LOS ANGELES — Attorney Mark Allen Wiesenthal of Beverly Hills was suspended from practicing law for 60 days by the State Bar of California beginning Nov. 20, 2016, according to the bar's website.
Wiesenthal's current status was listed as active on the website as of Feb. 6, 2017.
The decision on suspension was made in response to Wiesenthal’s failure to adhere to the Minimum Continuing Legal Education requirements of his law license and his indifference to the violation, according to court documents. All attorneys registered with the California State Bar must complete a minimum of 25 course hours to keep their eligibility status.
The compliance period during which Wiesenthal was required to meet his MCLE course hours was between Feb. 1, 2011, and Jan. 31, 2014. The attorney told the State Bar on May 21, 2014, that he had completed the 25 hours despite his having allegedly not completed any coursework. Wiesenthal made his statement under the penalty of perjury.
In response to Wiesenthal’s claims, the State Bar’s Member Records and Compliance department audited the attorney. A notice was sent to Wiesenthal on July 7, 2014. The attorney allegedly failed to comply with the audit, resulting in the State Bar determining that he showed indifference to the matter.
When determining fair discipline, the State Bar took into consideration two mitigating factors. Wiesenthal, who according to the bar website has been registered with the State Bar of California since 1996 after graduating from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, had no prior record of discipline. In addition, the 62-year-old attorney voluntarily entered into the suspension stipulation and prevented the need for a hearing, which saved the State Bar time and resources.
The official ruling places Wiesenthal on a one-year stayed suspension, of which 60 days were to be served. He also will serve one year of probation, in which he will be required to submit quarterly updates to the State Bar and report any changes in his status within 10 days under the penalty of perjury.
In addition to the suspension, Wiesenthal also was required take and pass the MPRE. Failure to pass the exam or to follow any other conditions of his probation will result in another year of suspension without hearing.
Wiesenthal will also be required to provide the Office of Probation proof of attendance and passage for ethics school, a requirement unique to California disciplinary action. The attorney has one year following his suspension to provide the Office of Probation proof of completion. In addition, Wiesenthal will be required to pay all court costs and membership fees for three billing cycles following the effective date of the Supreme Court order. According to court documents,
the prosecution costs up to March 1, 2016, equate to $3,066 and may
increase at any time.