LOS ANGELES — The State Bar Court of California recently suspended Lesley Adele Montion-Garcia, a Los Angeles attorney, for co-mingling funds in her client trust account.
According to the March 12 decision, Montion-Garcia deposited a $3,000 check into her client trust account at Chase Bank on April 6, 2015. The funds were granted to the attorney for services she had rendered to a law firm and did not belong in her client trust, the balance of which was under $100 prior to the deposit.
Two days later, on April 8, 2015, the attorney made a $1,500 withdrawal from the account that contained a mixture of client and personal funds. On April 27, 2015 she deposited $206.50 into the account for a client which she later withdrew. The conduct continued through May 2015, with Montion-Garcia depositing and withdrawing funds for business and personal use. Her final withdrawal was not paid due to insufficient funds in the account despite the attorney needing to maintain the original balance of at least $98.15.
Montion-Garcia entered into a pretrial stipulation and admitted her wrongdoing. Other factors that the California State Bar took into account included her lack of disciplinary record and 13 letters affirming her good character.
The attorney's 30-day suspension ended April 11 but she has been placed on a two-year probation. She is required to attend the state bar's client trust accounting school and the ethics school.
Montion-Garcia is a graduate of the Southwestern University School of Law and was admitted to the California State Bar in 1998.