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Suspensions/Probation
  1. MARTIN EDGAR KELLER
  2. CHARLOTTE ELLA KORNEV
  3. SERGIO J. LOPEZ
  4. LAWRENCE JOHN SEMENZA
  5. JOHN FRANCIS SCHELLABARGER
  6. STEVEN EARL SMITH JR.
  7. ROGER IRA STEIN
  8. BARRY L. VANSICKLE
  9. LEONARD JAY KLAIF
  10. LAWRENCE THEODORE OSUCH
  11. DEREK WILLIAM ST. PIERRE
  12. KEVIN MICHAEL WHITE
  13. AL FADEL AMER
  14. CHARLES XAVIER DELGADO
  15. JOSE CASTILLO ESCANO
  16. JULIA PATRICIA GIBBS
  17. DALE IRVING GUSTIN
  18. KRISHNA GENE HANEY
  19. JOSEPH DARRELL PALMER
  20. COURT B. PURDY
  21. MANDIP SINGH PUREWAL
  22. DAVID JAMES QUEZADA
  23. MANUEL LUIS RAMIREZ
  24. GURBOB SINGH SOMAL
  25. BRUCE JOSEPH TACKOWIAK
  26. PAUL RAYMOND TURLEY
  27. ANN KIM WALTZER
  28. RICHARD MICHAEL GEE
  29. JAMES HALE HARMON
  30. ANGELA LAUER POLK
  31. ROBERT G. SCURRAH JR.
  32. JEANNIE E. TANAKA
  33. CHRISTOPHER WRIGHT TAYLOR
  34. ALICE BROWN TRAEG
  35. BRIAN TODD WILLIE
  36. TERRENCE RANDALL PACE
  37. DONALD EUGENE ROYER
  38. STEVEN MARK SACKS
  39. RAE DIANE SHIRER
  40. ERIC J SPIEGELMAN
  41. ZACHARY BROOKE ROBERTS
  42. JULIUS MICHAEL ENGEL
  43. MICHAEL B. STONE
  44. LEONARD JULIUS SAWYER
  45. DANIEL KIETH MARTIN
  46. LAURENCE ALAN ROSE
  47. SAMUEL ROBERT SPIRA
  48. ROBERT OPRE WILSON JR.
  49. TARA JANE ARNOLD
  50. BERYL DEAN DROEGEMUELLER
  51. KENNETH EDWARD OSTROVE

MARTIN EDGAR KELLER [#104159], 63, of San Bernardino, was suspended from the practice of law for six months and ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. He was also placed on four years’ probation and faces a two-year suspension if he does not comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. The order took effect May 29, 2016.

Keller was suspended for misconduct in three client matters. In one matter, in which he was hired to represent a woman in her dispute with her two sisters over their father’s trust, Keller failed to take action to help resolve the dispute or respond to his client’s request for an update on the case. The client left at least 20 telephone messages and five to 10 emails over a six-month period trying to get information about the case. Keller also failed to notify opposing counsel, the parties in the case or the court that he was withdrawing from the matter and falsely stated in six quarterly reports to the Office of Probation that he had complied with all the provisions of the State Bar Act and the Rules of Professional Conduct. In addition, he failed to submit seven quarterly probation reports on time, a requirement of the conditions of his disciplinary probation.

In a second matter, he failed to take action in a client’s loan modification matter other than to file a complaint to stop the sale of her home. The client ultimately stopped making mortgage payments on her home, and it was foreclosed upon. In the third matter, he was hired to assist a woman regarding a dispute over her mother’s estate. Following a disagreement with the client, he took no further action in the matter. He also failed to release the client’s file despite repeated requests from her new attorney.

In all three matters, he failed to respond to a State Bar investigator’s letters seeking a response to misconduct allegations against him.

In mitigation, he entered into a stipulation with the State Bar.

He had one prior record of discipline, a 2011 suspension for failing to file a complaint prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations and lying to the client on multiple occasions about the status of the client’s matter.

CHARLOTTE ELLA KORNEV [#181772], 58, of Bonsall, was suspended from the practice of law for 30 days and ordered take the MPRE. She was also placed on one year of probation and faces a one-year suspension if she does not comply with the terms of her disciplinary probation. The order took effect May 29, 2016.

Kornev falsely stated under penalty of perjury she was in compliance with her Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) requirements when she was not. In mitigation, she had no prior record of discipline and entered into a pretrial stipulation with the State Bar.

