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Suspensions/Probation
  1. DAVID R. BAADE
  2. MARC ALAN BEIDERMAN
  3. DEBORAH ANN ELDRIDGE
  4. GERALD J. JANSEN
  5. JOE MENDIVEL
  6. JAMES MARSHALL HODGES
  7. DUANE D’ROY DADE
  8. HARVEY RAYMOND HASSON
  9. LAWRENCE VICTOR HARRISON
  10. KENNETH PETER FERIA
  11. MATTHEW ALLAN BROMUND
  12. WILLIAM PAUL LUCKE
  13. OLGA ALEXANDRA KARASIK
  14. WILLIAM JAMES BEVERLY

DAVID R. BAADE [#46509], 68, of Irvine was suspended for three years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with a 90-day actual suspension and he must take the MPRE within one year and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. The order took effect May 27, 2010.

Baade stipulated to misconduct in two matters.

He deposited non-entrusted funds in his client trust account 14 times during a two-month period and repeatedly wrote checks against insufficient funds in his general account, committing acts of moral turpitude.

In a second matter, he owed his client a credit in a divorce proceeding, but provided a check that he wrote against insufficient funds. He stipulated that he failed to refund an unearned fee.

Baade was privately reproved in 1996 for failing to inform a client of significant developments. In mitigation, he cooperated with the bar’s investigation, hired a CPA to help with bookkeeping and record-keeping responsibilities, has done pro bono work for several years and provided character references.

MARC ALAN BEIDERMAN [#68118], 65, of Canoga Park was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on five years of probation with a 75-day actual suspension and he was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect May 27, 2010.

After stipulating to eight counts of misconduct, Beiderman was accepted into the State Bar’s Alternative Discipline Program for lawyers with substance abuse or mental health issues. He successfully completed the program as well as the Lawyer Assistance Program.

The underlying discipline was the result of misconduct in four personal injury matters. In the first, he represented a client on a contingency basis who also was an employee Beiderman hired to operate a company he owned. Beiderman settled the personal injury case for $12,500, gave the client $2,000 and took $6,100 for himself. He claimed $1,100 was money the client had borrowed and that $5,000 represented fees and costs. However, there was no documentation for that amount, which exceeds a one-third contingency fee by $833.33.

Beiderman later paid the client $4,000 from the settlement proceeds by check. The client endorsed the check, which represented reimbursement of medical fees paid on the client’s behalf, back to Beiderman. The client hired another lawyer to investigate the personal injury settlement, but Beiderman had not kept any records. He also didn’t respond to the new lawyer’s inquiries.

He stipulated that he failed to maintain records, account for client funds or promptly pay out client funds.

Beiderman settled another personal injury suit, also on a contingency basis, for $15,000. He was entitled to $6,200 in costs and fees, but kept $7,600. He also allowed the balance in his trust account to fall below the required amount. He wrote a check for $7,000 against insufficient funds and also claimed he paid his client’s doctors. In fact, the client paid the doctor.

Beiderman stipulated that he committed three acts of moral turpitude — he misappropriated more than $8,700 from his client, made misrepresentations and wrote a check against insufficient funds.

Beiderman settled two other personal injury cases but allowed the balance in his client trust account to fall below the required amounts and did not pay medical lien held by the clients’ medical providers. In both matters, he stipulated that he misappropriated client funds.

In mitigation, Beiderman had no prior discipline record, he cooperated with the bar’s investigation and demonstrated remorse and he had severe financial problems.

DEBORAH ANN ELDRIDGE [#197963], 51, of Sacramento was suspended for three years, stayed, placed on five years of probation with a two-year actual suspension and until she proves her rehabilitation, and she was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. The order took effect May 27, 2010.

Eldridge stipulated to 24 counts of misconduct in four consolidated divorce matters.

In the first, she represented the father of a minor. The mother made plane reservations for the child to visit her in Hawaii during a break from school, but Eldridge cancelled the reservations by impersonating the mother on the phone. Because the mother had faxed the ticket information to Eldridge, she knew the confirmation number and other flight details.

