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Disbarments
  1. GARRY LAWRENCE JONES
  2. THOMAS EDWARD KENT
  3. ANDREW PIERCE MULLALY
  4. ANTONIO MUNOZ
  5. PETER J. RIMEL
  6. LINDA Z. VOSS
  7. PATRICK J. GRANNAN
  8. BENJAMIN EMIL HERRON
  9. VINCENT VADIM SHULMAN

GARRY LAWRENCE JONES [#66344], 73, of Santa Ana, was disbarred Aug. 30, 2014 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court and make restitution.

Jones stipulated to multiple acts of misconduct in five matters, including aiding in and engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, accepting representation without obtaining the informed written consent of each client as to a potential conflict, and failing to return unearned fees, deposit advance filing fees in his client trust account, perform legal services with competence or keep his clients reasonably informed of significant developments their matter. Jones also failed to comply with the condition of his disciplinary probation.

In 2011, Jones was suspended for 45 days and delegated supervision of his law office to his associate attorney, his non-attorney senior paralegal and his non-attorney office manager, but did not make the proper arrangements. As a result, non-attorney staff continued to sign up clients in his name, use his name on designation of attorney forms presented to clients and third parties and send correspondence in his name to third parties. In one case, the firm accepted representation of three clients who were injured in a multi-car accident even though the interests of the clients potentially conflicted and failed to obtain their informed written consent.

In another matter in 2011, Jones agreed to represent a couple and file a lawsuit on their behalf against their lender for fraud and wrongful foreclosure. The couple paid advanced fees totaling $8,000 but Jones took no action on their behalf other than to prepare a form complaint, which was never filed. Despite telling the couple that he planned to keep a portion of the fees for the work that he did, Jones never returned any of the money and did not provide them with an accounting.

During the time he was suspended, Jones also collected an advanced fee from a couple he was representing in a foreclosure matter and did not perform all of the services he agreed to or earn all of the $10,400 in advanced fees they paid him. The couple fired him, but he failed to file a motion to withdraw as their attorney of record and did not appear at subsequent hearings. As a result, the lawsuit was dismissed, a development Jones never told the couple about. He did not return any portion of the unearned fees and did not provide them with an accounting.

In another matter in 2012, Jones failed to properly supervise his office manager and another non-attorney, allowing them to submit an immigration petition on a client’s behalf. He also allowed the office manager to collect $1,218.50 for his work on the immigration petition.

He was ordered to pay $2,904 plus interest in restitution. In mitigation, he entered into a pretrial stipulation with the State Bar.

Jones had three prior records of discipline. In 1994, he received a private reproval with public disclosure for failing to perform competently on behalf of a client or report the sanctions order within 30 days. He received a public reproval in 2007 after stipulating to failing to perform on behalf of a client by not attending multiple scheduled court hearings between November 2003 and September 2004. He also stipulated to failing to obey two court orders from July 2004 and January 2005 requiring him to pay monetary sanctions arising from his failures to perform for the client.

Jones’ third discipline was the 45-day suspension for failing to promptly resolve a medical lien with a medical provider and collection agency after his receipt of settlement funds on behalf of a client between January 2006 and February 2009.

THOMAS EDWARD KENT [#107238], 57, of Los Angeles, was disbarred Aug. 30, 2014 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court and make restitution.

A State Bar Court hearing judge recommended Kent be disbarred based on his discipline by the U. S. Bankruptcy Court of the Central District for misconduct including the misappropriation of more than $270,000.

In 2012, Kent represented two debtors in a bankruptcy action. In June of that year, he was ordered to deposit $270,357.51, the full amount of the proceeds of a personal injury settlement involving his clients, into his client trust account. Kent made the deposit but then began to make withdrawals surreptitiously from the account for his own purposes. By March 29, 2013, the amount fell to $58.89.

In early 2013, he was ordered by the court to release $125,000 of the funds to a homeowners association and wrote a check for that amount knowing there were insufficient funds. At the time of his disbarment, there was no evidence he had repaid any of the misappropriated money.

Kent was ordered to pay $250,000 plus interest in restitution.

He had two prior records of discipline. In 1997, he was suspended for failure to perform legal services competently, return fees or account for client funds and for entering into a prohibited business transaction.

In 2000, he was suspended again for practicing law while he was suspended for the prior misconduct.

ANDREW PIERCE MULLALY [#185716], 45, of El Cajon, was disbarred Aug. 30, 2014 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

Mullaly was disbarred after his default was entered for failing to respond to allegations that he committed four counts of misconduct in one client matter. Because he did not seek to have the default set aside, as required under rule 5.85 of the State Bar’s Rules of Procedure, he was disbarred and the charges against him were deemed admitted.

Mullaly failed to competently perform legal services by not doing the work he was hired to do for more than two and a half years, committed moral turpitude by misrepresenting to his client that he had filed a petition for probate, engaged in the unauthorized practice of law and failed to cooperate with a State Bar investigation.

ANTONIO MUNOZ [#169530], 58, of Rancho Cucamonga, was disbarred Aug. 30, 2014 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court and make restitution.