SERGIO J. LOPEZ [#259288], 40, of Corona, was suspended from the practice of law for six months and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court and make restitution. He was also placed on three years’ probation and faces a two-year suspension if he does not comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. The order took effect May 29, 2016.

In April 2012, Lopez was convicted of disobeying a court order. Lopez saw his girlfriend after the court issued a restraining order preventing him from doing so. In addition, he failed to pay sanctions totaling $25,000 to the mother of his child or pay $11,137.50 in fees to a court-appointed expert.

He was ordered to pay $36,137.50 plus interest in restitution.

Lopez had a prior public reproval from 2013 for accepting compensation for representing a client from another party, and failing to promptly return client files and unearned fees. In 2014, he was suspended after he pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count of unlawfully purchasing/receiving a firearm. In 2015, he was suspended again for not paying a sanction to imposing counsel by deadline in violation of a court order.

LAWRENCE JOHN SEMENZA [#47134], 73, of Henderson, Nev., was suspended from the practice of law for 60 days and ordered to take the MPRE. He was also placed on two years’ probation and faces a one-year suspension if he fails to comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. The order took effect May 29, 2016.

In August 2014, Semenza pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of failing to file tax returns.

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

JOHN FRANCIS SCHELLABARGER [#132805], 55, of Santa Barbara, was suspended from the practice of law for 60 days. He was also placed on three years’ probation and faces a two-year suspension if he does not comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation.

Schellabarger failed to comply with the terms of an earlier private reproval.

STEVEN EARL SMITH JR. [#140031], 53, of Calabasas, was suspended from the practice of law for two years and until he shows proof of his rehabilitation. He was also ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. In addition, he was placed on three years’ probation and faces a three-year suspension if he does not comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. The order took effect May 29, 2016.

Smith was found culpable of failing to comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. He failed to meet a deadline for paying a former client more than $500 in interest he owed her as restitution. He also failed to meet a deadline for reimbursing the Client Security Fund for $2,000 it paid to the client with applicable interest and costs or submit probation reports on time.

He had two prior records of discipline. In 2012, he was suspended as the result of a bankruptcy court order disciplining him for essentially abandoning his bankruptcy practice.

In 2014, he was suspended again for failing to comply with rule 9.20 and engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.

ROGER IRA STEIN [#47168], 73, of Ridgecrest, was suspended from the practice of law for 30 days and ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. He was also placed on one year of probation and faces a one-year suspension if he does not comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. The order took effect May 29, 2016.

Stein stipulated to the State Bar he was in compliance with all of his MCLE requirements when he was not. He took the necessary hours to come into compliance after being contacted in connection with an MCLE audit.

In mitigation, he presented evidence of his good character, entered into a prefiling stipulation with the State Bar, made changes in his record keeping to ensure he does not repeat the misconduct and has done significant community service.

He had one prior record of discipline, a 1983 suspension for failing to maintain sufficient funds in his client trust account and issuing checks against insufficient funds. He also paid personal expenses with money from his trust account.

BARRY L. VANSICKLE [#98645], 65, of Mankato, Minn., was suspended from the practice of law for two years and ordered to take the MPRE, comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court and make restitution. He was also placed on three years’ probation and faces a three-year suspension if he does not comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. The order took effect May 29, 2016.

VanSickle failed to comply with the conditions of his disciplinary probation by not making restitution to his former clients. He was ordered to pay $6,500 plus interest in restitution.

He had two prior records of discipline. In 2014, he was suspended for failing to perform legal services with competence or promptly refund unearned fee. In 2015, he was suspended for violating a court order.

LEONARD JAY KLAIF [#140937], 68, of Ojai, was placed on two years’ probation and faces a six months’ suspension if he fails to comply with the terms on his disciplinary probation. The order took effect May 28, 2016.

Klaif was found culpable of accepting money from a nonclient, failing to perform legal services with competence and engaging in an act involving moral turpitude. He accepted money from a client’s sister to represent the client in an immigration matter but did not get express permission from the client to do so. In addition, despite learning that the facts of the client’s case were not what he initially thought them to be and that they could be detrimental to the client’s petition for writ of habeas corpus, Klaif did not tell the client.

At the time, he was caring for elderly parents and thought he could buy time to come up with a new strategy. Overwhelmed by his workload, the stress of caring for his parents and other things going on in his life, Klaif never revised the draft petition he’d created, but attempted to buy additional time by sending the client a letter stated he’d filed the petition. Enclosed with the previously prepared draft petition was a copy of a proof of service falsely stating he’d served the petition.

