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Disbarments

Below is a list of nine attorneys who were disbarred by the State Bar of California as a result of misconduct. The list covers Jan. 1 through 31, 2017. See an explanation of common discipline terms.

  1. BRUCE CHARLES FEHR
  2. RICHTER WONG KONG
  3. JAY A. GHOREICHI
  4. MARY ALICE NOLAN
  5. MICHAEL VANCE WRIGHT
  6. EDWARD JOSEPH CALLOW
  7. MARY DERPARSEGHIAN
  8. JERRY A. LACUES
  9. RUTH ANN REID

BRUCE CHARLES FEHR [#122297], 56, of Flintstone, Ga., was summarily disbarred Jan. 6, 2017 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

On Dec. 2, 2015, Fehr pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography, a felony involving moral turpitude.

RICHTER WONG KONG [#96937], 64, of Oakland, was disbarred Jan. 19, 2017 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court and make restitution.

Kong was disbarred for misconduct in three matters.

In one matter, he failed to promptly respond to his client’s status inquiries or cooperate with a State Bar disciplinary investigation. He also failed to provide legal services with competence by not arranging for the delivery and disbursement of the settlement funds for his client.

In a second matter, he failed to perform any legal services of value on behalf of his clients in their immigration matter, return $2,240 in unearned fees, promptly respond to his client’s status inquiries and respond to letters from a State Bar investigator.

In a third matter, he did not promptly respond to a client’s status inquiries, provide an accounting regarding $11,000 in advanced fees he received from a client, return unearned fees or respond to two letters from the State Bar.

Kong was disbarred after his default was entered for failing to respond to a notice of disciplinary charges. Because he did not attempt to have the default set aside or vacated, he was disbarred and the charges against him deemed admitted.

Kong was ordered to pay $2,240 plus interest in restitution. He had one prior record of discipline.

JAY A. GHOREICHI [#177274], 50, of Los Angeles, was disbarred Jan. 6, 2017 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

Ghoreichi failed to maintain $16,690 in client settlement proceeds in his client trust account. He misappropriated the money, which was owed to his client’s medical providers for medical lien payments. In addition, he failed to notify a client he’d moved his office from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., and did not respond to five State Bar letters and emails inquiring about the allegations against him.

Ghoreichi was disbarred after his default was entered for failing to respond to a notice of disciplinary charges. He did not seek to have the default set aside within 90 days as required under the State Bar’s Rules of Procedure, so he was disbarred and the charges deemed admitted.

He had one prior record of discipline.

MARY ALICE NOLAN [#108907], 65, of Antioch, was disbarred Jan. 6, 2017 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

Nolan was convicted of one felony count of interception of communication and four felony counts of tax evasion. She had attempted to evade income tax due between 2005 and 2008 by filing fraudulent tax returns. She was ordered to pay $468,918.01 in restitution to the IRS.

Nolan was disbarred after her default was entered for failing to appear at her disciplinary trial. Because she did not seek to have her default set aside or vacated she was disbarred under the State Bar’s Rules of Procedure and the charges deemed admitted. 

MICHAEL VANCE WRIGHT [#162159], 57, of Huntington Beach, was disbarred Jan. 6, 2017 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court and make restitution.

In 2014, Wright entered into an escrow agreement with an investment company and the chief executive officer of a Nigerian company focused on eradicating the use of a cancer-causing chemical in the Nigerian baking industry.

Under the agreement, the CEO put $100,000 into Wright’s client trust account while the investment company obtained a $5 million line of credit. Skipping steps that were in place as safeguards, and unbeknownst to the CEO, Wright misappropriated $96,500 of the escrow funds by transferring them to the investment company. Wright took an additional $3,500 in escrow fees.

For months, Wright gave the CEO excuses as to why the transaction hadn’t been completed. The investment company never obtained the line of credit and the CEO did not get her money back.

Wright engaged in multiple acts of misconduct, exploited his fiduciary duty by misappropriating the escrow funds, failed to make restitution and exploited a vulnerable victim.

He had no prior record of discipline, submitted five character reference letters, has done extensive pro bono work and entered into a pretrial stipulation with the State Bar.

He was ordered to pay $100,000 plus interest in restitution.

EDWARD JOSEPH CALLOW [#228834], 41, of Seattle, was summarily disbarred Jan. 6, 2017 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

According to the Washington State Insurance Commissioner, Callow stole the bulk of an insurance settlement paid to his client, an auto accident victim who was left permanently disabled.

On June 18, 2014, Callow pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit theft in the first degree, two counts of theft in the first degree, money laundering and obtaining a signature by deception or duress. All of the offenses were felonies and Callow’s theft convictions involved moral turpitude.

MARY DERPARSEGHIAN [#224541], 41, of Pasadena, was disbarred Jan. 19, 2017 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

The State Bar Court Review Department found that she intentionally misappropriated $64,000 in one client matter and failed to perform competently in another.

Derparseghian was to represent two clients in their suit against their homeowner’s association. She failed to deposit $5,000 in costs in her client trust account, promptly remove funds she’d earned, or maintain more than $60,000 in trust. She also did not prepare and maintain required records for the trust account.

In a second matter, she failed to perform competently by not advising a client he needed to appear at trial, not requesting a trial continuance and not preparing for or appearing at trial or at a hearing on a proposed judgment.

Derparseghian initially admitted to five counts of misconduct and a State Bar Court hearing judge recommended discipline that included a two-year actual suspension.

Both the Office of Chief Trial Counsel and Derparseghian appealed. The three-judge review panel upheld the hearing judge’s culpability findings but concluded that Derparseghian’s misconduct was intentional, finding more factors in aggravation and fewer  in mitigation, which resulted in the disbarment recommendation.

JERRY A. LACUES [#77088], 66, of Chino Hills, was disbarred Jan. 19, 2017 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

In one matter, LaCues appeared on behalf of a client without authority, sought to mislead a judge by filing an answer to a complaint even though he had not been authorized to, simulated the client’s signature on a settlement document and failed to respond to a letter from the State Bar inquiring about the misconduct allegations against him.

In another matter, he failed to comply with two court orders requiring he pay $500 and $1,000 in sanctions and did not report the $1,000 in sanctions to the State Bar. He also failed to provide a substantive response to two letters from the State Bar inquiring about the allegations against him.

LaCues was disbarred after his default was entered for failing to respond to a notice of disciplinary charges. Because he made no effort to have the default set aside, he was disbarred and the charges against him deemed admitted.

LaCues had four prior records of discipline.

RUTH ANN REID [#116119], 57, of Laguna Niguel, was disbarred Jan. 6, 2017 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

Reid falsely reported she had complied with her MCLE requirements. She failed to file a response to a notice of disciplinary charges and her default was entered. Because she failed to have the default set aside or vacated within 90 days as required under the State Bar’s Rules of Procedure, the State Bar moved to disbar her. The charges were deemed admitted.

Discipline-related resources from the State Bar:

. 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 common disciplinary terms. Use Attorney Search to check an attorney's official bar record.