SAN FRANCISCO – Reginald von Terrell, an attorney who practiced in Oakland,
was disbarred May 28 after his default was entered for failing to appear
at his disciplinary trial.
The court said Terrell did not seek to have the default
set aside or vacated within 45 days as required under the State Bar’s Rules of
Procedure, after he was accused of failing to maintain client funds in trust,
engaged in moral turpitude, made misrepresentations to a client and failed to
cooperate with a State Bar investigation.
“(Terrell) was ordered to pay $89,314.09 plus interest in
restitution,” the official Oct. 20, 2015, court document said.
been disciplined on two prior occasions. In 1995, he received a public reprove
for failing to deposit client funds in trust and failing to promptly pay out
client funds. In 1997, he was publicly reproved again for not complying with
the terms surrounding his earlier discipline.
In this matter, Terrell was charged with eight counts of misconduct stemming
from a single client matter. Then he failed to appear at the trial of this case
and his default was entered. Because of his lack of compliance, the court
concluded that the requirements of Rule 5.85 have been satisfied, and
therefore, grants the petition and recommends that respondent be disbarred from
the practice of law.
“On Feb. 18, 2015, the State Bar filed and properly
served a notice of disciplinary charges (NDC) on (Terrell) at his membership
records address by certified mail, return receipt requested,” the document
said. “The NDC notified (him) that his failure to appear at the State Bar court
trial would result in a disbarment recommendation.”
The court document further explained that Terrell appeared
in court for the initial status conference and filed his response to the NDC. He
also appeared in court for the pre-trial conference. Trial was set to begin on
June 25, 2015, but Terrell did not show.
“Finding that all of the requirements of rule 5.81(A) were
satisfied, the court issued and properly served an order entering respondent’s
default that same day,” the court said. “The order notified respondent that if
he did not timely move to set aside or vacate his default, the court would
recommend his disbarment."
The State Bar reported in its petition that it had not
had any direct contact with Terrell since his default was entered, he had other
disciplinary matters pending, he had a prior record of discipline and the
Client Security Fund has not made any payments resulting from Terrell’s
“(Terrell) has not responded to the petition for disbarment
or moved to set aside or vacate the default,” the State Bar said. “The case was
submitted for decision on Sept. 14, 2015.”
The court explained that Terrell was disciplined on two
prior occasions. In one matter, Terrell stipulated to failing to deposit client
funds in trust and failing to promptly pay out client funds. In the other
matter, he was again publicly reproved with conditions of failing to comply
with the conditions of his previous public disapproval.
“Based on the (provided evidence), the court concludes that
the requirements of rule 5.85(F) have been satisfied, and (Terrell’s)
disbarment is recommended,” the court said.