The client did not learn the truth until months later when he contacted the superior court.

In mitigation, Klaif had no prior record of discipline, presented evidence of his good character, cooperated with the State Bar and recognized the wrongfulness of his actions. He was also suffering from stress and anxiety caused by his father’s illness and death and his caring for his elderly mother.

LAWRENCE THEODORE OSUCH [#69249], 71, of Poway, was placed on one year of probation and faces a one-year suspension if he does not comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. The order took effect May 28, 2016.

Osuch falsely reported under penalty of perjury he was in compliance with the MCLE requirements when he wasn’t. He subsequently completed the required hours and paid a penalty as part of an MCLE audit.

DEREK WILLIAM ST. PIERRE [#200131], 43, of San Francisco, was placed on one year of probation and faces a one-year suspension if he fails to comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. He was also ordered to take the MPRE. The order took effect May 28, 2016.

St. Pierre falsely reported he had complied with his MCLE requirements when he hadn’t. He completed the necessary hours after an audit by the State Bar.

In mitigation, he had no prior discipline, showed remorse, was experiencing family problems and entered into a pretrial stipulation with the State Bar.

KEVIN MICHAEL WHITE [#206704], 44, of Orange, was placed on two years’ probation and faces a one-year suspension if he fails to comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. He was also ordered to take the MPRE. The order took effect May 28, 2016.

A State Bar Court judge found White culpable of acts involving moral turpitude by knowingly or being grossly negligent in representing to judicial officers that his client’s requests for a qualified medical evaluator panel had been ignored by the medical director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation. In fact, the requests had been denied because they were deficient.

In mitigation, White had no prior record of discipline, presented evidence of his good character and cooperated with the State Bar.

AL FADEL AMER [#197745], 47, of Long Beach, was suspended from the practice of law for 90 days and placed on probation for three years and must make restitution of $8,625 plus interest to a former client. The order took effect June 17, 2016.

Amer stipulated to an act of professional misconduct. He took payments from a father to file a habeas corpus writ petition on behalf of his son without obtaining the son’s consent. Amer then informed the father that he had determined that there was no legal basis to file a writ, but did not return the client file or most of the money to the client.

In aggravation, Amer had been suspended before for misuse of his client trust fund. In mitigation, Amer acknowledged his wrongdoing.

CHARLES XAVIER DELGADO [#51919], 70, of Murrieta, was suspended from the practice of law for 30 days and placed on probation for two years. He must pass the MPRE and attend Ethics and Client Trust Accounting programs. The order took effect June 17, 2016.

Delgado stipulated that he failed to negotiate a client’s medical liens for almost two years, took more than he was entitled to from a personal injury settlement for a client and in another matter mishandled his client trust fund. He also failed to communicate with a client.

In aggravation, he committed multiple acts of misconduct. In mitigation, Delgado had no prior record of discipline during 42 years of practice. He produced declarations from three lawyers and three clients who attested to his good character. He no longer handles personal injury cases.

JOSE CASTILLO ESCANO [#204718], 51, of Los Angeles, was suspended from the practice of law for 60 days and placed on probation for one year. He must pass the MPRE. The order took effect June 17, 2016.

Escano misrepresented, under penalty of perjury, to the State Bar his compliance with MCLE requirements.

There were no aggravating circumstances. In mitigation, Escano had no prior record of discipline and acknowledged his wrongdoing.

JULIA PATRICIA GIBBS [#102072], 59, of Sacramento, was suspended from the practice of law for six months and placed on probation for two years. She must pass the MPRE. The order took effect June 17, 2016.

Gibbs stipulated that she failed to provide legal services to a client and failed to file a bankruptcy petition on the client’s behalf. She also failed to communicate with the client, return fees or comply with the conditions of a prior disciplinary probation.

In aggravation, Gibbs had previously received a one-year stayed suspension for professional misconduct and was placed on probation for two years. In mitigation, she acknowledged her wrongdoing.

DALE IRVING GUSTIN [#76642], 78, of Paso Robles, was suspended from the practice of law for six months, continuing until he pays more than $8,000 in court-ordered sanctions for engaging in meritless litigation. He was placed on probation for three years. The order took effect June 17, 2016.

He has prior records of discipline dating from 1995, when he received a stayed suspension and probation for five ethical violations in two client matters. In 2003 Gustin was privately reproved with conditions for committing two ethical violations in a single client matter. After the current case was filed, a fourth case arose in which Gustin was charged with three counts of misconduct in two client matters. He failed to report the sanctions to the State Bar.

