SAN FRANCISCO — The State Bar of California recently ruled to
disbar attorney Alfred Nash Villalobos from the practice of law.
The Nov. 4 decision
was the result of Villalobos’ conviction on two counts. The
Northridge-based attorney has also received multiple suspensions
prior to disbarment dating back to 2004.
According to a Los Angeles Daily News report,
the 46-year-old attorney was convicted by a Los Angeles County jury
for an infraction committed in August 2009. The charges against
Villalobos were the result of an undercover FBI investigation inside
the attorney’s firm. The agents discovered that Villalobos had
interfered with a grand-jury investigation after he reportedly
received $107,000 in “cash and other compensation” by the subject
of the investigation. In exchange for the payment, the attorney
advised his client, a witness in the investigation, to lie to the
grand jury. Villalobos was placed
on interim suspension following the conviction in December 2011.
Villalobos appealed the verdict, but it was upheld by the 9th
Circuit United States Court of Appeals in 2014. The attorney
petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for a motion for judicial review,
but the request was denied on Oct. 6, 2014.
The State Bar court did not hold a hearing for the attorney’s
disbarment. The Business and Professional Code states that an
attorney is not entitled to a hearing when “disbarment is
mandatory.” The determination of mandatory disbarment was made in
consideration of factors involving Villalobos’ felony conviction
Villalobos’ prior suspension from law occurred in October 2004.
In February 2001, the attorney was hired to represent a client and
her children in a personal-injury case. In December 2001, $14,500 was
paid by Safeco Insurance to Villalobos on behalf of his client, which
he deposited into his personal account rather than a client trust.
The settlement was to be divided between the attorney, client and
According to court documents,
the amount owed to the client equaled $5,866.88. However, upon
payment, the client received only $5,000 in the form of a check she
deposited in her account. The check was returned due to a stop
payment requested by the attorney. The client reached out Villalobos
multiple times between December 2001 and March 2002 with no response.
In May 2002, the medical provider in the case requested payment from
the attorney that went unanswered. In May 2014, Villalobos wrote a
cashier’s check for $6,867 for the client and another for $3,800 to
the medical provider.
The hearing determined that the attorney had failed to deposit
funds into a client trust account, failed to pay the client and
medical provider in a timely manner, and failure to respond to
requests for payment.
The State Bar of California was established
in 1927 by the state’s legislature and is governed by 1
trustees. The State Bar Court added appointed full-time judges in
1989. Court documents for all State Bar of California cases can be
found at calbar.ca.gov.