Los Angeles attorney disbarred for misappropriating settlement funds

By Olivia Olsen | Apr 1, 2017

Jay Alexander Ghoreichi, an attorney practicing in Los Angeles and later Washington, D.C., was disbarred from the practice of law by the State Bar Court of California. The Jan. 6 ruling is the result of a client matter in which the attorney allegedly failed to maintain his client trust account.

Ghoreichi was initially charged with five counts of misconduct in the single client matter, though the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel (OCTC) could not find sufficient evidence to corroborate that the attorney failed to perform legal services competently for the client. However, the OCTC did determine that Ghoreichi was culpable in the remaining four counts.

Ghoreichi allegedly failed to maintain his client trust account in the amount of $16,690, which were settlement funds needed to pay off the client’s medical providers. The attorney allowed the balance to dip below $600 due to his misappropriation of the client’s funds for his own personal expenses. When a Notice of Disciplinary Charges (NDC) was delivered to Ghoreichi by the State Bar, he failed to respond.

A default was entered on behalf of Ghoreichi, as he failed to respond to the numerous attempts to make contact by the State Bar, and the OCTC recommended disbarment. This is the second disciplinary action taken against Ghoreichi. In 2008, the attorney was suspended for 18 months due to misconduct in three client matters in which he again failed to maintain his client trust accounts.

Ghoreichi will be required to comply with the California Rules of Court Rule 9.20 subsections (a) and (c) in regard to his disbarment. The rules require Ghoreichi to notify all of his clients of the ruling, deliver any papers necessary to clients in regard to their cases, return any fees that remain unearned and alert opposing counsel in any pending litigation of his disbarment. Ghoreichi must then file with the Clerk of the State Bar Court that he has complied with the provisions of his disbarment.

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 located online at calbar.ca.gov.

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