The State Bar hearing judge found four factors in aggravation, including multiple acts of misconduct, significant harm to the administration of justice and a showing by Gustin of indifference and lack of insight during his bar court trial.

KRISHNA GENE HANEY [#229652], 39, of Sullivan, Ill., was suspended from the practice of law for 60 days and placed on probation for one year. She must pass the MPRE. The order took effect June 17, 2016.

She stipulated that she violated the conditions of a prior public reproval by failing to timely submit urine samples for screening, file a required quarterly report on time, comply with her abstinence-based self-help group conditions or comply with her State Bar Ethics School conditions. These were willful violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

In aggravation, Haney had one prior imposition of discipline for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In mitigation, she suffered a concussion in an accident, which interfered with her attempts to comply with certain probation conditions. She also suffered homelessness due to extreme financial distress.

JOSEPH DARRELL PALMER [#125147], 59, of Nocona, Tex., was suspended from the practice of law for 90 days on three counts of moral turpitude for the grossly negligent making of false statements in sworn affidavits filed in federal class actions. He must pass the MPRE. The order took effect June 17, 2016.

Palmer swore he had no history of attorney discipline, despite the imposition by the Colorado Supreme Court of suspension and probation for his conviction of a criminal offense for failing to properly report about $4,000 in sales taxes in his operation of businesses in that state. Palmer admitted he was aware of his prior discipline when he signed and filed false affidavits in separate class actions in Washington state.

The bar court found aggravation in Palmer’s multiple acts of wrongdoing and mitigation in his prompt effort to correct his false affidavit practices and in good character testimony by three attorney witnesses.

COURT B. PURDY [#179132], 47, of Irvine, was suspended from the practice of law for 90 days and placed on probation for two years. He must pass the MPRE and comply with financial conditions by filing reports that have been approved by a certified public accountant. He must supply proof of attendance at the Ethics School. The order took effect June 17, 2016.

Purdy stipulated that he commingled personal and law firm funds in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. In aggravation, he committed multiple acts of commingling. In mitigation, Purdy had no prior discipline, showed letters from three attorneys attesting to his good character and has a record of community service with charities and at his church.

MANDIP SINGH PUREWAL [#202444], 47, of Pleasanton, was suspended from the practice of law for 30 days and placed on probation for one year. He must pass the MPRE. The order took effect June 17, 2016.

Purewal stipulated that he allowed an agent to solicit a client, failed to file a civil complaint for a client against her mortgage lender and did not provide his client, a native Spanish speaker, with a retainer agreement in Spanish. He delayed refunding $9,500 in unearned fees and failed to render an accounting. He similarly mishandled a case for another client seeking a mortgage loan modification.

In aggravation, Purewal’s failure to timely refund unearned fees significantly harmed his clients, and he committed 10 acts of misconduct. In mitigation, he had no prior discipline and provided the State Bar with 12 character reference letters from individuals in the legal and public communities.

DAVID JAMES QUEZADA [#197439], 47, of Orange, was suspended from the practice of law for 30 days and placed on probation for one year. He must pass the MPRE. The order took effect June 17, 2016.

Quezada falsely reported to the State Bar, under penalty of perjury, that he had taken the required number of MCLE hours, an act of moral turpitude, dishonesty or corruption. In mitigation, he had no prior discipline.

MANUEL LUIS RAMIREZ [#103054], 61, of San Diego, was suspended from the practice of law for six months and placed on probation for three years. He must comply with law office management conditions. The order took effect June 17, 2016.

Ramirez stipulated that in a case involving clients pursuing a medical malpractice claim, he constructively terminated representation after allowing an action to be dismissed and failed to reply to State Bar inquiries about the matter. In another matter, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals imposed on Ramirez a $2,000 sanction and ordered his removal as counsel of record for a client for failure to comply with orders and rules. He delayed payment of the sanction.

In a third matter, Ramirez failed to perform legal services with competence, take steps to avoid reasonably foreseeable prejudice to his client or cooperate and participate in a subsequent disciplinary investigation.

In aggravation, he had a prior record of discipline, harmed vulnerable clients, committed similar misconduct and committed violations during a reproval period. In mitigation, his misconduct resulted in part from the loss of a longtime secretary and from a chronic heart condition and heart surgery.

GURBOB SINGH SOMAL [#263061], 38, of Pleasanton, was suspended from the practice of law for one year and placed on probation for three years. He must pass the MPRE and file quarterly client fund reports that have been approved by a certified public accountant. The order took effect June 17, 2016.

