Attorney disbarred for practicing in states without license

By Olivia Olsen | Jan 22, 2017

LOS ANGELES — The State Bar Court of California recently ruled to disbar Los Angeles attorney Peter Robin Estes on 20 counts of misconduct.

The charges involve Estes practicing law in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Georgia and Missouri where he was not licensed, a violation of each state’s conduct code. Estes also failed to aid in disciplinary cases against him and even chose to enter a default in regards to non response to his disciplinary charges leading to the recommendation of disbarment.

Estes' disbarment was registered on his State Bar profile page as taking place Nov. 18.

This is the second disciplinary action taken against Estes. The first occurred in June 2015 for similar incidents. Estes allegedly failed to “supervise his staff” resulting in practices that he had not authorized (such as a money back guarantee to all clients) and practicing without a license in South Carolina, Maryland, Massachusetts and New York. The misconduct affected six loan cases and resulted in his 90-day suspension followed by two years of probation.

In June 2016, a filing was made describing, in detail, the 20 counts of misconduct between five cases beginning with an incident in February 2014. Court documents state that members of Estes' firm solicited their legal services to a client without a prior relationship to him or any of his family members, which goes against the California conduct code. Another charge was filed in this matter, but evidence proving that Estes had knowledge of his staff’s actions could not be provided. The second charge was dismissed.

Another matter arose in December 2013 when Estes' staff allegedly solicited their legal services to a couple in Missouri, a state in which Estes was not licensed. He illegally accepted a $3,000 fee from the couple to work on their case despite knowingly being unable to practice law in the state.

A third case in February 2014 and fourth in December 2013 involved solicitation of services and practicing law in the state of Massachusetts without a license. The final case, in January 2014, again involved solicitation, this time in the state of Georgia were Estes was not licensed.

According to Estes' page on the State Bar website, he earned his undergraduate degree at George Mason University and his law degree from the American University Washington School of Law.

Estes failed to respond to any of the charges against him opting to instead enter a default plea. Court documents state that Estes must comply with the California Rules of Court Rule 9.20 subsections (a) and (c) in regards to his disbarment. The rules require Estes to notify all of his clients of the ruling, deliver any papers necessary to clients in regards to their cases, return any fees that remain unearned, and alert opposing counsel in any pending litigation of his disbarment. Estes must then file with the clerk of the State Bar Court that he has complied with the provisions of his disbarment.

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