LOS ANGELES – The State Bar Court of California recently placed Michael Amnon Baruch, a West Hollywood attorney, on an interim suspension following his alleged failure to comply with the terms of a previous suspension order.
According to the December 19 decision, the court had sentenced Baruch to probation for a period of one year on July 7, 2015 for initially misleading the state bar about the status of his Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) requirements.
All California attorneys must periodically complete 25 MCLE hours between within set time frame.
Baruch had from Feb. 1, 2010 to Jan. 31, 2013 to complete the hours. Just before the deadline, the attorney submitted a report to the California State Bar that he had completed the hours. An audit conducted later by the bar's Office of Chief Trial Council prompted Baruch to write a letter stating he had not completed any MCLE hours.
When the state bar questioned him, Baruch said he believed he had until the end of 2013 to complete the hours and eventually fulfilled the requirement by Nov. 8 of that year. He entered into a pre-trial stipulation with the state bar and admitted his wrongdoing.
During the probationary period, Baruch was expected to adhere to the various conditions, including submitting quarterly reports to the California State Bar’s Office of Probation, attending ethics school and taking and passing the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE). The attorney was informed that failure to adhere to any of these terms could result in a one-year suspension without a hearing.
Baruch allegedly failed to pass the MPRE and was placed on an indefinite suspension until he could provide proof of passing the exam.
The Los Angeles County attorney has been a member of the California State Bar since 1990. He is a graduate of the Northeastern University School of Law in Boston and had no record of discipline prior to the 2015 suspension.