SAN FRANCISCO – An attorney already on probation for misconduct has been disbarred after being accused of failing to perform services for clients he charged.
Judson Thomas Farley, 65, of Santa Cruz, was disbarred after failing to appear at his disciplinary trial before the State Bar Court.
He faced 25 counts of misconduct relating to six clients, including misappropriation of funds, dishonesty, and failing to perform services.
An attorney in California since 1978, Judson was first accused of misconduct in July 2014. A second series of charges were made against him later that year, and the matters consolidated in January 2015.
The counts of misconduct in six client matters included three counts of misappropriation of funds, improper withdrawal from employment, dishonesty and failing to comply with a court order.
He also faced five counts of failing to cooperate with a State Bar disciplinary investigation, three counts of failing to perform legal services with competence, and three counts of failing to maintain clients' money in a trust account.
Further, Judson allegedly twice failed to inform a client of a significant event, or respond to reasonable status inquiries.
He also reportedly violated his disciplinary probation by not contacting the Office of Probation, scheduling a required meeting, submitting a quarterly report or submitting proof of restitution payments.
Judson also allegedly violated by the California Code on moral turpitude by misappropriating $5,154.59 of spousal support funds that his ex-wife was entitled to receive.
Farley was ordered to pay $4,868 plus interest in restitution to three former clients. He was disciplined on one prior occasion in 2014 for committing misconduct in three client matters, including failure to obey court orders or report judicial sanctions.
At the March 9, 2015, status conference, attended by the State Bar and respondent, the court set the trial to start on June 16, 2015. A default was entered when he did not appear.
The State Bar reported in the petition to disbar that there was no contact with respondent since his default was entered, that there are three other disciplinary matters pending against him, and that he has one record of prior discipline.
On Aug. 6, 2015, the State Bar properly filed and served the petition for disbarment.
The State Bar Court recommended that Farley be disbarred from the practice of law in the state of California and that his name be stricken from the roll of attorneys.
It also recommended Judson pay restitution a total of $4,486 to three clients he allegedly failed to perform services for in two bankruptcy cases and one involving property liens.
In one case detailed in the State Bar Court documents, Judson reportedly failed to file a bankruptcy petition or perform any other legal services for his client.
He then allegedly failed to respond promptly to client’s reasonable status inquiries, and then failed to tell her he was withdrawing from employment.
Judson purportedly did not return any portion of the $1,556 unearned attorney fees to his client. He also was allegedly dishonest after telling the client he was going to refund her $200, but never did. The court also recommended costs be awarded to the State Bar.