SAN FRANCISCO -- Steven Jay Brock, an attorney who practiced in Chino Hills, was disbarred May 29 and ordered to comply with the California Rules of Court, because he did not respond to a notice of disciplinary charges (NDC).
The NDC was issued because Brock failed to perform several services in a client’s case. According to the official court document, he performed incompetently for one of his clients.
“Brock failed to perform competently in a civil action by not responding to discovery requests, motions to compel discovery responses or a motion for terminating sanctions, and not returning an executed substitution of attorney form to his new attorney,” the court document said. “He also improperly withdrew from employment and failed to communicate with his client, release a file, render accounts of client funds or respond to a State Bar letter inquiring about the allegations against him.”
The court document explained that Brock was charged with six counts of misconduct, which included failing to participate in court requests.
On December 5, 2014, the State Bar of California reported that it properly filed and served an NDC on Brock by certified mail, but it was returned as “Unclaimed-Unable to Forward” on Jan. 31, 2015. They also made multiple attempts to contact him in various ways without success, the court document said.
The court said Brock willfully failed to competently perform after being retained to defend Penelope Morris in a civil action, which she anticipated would be filed against her by her former employer.
In a case entitled Delphi Connection Systems LLC v. Penelope Morris, the court explained that Brock did not respond to discovery requests on March 21, April 8 and May 6, 2013, in the client’s civil matter, nor did he respond to Delphi’s motions to compel discovery responses. He also did not respond to the plaintiff’s motion for terminating sanctions and he did not return an executed substitution of attorney form to Morris’s new attorney after he improperly withdrew from employment without notifying her.
Brock also failed to communicate with Morris to keep her informed of developments in her case and after he withdrew from employment, he did not return her file or her payment of $3,500 for services not rendered.
“The court concludes that the requirements of rule 5.85(F) have been satisfied, and (Brock’s) disbarment is recommended,” the court document said. “The court also recommends that (he) be ordered to comply with the requirements of California Rules of Court (and) further recommends that costs be awarded to the State Bar in accordance with Business and Professions Code section 6086.10, such costs being enforceable both as provided in Business and Professions Code section 6140.7 and as a money judgment.”