When the father appeared at the airport to put his son on the plane, he learned the ticket was cancelled. When the mother tried to find out what happened, Eldridge wrote to the son’s lawyer and implied the mother cancelled the flight. That lawyer filed an order to show cause against the father because she was able to trace the phone call to the airlines to Eldridge’s office.

While testifying at an unrelated matter before the Commission on Judicial Performance, Eldridge was questioned about the airlines matter and omitted material information about her conduct. She stipulated to six acts of misconduct stemming from the matter: three counts of moral turpitude, disobeying a court order, failing to maintain respect to the court and failing to perform legal services competently.

She represented the husband in another divorce matter, and agreed to offset part of his legal fees in exchange for construction work on her house. The client left his tools, valued at about $14,000, in her garage, although she disputes their value. He eventually fired her, hired a new lawyer and asked for the return of the tools. Eldridge claimed the work was defective; the client’s new lawyer claimed she was keeping the tools in order to gain an advantage in the dispute over the construction work. She kept the tools for more than five years.

The client was ordered by the Contractors State Licensing Board to pay Eldridge more than $19,000 for construction defects and for reimbursement for an entertainment center. Three years later, a court confirmed the award, the client paid Eldridge but she did not return the tools.

He eventually sued Eldridge, who, during the course of the litigation, served him with a Judicial Council form that she altered. The former client was left with the mistaken impression that he had to adhere to shorter timelines to provide discovery. He asked Eldridge again to provide an inventory of the tools, but she did not do so. During negotiations in the lawsuit, she returned tools to the contractor, who questioned whether she returned all the tools and whether they were the same tools he left at her home.

She stipulated to six more counts of misconduct: two acts of moral turpitude, failing to account for or return client property and failing to obtain her client’s written consent to the terms of the offset agreement.  She also entered into a business transaction with a client without satisfying the necessary requirements.

Eldridge committed an act of moral turpitude in another matter by submitting to the court a pleading purportedly signed by her client. In fact, the client did not sign the document. And in the fourth matter, she communicated with the opposing party and his employee; the opposing party was represented by a lawyer.

In mitigation, she cooperated with the bar’s investigation.

GERALD J. JANSEN [#182405], 43, of Santa Ana was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation with a 90-day actual suspension and he was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. The order took effect May 27, 2010.

A State Bar Court hearing judge recommended a 30-day suspension after finding that Jansen practiced law in Illinois without being licensed there. The court’s review department increased the suspension to 90 days.

Jansen and Joe Mendivel, another California lawyer, practiced primarily workers’ compensation law in southern California, but when changes resulted in lower fees in 2004, they opened a Chicago office. They planned to remain in California and supervise the Chicago office by phone, fax and periodic visits, and Jansen sought admission to the Illinois bar.

Both men claimed they were unaware that Illinois law requires membership in the state bar in order to practice workers’ comp there, but neither conducted adequate research to determine the requirements before they opened their Chicago office. They also met with another California lawyer who had passed the Illinois bar exam but never completed the admission process. He also never agreed to become a partner with Jansen and Mendivel but they added his name to their letterhead and law firm.

The firm handled claims by 100 clients over about 10 months, and the two listed themselves as attorneys. A paralegal conducted initial client interviews, and obtained necessary signatures, medical authorization forms and other forms.

Both Jansen and Mendivel believed no involvement by an Illinois attorney would be necessary during the first year the office was open. If an appearance was required, they planned to hire someone licensed in the state. They also believed they were overseeing the office’s activities adequately.

When an attorney for the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission questioned their qualifications, Jansen responded that the third lawyer expected to be admitted to the Illinois bar “anytime,” even though he never completed his application. Jansen and Mendivel closed their office a short time later. They never received any fees.

In mitigation, Jensen cooperated with the bar’s investigation, submitted letters attesting to his good character and has done community service.

JOE MENDIVEL [#215061], 62, of Orange was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual 90-day suspension and he was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. The order took effect May 27, 2010.

