LOS ANGELES — The State Bar Court of California recently disbarred James Patrick Stoneman II, a Claremont attorney, for failing to cooperate in the state bar’s investigation into 25 counts of misconduct.
The decision was handed down March 31, and the charges, which included several counts of failing to preform legal services, were deemed to be factual due to the attorney’s lack of response.
Stoneman was investigated for five client matters and one matter involving his minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) hours. The attorney allegedly falsely reported to the state bar that he had completed the hours necessary within the provided time frame. He also failed to respond to two inquiries by the state bar requesting proof of his MCLE compliance.
In the first client matter, Stoneman was found guilty of failing to preform legals services with competence, communicate with his client and respond to the state bar in its investigation.
The second matter included charges of failing to return unearned fees and client files as well as failing to provide an accounting to his client. He was also charged with failing to respond to his client’s status inquiries and charged with failing to preform legal services or respond to the state bar. The remaining three client matters involved similar charges.
The Office of the Chief Trial Counsel sent the initial notice of disciplinary charges to Stoneman on Nov. 20, 2015. When the office did not receive a response, several additional attempts to reach the attorney were made, all to no avail. A default was entered on Stoneman’s behalf, and disbarment was ordered.
Stoneman is a graduate of the University of LaVerne College of Law in Ontario. He was admitted to the California Stat Bar in 1980 and had two prior records of discipline, including a suspension in 2016 and a public reproval in 2013.