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 elder 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 Kool-Pets Inc.
Modlin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit forgery on April 2, 2015.
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 Rule 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 page 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.