A State Bar Court hearing judge recommended a 30-day suspension after finding that Jansen practiced law in Illinois without being licensed there. The court’s review department increased the suspension to 90 days.

Mendivel and Gerald J. Jansen, another California lawyer, practiced primarily workers’ compensation law in southern California, but when changes resulted in lower fees in 2004, they opened a Chicago office. They planned to remain in California and supervise the office by phone, fax and periodic visits, and Jansen sought admission to the Illinois bar.

Both men claimed they were unaware that Illinois law requires membership in the state bar in order to practice workers’ comp there, but neither conducted adequate research to determine the requirements before they opened their Chicago office. They also met with another California lawyer who had passed the Illinois bar exam but never completed the admission process. He also never agreed to become a partner with Jansen and Mendivel but they added his name to their letterhead and law firm.

The firm handled claims by 100 clients over about 10 months, listing themselves as Illinois attorneys. A paralegal conducted initial client interviews, obtained necessary signatures, medical authorization forms and other forms. Mendivel authorized the paralegal to sign his name on retainer forms and proofs of service.

Both Jansen and Mendivel believed no involvement by an Illinois attorney would be necessary during the first year the office was open. If an appearance was required, they planned to hire someone licensed in the state. They also believed they were overseeing the office’s activities adequately.

After an attorney for the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission questioned their qualifications, Mendivel and Jansen closed their office. They never received any fees.

Mendivel had no prior discipline record, cooperated with the bar’s investigation offered testimony about his good character and has done community service.

JAMES MARSHALL HODGES [#53758], 64, of Bellflower was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual 30-day suspension and he was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect May 27, 2010.

Hodges stipulated to three counts of misconduct in three matters.

In the first, he pursued a fraud action in the face of evidence his client had filed fraudulent insurance claims and that the claims lacked merit, and he appealed, court orders granting motions for summary judgment even after a federal court found the fraud action to be both frivolous and fraudulent. The court ordered attorney fees and sanctions against Hodges and his client totaling more than $116,000, but Hodges did not notify the bar, as required.

Hodges’ client was seeking reimbursement of his medical bills after he purportedly tripped and fell down a flight of stairs at Rio de Janeiro Airport. The client had a history of fraudulent insurance claims, lawsuits, arrests and convictions. His fraud action was dismissed with prejudice and sanctions were imposed.

In a second matter, Hodges filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus, but the U.S. Magistrate Judge issued an order to show cause questioning the timeliness of the petition. Hodges stipulated that he failed to perform legal services competently.

In the third matter, he was hired to obtain a loan modification for a client but was advised early on by the lender that because of the client’s high earnings history, he was unlikely to qualify. Hodges did not provide competent legal services or refund the client’s advance $3,000 fee.

DUANE D’ROY DADE [#140379], 52, of Rancho Cucamonga was suspended for three years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with a two-year actual suspension and until he proves his rehabilitation and he was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. The order took effect May 29, 2010.

The State Bar Court found that Dade committed 12 acts of misconduct, including six counts of moral turpitude, in two client matters.

The first was a contingency fee personal injury matter. Two years after Dade settled his client’s claim without her authorization or knowledge, she learned from the insurance carrier that he had received $6,000 on her behalf. In his responses to a bar investigator’s questions, Dade made a series of misstatements, including claims that he negotiated reductions in his client’s medical bills and that she had executed a release that had been sent to the insurance company.

The bar court found that Dade committed four acts of moral turpitude in the case: he settled his client’s claim, signed a release of claims and filed a request for dismissal without her knowledge, and provided a claims release to the insurance company that he said the client signed; he misappropriated almost $6,000 from the client; he made repeated misrepresentations to the client about the case; and he made misrepresentations to a bar investigator. He also did not notify his client that he had received settlement funds or disburse those funds, nor did he respond to her numerous requests for a status report about her matter. Dade eventually paid the client and her doctors.