Somal stipulated that he misappropriated settlement funds following a client’s auto accident, an act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty or corruption.

In aggravation, Somal’s acts harmed his client. In mitigation, he admitted his acts of misconduct, had no prior acts of discipline and submitted six letters of support from attorneys, family and others.

BRUCE JOSEPH TACKOWIAK [#146700], 60, of Huntington Park, was suspended from the practice of law for 90 days and placed on probation for two years. The order took effect June 17, 2016.

Tackowiak stipulated that he falsely declared under penalty of perjury that he had had a telephone conversation with a State Bar investigator. The false declaration was part of a motion to vacate default in State Bar Court in a prior disciplinary matter. The false declaration was an act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty or corruption.

In aggravation, Tackowiak had one prior record of discipline related to misconduct in one client matter and failed to participate in the State Bar investigation that followed. In mitigation, he admitted to the more recent misconduct.

PAUL RAYMOND TURLEY [#177777], 50, of Oakland, was suspended from the practice of law for 90 days and placed on probation for three years. He must pass the MPRE and attend a session of the Ethics and Client Trust Accounting program. The order took effect June 17, 2016.

Turley stipulated that he falsely reported under penalty of perjury that he had complied with MCLE requirements. That act involved moral turpitude, dishonesty or corruption. Also, during an earlier period when he was on ineligible status due to MCLE noncompliance, Turley filed a motion on behalf of a client in Alameda County Superior Court. That constituted the practice of law when he was not entitled to do so.

Also, in 2015 Turley twice overdrew his client trust account to pay personal expenses. And in 2009, Turley failed to file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of a client within the statute of limitations. He promised to pay the client $12,000 to rectify the mistake, but has paid only $7,500.

In aggravation, he committed six acts of misconduct over a four-year period. In mitigation, he has made efforts to atone for his filing error in the personal injury lawsuit matter, and he had no prior discipline. He went through a difficult separation and child custody battle, during which he moved out of the family home and lived in his office. His mother’s declining health required sudden, urgent trips to Los Angeles to help his father. He is seeking treatment for alcohol dependence and depression and has provided letters from attorneys and friends attesting to his good character.

ANN KIM WALTZER [#130865], 54, of Scotts Valley, was suspended from the practice of law for 90 days and placed on probation for two years. She must pass the MPRE, abstain from alcohol and drugs and provide the Office of Probation with medical records. She must attend a minimum of two meetings a month of an abstinence-based self-help group such as Alcoholics Anonymous. The order took effect June 17, 2016.

In 2014, Waltzer stipulated to a public reproval for misdemeanor convictions for resisting an officer and battery on a peace officer and subsequently failed to file quarterly abstinence-based self-help group reports on time. One report falsely stated, under penalty of perjury, that she had complied with all of the conditions of the underlying reproval regarding alcohol consumption. She was arrested for DUI during the reporting period.

In aggravation, Waltzer had a prior record of discipline and has committed multiple acts of misconduct. In mitigation, she admitted her offenses.

RICHARD MICHAEL GEE [#137035], 54, of Lakewood, Colo., was suspended from the practice of law for six months and placed on two years’ probation. He must pass the MPRE. The order took effect June 18, 2016.

Gee stipulated that he had been suspended by the Colorado Supreme Court for one year and a day for professional misconduct related to mishandling client funds owed to a consultant.

In aggravation, there were multiple acts of misconduct. In mitigation, there was no prior discipline over Gee’s 24-year period in practice.

JAMES HALE HARMON [#205081], 47, of Santa Ana, was suspended from the practice of law for 60 days and placed on probation for one year. He must pass the MPRE. The order took effect June 18, 2016.

Harmon stipulated that he mishandled funds in his client trust account in connection with an insurance settlement for clients.

There were no aggravating circumstances. In mitigation, Harmon had no prior record of discipline. He spontaneously contacted the affected clients before the State Bar instigated proceedings to explain and apologize for his error. He showed remorse and recognition of his wrongdoing.

ANGELA LAUER POLK [#157197], 50, of San Mateo, was suspended from the practice of law for 30 days and placed on probation for one year. She must pass the MPRE. The order took effect June 18, 2016.

Polk stipulated that she falsely reported under penalty of perjury that she was in compliance with MCLE requirements, an act of moral turpitude, dishonesty or corruption.

There were no aggravating circumstances. In mitigation, Polk had no prior discipline over 22 years in practice.

