LOS ANGELES — The State Bar Court of California recently suspended George Steven Wass, a Palm Springs attorney, for allegedly failing to adhere to the conditions of a prior suspension order.
According to the Nov. 14 decision, Wass was paid $8,000 in May 2014 to represent a couple in their loan modification matter. However, California does not allow attorneys to charge or accept fees before services have been rendered in such cases due to the precarious financial situation clients usually find themselves in.
Wass accepted the funds and then failed to appear at a hearing, which led to a judgment in the opposing party’s favor. Then, the attorney did not return any attempts at communication made by his clients and avoided responding to the California State Bar’s investigation into the matter.
Court documents detail two other similar incidences and he was punished with a three-month suspension and a three-year probation. The attorney was given several conditions to follow during the three years and three months. One of which was to take and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam. Wass allegedly did not adhere to this requirement and was therefore placed on another suspension until he proves that he passed the exam.
The Riverside County attorney was admitted to the California State Bar in 1992. Prior to the May 2016 suspension order, the attorney had been disciplined two other times. He incurred a three-month suspension in March 2016 for charging upfront loan modification fees and failing to communicate with clients or perform any services. His first suspension was issued in October 2015 for failing to perform services and failing to respond to the state bar’s inquiry.