Dade represented a client in a criminal matter while he was enrolled as an inactive lawyer because of his participation in the Alternative Discipline Program for attorneys with mental health or substance abuse issues. Although he had asked another lawyer to make a court appearance, she was late and missed a calendar call. Dade continued as attorney of record.

As part of the underlying discipline, he submitted a late affidavit with the State Bar Court, stating that he returned all files to his clients and that he had no open cases and therefore was not required to notify anyone of his suspension. Both statements were false.

The bar court found that Dade committed two more acts of moral turpitude — he practiced law while not entitled and filed a false affidavit with the bar — and he failed to obey a court order and sought to mislead a judge.

In mitigation, Dade was suffering from the effects of depression and alcoholism at the time of the misconduct and he presented character testimony. He was disciplined in 1999 for failing to properly maintain his client trust account.

HARVEY RAYMOND HASSON [#37346], 71, of Indian Wells was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with a one-year actual suspension and he was ordered to take the MPRE within one year and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. The order took effect May 29, 2010.

Hasson stipulated to misconduct in three personal injury matters. In the first, he represented a client who sustained burns over 20 percent of his body when his clothing caught fire. Hasson filed suit, but the complaint was dismissed with prejudice. He then appealed without telling the client, but the appeal also was dismissed for failing to deposit costs for preparing the record. He never provided the file to the client’s new lawyer.

In the second case, Hasson received and deposited in his client trust account $13,000. However, he allowed the balance in the account to fall below the required amount and misappropriated more than $8,000.

In the third matter, he withdrew from the case without notifying his client and did not release her file or take steps to protect her interests.

Hasson stipulated that he failed to perform legal services competently, maintain client funds, keep a client informed of developments, protect a client’s interests when he was fired or return client files, and he committed acts of moral turpitude by misappropriating client funds.

In mitigation, he had no discipline record since his 1965 admission to the bar, he cooperated with its investigation, he had severe financial problems at the time of the misconduct and he provided volunteer legal services to a community organization.

LAWRENCE VICTOR HARRISON [#202689], 66, of Riverside was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual 60-day suspension and he was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect May 29, 2010.

Harrison stipulated to six counts of misconduct in three matters.

In the first, he filed an appeal on behalf of his client, but told the client he needed to hire local counsel. He never filed a substitution of attorney or a motion to be relieved as counsel, nor did he pay the $655 filing fee for the appeal. He also did not file a required notice about the reporter’s transcript or a civil case information statement. In each case, he said he thought his client would take care of business, but he never told the client about the requirements. The appeal was dismissed.

In a divorce matter, Harrison appeared by telephone as counsel for the husband in a mandatory settlement conference. He later substituted in as the husband’s attorney of record but did not appear at another hearing. The court reserved the imposition of sanctions but when Harrison did not appear again, he was sanctioned $1,500. He won a motion to reconsider and the court reduced the sanctions to $999 and ordered Harrison also to pay $750 in attorney’s fees to the opposing attorney. He did not report the sanctions or respond to a bar investigator’s questions.

He also did not respond to a bar investigator’s questions in the third matter.

Harrison stipulated that he failed to perform legal services competently, cooperate with bar investigations or report sanctions to the bar, and he disobeyed court orders.

He was suspended and placed on probation in 2003 for making false representations to a judge in a criminal case.

KENNETH PETER FERIA [#221685], 40, of Universal City was suspended for one year, stayed, and was placed on one year of probation. The order took effect May 30, 2010.

Feria stipulated to misconduct in 2007 but failed to comply with probation conditions. He did not meet with a probation deputy within 30 days of the order or file four quarterly probation reports on time. The underlying discipline was impose for Feria’s failure to perform legal services competently or communicate with clients in three matters.

In mitigation, Feria cooperated with the bar’s investigation and demonstrated remorse and no clients were harmed.

MATTHEW ALLAN BROMUND [#220152], 46, of Ventura was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with an actual 90-day suspension and he was ordered to take the MPRE within one year and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. The order took effect May 30, 2010.

