TALLAHASSEE – Marilyn Dina Weinstein, an attorney who practices in Pleasanton, was suspended for 30 days and ordered to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE). Her suspension is in relation to allegedly falsely reporting to the State Bar that she was in compliance with her Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) requirements.

Weinstein later provided proof she had completed the necessary hours – but the hours were reportedly completed after the compliance period.

“In mitigation, Weinstein had no prior record of discipline and admitted to her misconduct,” the official board document said. “She was also placed on one year of probation and faces a one-year suspension if she does not comply with the terms of her disciplinary probation.”

The document explained that on June 16, 2014, Weinstein reported to the State Bar under penalty of perjury that she had completed all required hours of MCLE within the compliance period.

“This statement was false and (Weinstein) knew it was false at the time she made it,” the document said. “(She) had not actually completed any MCLE hours during the required compliance period. On July 7, 2014, the State Bar notified (Weinstein) via letter that she was selected for an audit and gave (her) until Aug. 21, 2014 to submit proof of her MCLE compliance.”

The document further explained that on Aug. 29, 2014, the State Bar sent Weinstein a second letter, advising her that she was not in compliance and that no proof of compliance had been received by the Aug. 21, 2014 deadline.

“The State Bar notified (Weinstein) she would be enrolled inactive if no proof of compliance was received by Oct. 31, 2014,” the document said. “On Oct. 30, 2014, (Weinstein) provided proof of compliance of 25 hours of MCLE credit to the State Bar.”

The board document explained that despite her completion, Weinstein’s proof of compliance was completed after the compliance period and provided no explanation for her false assertion of compliance, but readily admitted to it.

“By falsely reporting, under penalty of perjury, to the State Bar, that she had fully complied with her MCLE requirements when (Weinstein) knew that she had failed to complete the MCLE requirements, (she) committed an act involving moral turpitude, in willful violation of Business and Professions Code, section 6106,” the board said.

The document justifies the suspension by explaining that there is significant harm to the administration of justice when an attorney lies under oath.

Because Weinstein had no prior discipline, and practiced law for 19 years prior to the infractions, as well as readily admitting to her misconduct, the document explained that the board took her cooperation into consideration, though they still saw her lying as detrimental to the profession.

"Knowingly giving false testimony on a material factual issue is a serious breach of basic standards of honesty as well as a violation of an attorney’s oath of office and his duties as an attorney,” the board said, citing the Rules of Professional Conduct. “Affirmative representations made with intent to deceive, even though no harm results, are grounds for discipline."

The document explained that Weinstein is culpable of intentional misconduct and they ordered a one-year suspension, stayed, with one year of probation, including thirty days of actual suspension. The board explained that the suspension is necessary to protect the public.

The board also ordered that Weinstein pay $3,066 in prosecution costs.                                                                                                                                             

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