LOS ANGELES — Marina Del Rey attorney Geoffrey L. Taylor was
placed on suspension by the State Bar Court of California for
misappropriation of client funds in a single matter.
The suspension went into effect Nov. 4, according to the State Bar
According to the statement of facts listed in court documents,
Taylor was hired by a woman in September 2013 to represent her in a
personal injury suit. The client and attorney agreed that Taylor
would receive 33.3 percent of any funds obtained in her case. The
matter was settled on Dec. 27, 2013, and the plaintiff received a
$50,000 settlement, $16,665 of which should have covered Taylor’s
The client requested that their portion of the settlement be held
in Taylor’s client trust account while they negotiated the medical
bills from her accident. Taylor agreed, and by April 2014, Los Robles
Hospital had waived her medical expenses. However, between the time
of January 2014 and May 2014, the attorney allegedly wrote several
checks from his client trust account for personal expenses. At one
point, the account fell to a total of $32.70.
In June 2014, Taylor used his personal account to wire $29,955.99
to his client and settled her remaining medical bills. The client
filed a complaint against Taylor for misappropriating funds, and he
was contacted about the matter by the State Bar in February 2015.
The State Bar took into account several factors while determining
the severity of Taylor’s sentence, according to court documents.
Taylor had no disciplinary history, his candor in the situation was
evidenced by his payment of all funds to the client and medical
providers prior to contact by the State Bar, and his admission of
wrongdoing showed remorse. Taylor also provided personal references
and explained that he had been going through personal issues at the
time of misconduct.
Taylor was suspended for two years and also will serve three years
of probation. Failure to comply with the disciplinary terms of his probation will have him facing a three-year suspension, according
to his profile page
on the State Bar website. Taylor will also be required to pass the
Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. If he is unable
to pass the exam, he will again be placed on suspension without a
hearing. Taylor satisfied the Ethics School requirement by taking and
passing the course in May 2015.
In accordance with the suspension, Taylor must comply with the
California Rules of Court Rule 9.20 subsections (a) and (c).
According to the rules,
Taylor must to notify his clients of the ruling, make available any
papers necessary to clients for their cases, return any remaining
unearned fees, and notify opposing counsel of his disbarment in any
pending litigation. He also must file with the clerk of the State Bar
Court that he has complied with his disbarment provisions.