ROBERT G. SCURRAH JR. [#82766], 68, of Tustin, was suspended from the practice of law for six months and until he makes restitution to clients for improperly collecting advance fees for loan modification services. He was placed on probation for one year. He must pass the test given by the State Bar Ethics School and the MPRE. The order took effect June 18, 2016.

The case arose out of Scurrah’s dispute with the State Bar over changes to the Civil Code in 2009 that prohibited collection of fees in advance of the performance of loan modification services. Scurrah sought to structure his fee agreements to comply with the statue, but he was found by the State Bar Court in 2015 to be in violation. That resulted in a 90-day actual suspension and a restitution order totaling more than $25,000. Subsequently, the State Bar filed new disciplinary charges alleging 23 additional violations, to which Scurrah stipulated culpability.

JEANNIE E. TANAKA [#116289], 74, of Los Angeles, was suspended from the practice of law for two years and placed on four years’ probation. She must comply with all conditions of probation in an underlying criminal matter including the requirement that she seek treatment by a psychiatrist and comply with a protective order. She must pass the State Bar Ethics School test and pass the MPRE. The order took effect June 18, 2016.

Tanaka’s discipline followed her criminal conviction for attempted kidnapping, battery and attempting to evade police while driving a vehicle. Those events arose from her attempt to take her aged mother from her sister’s home, following a longstanding family dispute, despite prior court orders prohibiting Tanaka from visiting her mother without notice and the presence of a monitor during visits.

Tanaka pepper-sprayed a caretaker and left with her mother, driving recklessly. The State Bar Court determined that Tanaka’s acts involved misconduct but not moral turpitude, based on previous case outcomes. In aggravation, Tanaka committed multiple acts of misconduct, showed dishonesty and lack of candor and caused harm to the public. She demonstrated lack of insight and recognition into her misconduct. In mitigation, Tanaka had 27 years of discipline-free practice.

CHRISTOPHER WRIGHT TAYLOR [#136803], 54, of La Canada Flintridge, was suspended from the practice of law for 30 days and placed on probation for one year. He must pass the MPRE. The order took effect June 18, 2016.

Taylor falsely reported to the State Bar, under penalty of perjury, that he had completed the required MCLE. In mitigation, he had about 20 years of discipline-free practice.

ALICE BROWN TRAEG [#79823], 75, of San Francisco, was suspended from the practice of law for 30 days and placed on probation for two years. She must pass the State Bar’s Ethics School test and the MPRE. She must also submit the results of an examination of her mental and physical condition. The order took effect June 18, 2016.

Traeg was terminated from the State Bar’s Alternative Discipline Program in 2015, which triggered the present discipline. She stipulated earlier that she failed to competently perform legal services for clients in multiple cases, causing significant harm to the administration of justice. In mitigation, Traeg had nearly 35 years of discipline-free practice.

BRIAN TODD WILLIE [#210336], 48, of Costa Mesa, was suspended from the practice of law for 30 days and placed on probation for one year. She must pass the MPRE. The order took effect June 18, 2016.

Willie stipulated that he had falsely reported, under penalty of perjury, that he had completed his required MCLE hours. In mitigation, he had practiced law for more than 13 years discipline-free.

TERRENCE RANDALL PACE [#179342], 50, of Los Angeles, was placed on one year of probation and faces a one-year suspension if he fails to comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. He must pass the MPRE. The order took effect June 17, 2016.

Pace stipulated that he had falsely reported under penalty of perjury that he had completed his required MCLE hours. In mitigation, he had 18 years of discipline-free practice. He submitted letters from clients, community members and lawyers attesting to his good character. He had taken an active role in the Cub and Boy Scouts since 2007.

DONALD EUGENE ROYER [#72463], 67, of Dana Point, was placed on one year of probation and faces a one-year suspension if he fails to comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. He must pass the MPRE. The order took effect June 17, 2016.

Royer stipulated that he had falsely reported, under penalty of perjury, that he had completed his required MCLE hours. In mitigation, he had 37 years of discipline-free practice. He submitted nine letters attesting to his good character, and he changed his recordkeeping practices in 2013 – a point that has been found mitigating in MCLE matters.

STEVEN MARK SACKS [#250547], 48, of San Francisco, was placed on one year of probation and faces a one-year suspension if he fails to comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. He must pass the MPRE. The order took effect June 17, 2016.

Sacks stipulated that he had falsely reported under penalty of perjury that he had completed his required MCLE hours. In mitigation, he admitted his misconduct and provided eight character reference letters from individuals within the legal and general communities.

