Oakland attorney put on probation

By Olivia Olsen | Feb 13, 2017

LOS ANGELES — Mark David Greenberg, a 64-year-old attorney based in Oakland, was placed on probation on Nov. 18, 2016.

According to a news release on the State Bar website, the State Bar Court of California made the decision to suspend Greenberg after investigating three counts of misconduct against the attorney.

In 2001, according to court documents, Greenberg filed a federal habeas corpus petition on behalf of an inmate who was convicted of first-degree murder. The petition was denied in 2004, and the attorney failed to file an objection and the client was unable to appeal his conviction. In 2011, the inmate notified the court that Greenberg had abandoned him. When asked about this claim, the attorney responded that he had forgotten he was representing the client and that he ignored mail from former clients as a practice.

A second count of misconduct was charged from a case in which Greenberg represented an inmate convicted of a sexual offense. The client had appealed his conviction, but was denied by the state Supreme Court in June 2015. The attorney failed to inform his client. The client requested his files from the attorney several times, but Greenberg did not produce them until after the deadline for the inmate to file a petition of certiorari.

The final charge of misconduct stemmed from Greenberg’s representation of another inmate charged with first-degree murder. When the client’s appeal was denied in 2012, she requested her files from the attorney. Greenberg produced several papers, but failed to provide her with the file in its entirety.

The State Bar took the following mitigating circumstances into account when determining proper discipline for Greenberg. The attorney, who was admitted to the State Bar in 1981 after graduating from the University of San Francisco School of Law, has no prior record of discipline. In addition, the attorney fully cooperated with the State Bar investigation and admitted to his mistakes.

Greenberg will be placed on a one year of probation. 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. Greenberg will also need to set up a meeting with a probation officer within 30 days of the effective discipline.

In addition to the suspension, Greenberg must take and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. Failure to pass the exam or to follow any other conditions of his probation will result in a year of suspension without hearing. Greenberg is responsible for all court costs and membership fees, which may increase at any time.

Court documents for all State Bar Court of California cases and information on the State Bar can be found online at calbar.ca.gov.

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