February 21, 2024
Gavel picture courtesy of www.weisspaarz.com through Flickr

The State Bar of California has introduced the disbarment of 23 attorneys within the third quarter of 2023, together with one from La Jolla discovered to have cast purchasers’ signatures.

Together with the disbarred attorneys, 40 different attorneys had been placed on probation with stayed or precise suspensions following Notices of Disciplinary Costs or stipulations to self-discipline filed by the Workplace of Chief Trial Counsel. 

Whereas California legislation requires the State Bar to report self-discipline statistics to the legislature on a fiscal yr foundation (see the Annual Self-discipline Report for extra), the State Bar additionally stories calendar yr statistics for the general public’s profit. 

Raymond David Mortier of La Jolla was disbarred after being discovered culpable in 44 acts of misconduct involving no less than seven purchasers.

His ethics violations embrace a case the place a consumer employed Mortier in a chapter matter. The consumer offered his house and entrusted $161,000 from that sale to Mortier to supervise.

Although Mortier periodically disbursed the funds on the consumer’s request, he grossly misrepresented the stability remaining, together with telling his consumer in February 2019 that he had greater than $77,000 left within the belief, when the stability was $410. Mortier additionally dismissed and evaded his consumer’s in-person demand that Mortier pay him his excellent stability.

Different misconduct included forging the signatures of two separate purchasers with out their permission or information on settlement checks totaling $67,000.

Mortier additionally didn’t preserve a number of purchasers fairly knowledgeable, together with one who employed him to keep away from a house foreclosures. The lawyer didn’t share together with his consumer the expiration of a required eviction date till 24 hours prior, regardless of Mortier having nearly six months advance discover of the date.  

As a part of his disbarment, Mortier was ordered to pay greater than $51,000 plus 10% annual curiosity to the consumer within the chapter matter. His disbarment went into impact on July 29.