RAE DIANE SHIRER [#167137], 58, of Newport Beach, was placed on two years’ probation and faces a one-year suspension if she fails to comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. She must pass the MPRE and pay $450 plus interest in restitution to a client. The order took effect July 24, 2016.

Shirer stipulated that she lost client data due to a computer malfunction. She did not reply to client emails and accounting demands or respond to a State Bar letter of inquiry. In aggravation, Shirer had a prior reproval and has committed four acts of misconduct. In mitigation, she admitted wrongdoing.

ERIC J SPIEGELMAN [#224035], 40, of Los Angeles, was placed on one year of probation and faces a one-year suspension if he fails to comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. He must pass the MPRE. The order took effect June 17, 2016.

Spiegelman stipulated that he had falsely reported, under penalty of perjury, that he had completed his required MCLE hours. In mitigation, he had no prior discipline, performed unpaid community service on the Los Angeles Board of Taxicab Commissioners, recognized his wrongdoing and took steps to ensure future MCLE compliance.

ZACHARY BROOKE ROBERTS [#201739], 46, of Henderson, Nev., was placed on one year of probation and faces a one-year suspension if he fails to comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. He must pass the MPRE. The order took effect June 18, 2016.

Roberts stipulated that he had practiced law in Nevada without having been admitted to practice in that state, for which he had been disciplined by the State Bar of Nevada. In mitigation, he had a 10-year record of discipline-free practice.

JULIUS MICHAEL ENGEL [#137759], 60, of Sacramento, was suspended from the practice of law for six months and ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. He was also placed on two years’ probation and faces a two-year suspension if he failed to comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. The order took effect July 8, 2016.

A State Bar Court hearing judge recommended Engel receive a six-month actual suspension for misconduct including trust account violations, failing to perform services of value and failing to refund unearned fees. Engel appealed, contending among other things there was prosecutorial misconduct and that the judge made several procedural errors. A three-judge review panel, however, agreed with the judge’s decision.

Engel commingled personal funds in his client trust account. He did not maintain records to distinguish one client’s money from another and his earned fees remained in his account until he wrote checks from the accounts for business or personal expenses.

In a second matter, he failed to perform legal services with competence by failing to file a client’s bankruptcy petition to delay her eviction, despite knowing the matter was urgent. Although she paid Engel $1,500, on the day the client’s answer to an unlawful detainer complaint was due, Engel’s wife sent the client partially completed forms and advised the client to file the answer herself. The client was forced to drive 108 miles from her job to file the paperwork. A few days later, when Engel had still not filed the bankruptcy petition, she fired him and demanded a refund of $1,200 and an itemized list of the work he performed. When Engel did not return her money, the client sued him in small claims court but was ultimately unsuccessful. Engel later complained about the client to her employer claiming she committed perjury during the small claims hearing. Although the investigation turned up nothing, it became part of the client’s personnel file.

In another matter, Engel failed to inform a client she was supposed to pay the filing fee for her bankruptcy petition in two installments, leading the court to dismiss her petition. In three other matters, he also accepted money from third parties to cover attorney fees without getting the clients’ consent.

MICHAEL B. STONE [#160177], 59, of Las Vegas, was suspended from the practice of law for two years and until he provides proof of his rehabilitation. He was also placed on three years’ probation and faces a three-year suspension if he does not comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. He is also required to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. The order took effect July 8, 2016.

Stone failed to comply with rule 9.20, a requirement of his disciplinary probation.

He had three prior records of discipline. In April 2011, he was privately reproved for improperly withdrawing from employment and failing to return unearned fees, return costs, pay court-ordered sanctions, competently perform legal services or respond to reasonable client inquiries. That November, he was publicly reproved for withdrawing from employment and failing to deposit advance costs in trust, provide an accounting or return an unearned fee.

In August 2013, he was suspended after stipulating that he failed to comply with the reproval conditions in his 2011 discipline cases.

LEONARD JULIUS SAWYER [#259068], 37, of Houston, was suspended from the practice of law for 90 days with credit given for the time of his inactive enrollment. He was also ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. In addition, he was placed on two years’ probation and faces a one-year suspension if he fails to comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. The order took effect July 9, 2016.

Sawyer’s suspension follows his successful completion of the Alternative Discipline Program. In June 2012, he pleaded guilty to two counts of engaging in lewd, indecent or obscene acts on an aircraft. In 2011, he was sitting in the middle seat on a commercial flight when he exposed his erect penis to the woman sitting next to him in the window seat. When she tried to leave her seat, he stood with his penis exposed and asked, "Do you want to climb over me?"