Bromund successfully completed the Alternative Discipline Program, for lawyers with mental health or chemical abuse issues, after he stipulated to misconduct that led to his disbarment in North Carolina. According to a ruling by State Bar Court Judge Richard Platel, Bromund also maintained mental health stability and successfully participated in the Lawyer Assistance Program.

According to Platel, Bromund’s discipline in North Carolina “was based on his appropriation of all or part of the fees paid by three clients to his own use instead of remitting the fees to his employer.” He took a $200 fee from one client, $300 from another and $200 of a third client’s $350 fee rather than giving the money to his employer. He also created a fictitious receipt and destroyed office copies of actual receipts.

He stipulated that misconduct is the equivalent of four counts of moral turpitude in California and warrants the imposition of discipline in this state.

In mitigation, he cooperated with the bar’s investigation, took steps to atone for his misconduct, made restitution of one appropriated fee to his employer without the threat of civil, criminal or disciplinary proceedings and he demonstrated good character.

WILLIAM PAUL LUCKE [#51030], 68, of Piedmont was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual 60-day suspension and he was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect May 30, 2010.

Lucke was enrolled in the State Bar’s Alternative Discipline System for lawyers with chemical abuse and mental health issues, but he was terminated from the program. As a result, he is subject to more serious discipline for misconduct he admitted in 2005. (Successful completion of the ADP leads to lesser discipline.)

Lucke stipulated to misconduct in two client matters. In a civil complaint, he failed to established a Special Needs Trust Fund for a minor client for more than four years after receipt of settlement funds and he failed to invest the funds in a structured settlement annuity for more than four years, as required. He also did not keep the minor’s parent informed. He stipulated that he failed to perform legal services competently or inform a client of significant developments.

In a medical malpractice case, Lucke stipulated that he did not conduct discovery, prepare his client or his client’s doctors for depositions and did not oppose the defendants or any witnesses. He also did not deposit costs in a client trust account. Lucke stipulated that he failed to perform legal services competently or deposit funds in his trust account.

In mitigation, he suffered a heart attack that contributed to the problems with both cases, he cooperated with the bar’s investigation, had no prior discipline record and provided testimony about his good character.

OLGA ALEXANDRA KARASIK [#169636], 49, of Los Angeles was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on three years of probation and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect May 30, 2010.

Karasik stipulated that in a land dispute, she represented clients with conflicting interests. She originally represented two partners who planned to develop property for investment purposes. At one point, they entered into negotiations with a general contractor to develop a condominium project on the property. Karasik prepared a land development agreement between one of the partners and the general contractor.

When the partners had a falling-out, Karasik said she could not represent either of them and both hired new lawyers. However, Karasik was hired by the general contractor in connection with the land development agreement she had prepared. She did not tell her former clients she accepted employment adverse to a former client.

In mitigation, she provided evidence of her good character.

WILLIAM JAMES BEVERLY [#81573], 60, of Torrance was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with an actual 90-day suspension and he was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. The order took effect May 30, 2010.

Beverly’s former clients won a judgment against him of almost $425,000 in a case involving fraud, breach of fiduciary duties and legal malpractice. Around the same time, he was going through a divorce and structured a settlement that transferred cash assets of more than $1 million to his wife in exchange for keeping his pension fund, which he considered exempt from judgment. When he told his former clients he did not have the assets to pay the judgment, they filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition against him.

Ultimately, a bankruptcy appellate panel found that transfer of assets was fraudulent, made to avoid collection of the $425,000 judgment. The panel also found circumstantial evidence of “badges of fraud,” including facts that the transfer occurred after a substantial debt was incurred and it rendered Beverly insolvent.

Beverly stipulated that his actions involved moral turpitude and he failed to report the judgment against him to the State Bar, as required.

In mitigation, Beverly has no prior discipline record.

. Caution!  More than 200,000 attorneys are eligible to practice law in California. Many attorneys share the same names. All discipline reports are taken from State Bar Court documents and should be read carefully for names, ages, addresses and bar numbers. Read the Discipline Key for an explanation of the different levels of disciplinary action. Use Attorney Search to check an attorney's official bar membership record.