SAN FRANCISCO — Oakland attorney Richter Wong Kong was disbarred from practicing law in California for committing misconduct by failing to preform legal duties and provide pertinent information to clients.
In addition, Kong failed to participate in State Bar of California investigations into the matters.
The disbarment went into effect on Jan. 19.
Court documents said that Kong was initially charged with 11 counts of violating the California Rules of Professional Conduct and the Business and Professions Code. In one matter, Kong allegedly failed to perform legal work for his clients in an immigration case, did not provide status updates to the client, failed to repay unearned fees of more than $2,000, and did not participate in the State Bar’s investigation.
In another matter, Kong allegedly did not arrange the delivery and distribution of settlement funds, failed to respond to his client in a prompt manner, and did not cooperate with the State Bar’s investigation.
Kong also allegedly did not provide an accounting of $11,000 he received in advance from another client or respond either to his client's status inquiries or State Bar investigators.
A default was entered for Kong when he did not respond to multiple attempts at contact by the State Bar of California, and the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel recommended disbarment. The attorney, who was admitted to the California State Bar in 1980, had one prior record of discipline from 2009 when he was suspended for 60 days for trust-account violations.
Kong will be required to comply with the California Rules of Court Rule 9.20 subsections (a) and (c) in regards to his disbarment. The rules require Kong 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. Kong must then file with the clerk of the State Bar Court that he has complied with the provisions of his disbarment.