LOS ANGELES — The State Bar Court of California recently placed Tara Jean Collins, a Beaumont attorney, on a one-year probation.
The attorney allegedly failed to meet requirements to keep her license active and provided false information to the state bar when contacted about the discrepancy. The court reached its decision on January 6.
According to court documents, Collins failed to comply with the minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) hours required for all attorneys. Collins claimed under penalty of perjury that she had completed the necessary 25 hours during the compliance period from Feb. 1, 2011 to Jan. 31, 2014. Collins had completed a total of four hours prior to the state bar’s inquiry and finished the remaining 19 hours on Oct. 31, 2014 after being contacted by the state bar in July 2014.
Several mitigating factors were taken into account when determining fair sentencing. Collins, who was admitted to the California State Bar in 2004 after graduating from the Chapman University School of Law, had no record of discipline. In addition, the attorney provided the courts with nine good character witnesses and entered into a pretrial stipulation to save the state bar's time and resources.
As part of Collins’ probation, she will need to submit quarterly reports to the state bar and notify them of any changes to her information within 10 days. The attorney will also be required to promptly respond to all correspondence and inquiries by the state bar, and she must take and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE).
Failure to pass the MPRE or adhere to any of the terms of her probation will result in a one-year suspension without hearing. The attorney will be responsible for covering all court costs, which at the time of sentencing totaled $3,669. The costs are subject to increase.