SAN FRANCISCO — James Edward Griswold, a Long Beach, California-based attorney, was disbarred on Nov. 18, the California Supreme Court recently ruled.
The ruling was the result of four counts of misconduct and a failure to respond to the charges. A motion was filed recommending disbarment on June 6, 2016, by the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel.
According to his profile page on the State Bar of California website, Griswold was admitted to the California State Bar in June 2000 after obtaining his law degree from Southwestern University School of Law-Los Angeles. He has been categorized as inactive and not eligible to practice law in California four prior times beginning in 2014. Griswold was suspended twice for failure to pay his Bar Association dues.
The disciplinary action stemmed from one case occurring in late 2014. Griswold allegedly improperly withdrew from a case by failing to inform his client of his intentions. His actions could have caused avoidable, foreseeable prejudice to his client which is a violation of the California Code of Business and Profession. The court ordered Griswold to appear on Oct. 10, 2015, in regards to the matter, but he failed to do so. The attorney also neglected to pay $1,000 in sanctions by the date set by the court of Nov. 17, 2014.
Three letters regarding the disciplinary actions taken against Griswold went unanswered, violating section 6068 subdivision (i) of the California Business and Professions Code. In addition, he also violated subsection (j) by allegedly failing to provide a current address for his Bar Association membership. It is unclear if the bar received an update address for Griswold.
Disbarment was recommended by the State Bar Court as the evidence in the case met the requirements for 5.85(F). The allegations against Griswold were proven to be factual, and the court determined that “reasonable diligence was used to notify Respondent of the proceedings.” As the default response was entered and accepted properly and Griswold failed to participate in the proceedings, the court found no reason to not proceed with the sentence.
According to the court documents, the ruling says Griswold must comply with the California Rules of Court Rule 9.20 subsections (a) and (c) in regards to his disbarment. Under the rules, Griswold is required to give notification to all of his clients of the recent 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.
Griswold must then file with the clerk of the State Bar Court that he has complied with the provisions of his disbarment.
Griswold received his undergraduate degree from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.