for a violent crime — an automatic 15-year sentence.

An attorney was suspended for seven years after he was convicted of a felony for falsely claiming that a mother of an alleged sexual assault who was suing him for abuse was lying about her child.

Attorney and former judge George Kouris was suspended for two years after violating a law that prohibits lawyers from threatening to sue someone unless they agree to not pursue that law suit against them.

The records also show five complaints were taken against attorneys who were convicted of violating laws against harassment, intimidation and domestic violence. Three attorneys had their licenses revoked in those cases and another was barred for five years.

Attorneys and clients have complained that their lawyers have inappropriately contacted and harassed their relatives

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