Munoz stipulated to misconduct in 12 cases including committing an act involving moral turpitude, disobeying a court order, commingling funds in his client trust account and failing to cooperate with a State Bar investigation, perform legal services with competence, refund unearned fees, communicate promptly to the client all terms and conditions of an offer, take reasonable steps to avoid reasonably foreseeable prejudice to a client, respond promptly to reasonable status inquiries of a client, promptly return all papers and property to a client upon termination, render appropriate accounts to a client or report sanctions to the State Bar.

In one matter, between Oct. 9, 2012 and Nov. 5, 2012, he repeatedly issued checks and withdrew from his client trust account when he knew that there were insufficient funds and failed to provide a written response to the allegations as requested by the State Bar. In another case, in 2012, he failed to complete living trusts for a man and his uncle despite being paid $2,300.

In another of the matters, in 2013, he was paid $1,500 to help incorporate a business but never took any action, did not respond to the client’s inquiries, and never repaid the money.

He was ordered to pay $33,325 plus interest in restitution.

Munoz had one prior record of discipline, a 2013 suspension for commingling funds in his client trust account, writing checks from his client trust account when there were insufficient funds to cover them and failing to perform legal services with competence, return unearned fees, respond to a client’s reasonable status inquiries or cooperate and participate in a State Bar investigation. Munoz also misrepresented to a client that he had filed a complaint in her case and had served the defendants when he had not done so.

PETER J. RIMEL [#178345], 52, of Tustin, was disbarred Aug. 30, 2014 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court and make restitution.

Rimel stipulated to misconduct in one client matter: committing an act of moral turpitude by misappropriating $233,500 in entrusted funds, and failing to maintain client funds in his client trust account or to render an account.

In November 2012, Rimel, acting as counsel to a trustee of an estate, received three checks totaling $264,120.8 which were to be distributed to five beneficiaries of the estate. Rimel deposited the money in his client trust account and, after making the preliminary distributions and expenditures, was supposed to hold $233,500 in trust.

Between November 2012 and April 2013, he intentionally misappropriated the money. On April 23, 2013, the balance in the account had dipped to $59.32. Rimel was ordered to pay $233,500 plus interest in restitution.

In mitigation, he entered into a pretrial stipulation with the State Bar and had no prior record of discipline.

LINDA Z. VOSS [#111434], 62, of San Mateo, was disbarred Aug. 20, 2014 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

Voss was disbarred following suspensions by the Northern District and the Central District of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The Northern District court suspended her after finding her culpable of failing to perform, presenting an unwarranted claim, failing to obey laws or maintain respect due to a court, misleading a judge, filing an action due to corrupt motive, violating a court order and moral turpitude.

Among other things, Voss filed six incomplete bankruptcy petitions with the court to thwart enforcement of a foreclosing bank’s unlawful detainer judgment against two of her clients. After that, she failed to file the required documents or to take any action to pursue the petitions. All six petitions were dismissed.

In addition, she filed 83 cases in the Northern and Central districts with the sole purpose of hindering and delaying foreclosing creditors.

Voss’ discipline by the Central District court resulted from her sharing fees with a non-attorney who had previously helped a client with the client’s loan modification case, then filing an incomplete Chapter 13 petition on the client’s behalf, leading it to be dismissed. Voss also filed another 55 petitions in the Central District Court for the sole purpose of hindering and delaying foreclosing creditors on behalf of her clients. The overwhelming majority of those cases were filed in bad faith.

In mitigation, Voss entered into a pretrial stipulation with the State Bar and had no prior record of discipline in 30 years of practicing law.

PATRICK J. GRANNAN [#115693], 55, of Whittier, was disbarred Aug. 21, 2014 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

Grannan was disbarred after his default was entered for failing to respond to charges that he disobeyed a court order by not complying with rule 9.20. Because he did not seek to have the default set aside within 180 days, as required under rule 5.85 of the State Bar’s Rules of Procedure, he was disbarred and the charges against him were deemed admitted.

Grannan had three prior records of discipline. In October 2004, he was suspended for failing to perform legal services with competence in four client matters and failing to promptly return client papers and property. In April 2011, he was again suspended for similar misconduct. He also committed moral turpitude through concealment and misrepresentation and failed to keep a client reasonably informed of significant developments, render appropriate accounts, promptly refund unearned fees, or participate and cooperate in a disciplinary investigation.

The third discipline, in July 2012, was for violating specified terms of his probation.

BENJAMIN EMIL HERRON [#249172], 41, of Odessa, Texas, was disbarred Aug. 30, 2014 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

Herron failed to comply with the terms of a 2012 disciplinary order that required him to submit to monthly urine laboratory testing and attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Herron had two prior records of discipline. In December 2012, he was suspended for failing to comply with the conditions of a 2010 public reproval. The public reproval stemmed from his 2009 drunken driving conviction, which led to an agreement in lieu of discipline. When he did not meet the conditions of the agreement, he was publicly reproved.

VINCENT VADIM SHULMAN [#207105], 44, of Los Angeles, was summarily disbarred July 21, 2014 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

In April 2013, Shulman pleaded no contest to multiple felony counts of grand theft, a conviction involving moral turpitude, meeting the criteria for summary disbarment.

. 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.