At one point during the flight, Sawyer exited the restroom and asked a flight attendant for some peanuts. Then he exposed himself to her.

Sawyer had one prior record of discipline. In 2011, he was suspended following a misdemeanor conviction for battery that stemmed from two incidents in which he put his hands on the buttocks of a courtroom clerk and a deputy clerk without their consent.

DANIEL KIETH MARTIN [#245013], 44, of Madera, was placed on two years’ probation and faces a one-year suspension if he fails to comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. He was also ordered to take the MPRE. The order took effect July 9, 2016.

Martin was suspended following his successful completion of the Alternative Discipline Program. In one matter, Martin failed to perform legal services competently, return unearned fees or cooperate with the State Bar. In another, he failed to return unearned fees and accepted compensation for representing a client from someone other than the client without the client’s informed written consent. While participating in the ADP, he made full restitution to his former clients.

LAURENCE ALAN ROSE [#82718], 68, of Woodland Hills, was placed on one year of probation and faces a one-year suspension if he fails to comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. He was also ordered to take the MPRE. The order took effect July 9, 2016.

Rose falsely reported to the State Bar he’d met his MCLE requirements. He completed the necessary hours after being contacted in connection with an MCLE audit.

In mitigation, he had no prior record of discipline, entered into a prefiling stipulation with the State Bar, presented evidence demonstrating his good character and has done pro bono and community service work.

SAMUEL ROBERT SPIRA [#175983], 52, of West Hollywood, was placed on one year of probation and faces a one-year suspension if he fails to comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. He was also ordered to take the MPRE. The order took effect July 6, 2016.

Spira stated under penalty of perjury that he had completed 25 hours of MCLE by deadline when he hadn’t. Rather than reviewing his records to determine whether he was in compliance, Spira relied on his memory. He subsequently completed the required hours and paid applicable penalties.

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

ROBERT OPRE WILSON JR. [#73190], 68, of Solana Beach, was placed on one year of probation and faces a one-year suspension if he fails to comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation. He was also ordered to take the MPRE. The order took effect July 9, 2016.

Wilson falsely reported to the State Bar he was in compliance with his MCLE requirements, when he was not. Wilson, in fact, failed to review his records to determine whether he was in compliance. After he was notified he had been selected for an MCLE audit, he paid the applicable penalties and submitted documentation that he had taken the MCLE hours outside of the compliance period.

In mitigation, he entered into a pretrial stipulation, presented evidence of his good character and had no prior record of discipline.

TARA JANE ARNOLD [#172917], 47, of West Lake Hills, Texas, was suspended from the practice of law for two years and until she provides proof of her rehabilitation. She was also ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court and take the MPRE. The order took effect July 21, 2016.

Arnold’s probation was revoked for failing to comply with the terms of her disciplinary probation. She did not file two quarterly reports and two criminal compliance declarations to the Office of Probation and failed to provide proof she had attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. In addition, she filed one alcohol/drug screening report late, tested positive for alcohol in another, failed to submit five other screening reports altogether or submit two medical reports by their due dates.

The underlying matter, a 2015 suspension, stemmed from Arnold’s conviction for three DUIs.

BERYL DEAN DROEGEMUELLER [#76278], 77, of Vista, was suspended from the practice of law for one year and until he attends Ethics School and provides proof of his passage. If he is suspended for two years or more, he must also provide proof of his rehabilitation. He was also ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. The order took effect July 21, 2016.

Droegemueller’s probation was revoked for failing to comply with the terms of his disciplinary probation by not filing three quarterly probation reports or providing proof of completing his Ethics School requirement.

He was previously suspended in 2014 for falsely reporting to the State Bar that he had met his MCLE requirements when he had not.

KENNETH EDWARD OSTROVE [#111222], 59, of North Hollywood, was suspended from the practice of law for 120 days and placed on two years’ probation. He was also ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. The order took effect July 21, 2016.

Ostrove’s probation was revoked for failing to comply with the conditions of his disciplinary probation by submitting a quarterly probation report and a law office management plan late, not providing adequate proof of restitution payment and not obtaining psychiatric or psychological treatment.

Ostrove was previously suspended in 2015 for misconduct in three client matters. He failed to perform with competence, render appropriate accounts, cooperate in a disciplinary proceeding, return unearned fees, promptly disburse client funds or deposit entrusted funds into a client trust account.

. 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.