LOS ANGELES — The State Bar Court of California recently ruled
to summarily disbar Folsom attorney Delbert Joe Modlin after he was
convicted for conspiracy to commit forgery.
The disbarment was effective Dec. 29, 2016, according to the State
Bar of California website.
The disbarment is not the first disciplinary action taken against
Modlin in regards to his felony misconduct. The attorney was placed
on an interim suspension in November 2015 after investigations for
fraud and, later, securities
fraud as outlined in reports by the Sacramento Bee. In the
previous criminal matters, Modlin was accused of defrauding an
elderly couple out of their home and assets without their approval,
and also selling unlawful promissory notes from a company known as
Modlin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit forgery on April 2,
Modlin was placed
on his second interim suspension in August 2016 after the State Bar
received the guilty plea to the felony forgery charges to provide the
attorney with ample time to file an appeal.
When it was determined that Modlin would not exercise his right to
appeal, according to court documents,
the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel of the State Bar filed a motion
recommending that the attorney be disbarred. An investigated the
matter found Modlin’s actions showed great moral turpitude as he
knowingly engaged in felony criminal activity on multiple occasions.
The attorney was not granted a hearing.
Modlin had already complied with the California Rules of Court
9.20 subsections (a) and (c) in regards to his previous
suspensions. The rules required Modlin 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.
Modlin was admitted to the California State Bar in 1987 after
graduating from the Lincoln College of Law, according to his profile
on the State Bar's website.
The California State Bar was established in 1927 by the state’s
legislature and is governed by 19 trustees. The State Bar Court added
appointed full-time judges in 1989. Court documents for all State Bar
Court of California cases can be found online at calbar.ca.gov.