LOS ANGELES — Pasadena attorney Mary Derparseghian was disbarred by the State Bar Court of California on Jan. 19.
The decision came after both the attorney and the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel appealed the original disciplinary ruling suspending the attorney for two years for misconduct of client matters.
In the first matter, Derparseghian was hired by two clients in February 2010 to represent them in a complaint against their homeowner’s association. The clients paid the attorney $5,000 in advance fees that Derparseghian failed to deposit into her client trust account. The attorney earned her clients $111,500, of which $65,799.76 was to be allotted to them. Derparseghian failed to maintain that balance in her trust account and withdrew nearly $90,000 for herself. The clients contacted the attorney for their settlement, but Derparseghian allegedly misaddressed a letter to the clients that explained the settlement process and requested signatures for the funds to be released.
The clients did not receive the letters and filed complaints with the State Bar of California.
In another matter, the lawyer was accused of not properly representing a client, including not telling him about a necessary court appearance and not getting in a continuance request.
The original decision to suspend Derparseghian was overturned upon appeal when it was determined that the attorney’s actions were intentional and additional aggravating factors were discovered than mitigating.
Derparseghian will be required to comply with the California Rules of Court Rule 9.20 subsections (a) and (c) in regards to her disbarment. The rules require Derparseghian to notify all of her 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 her disbarment. Derparseghian must then file with the clerk of the State Bar Court that she has complied with the provisions of her disbarment.
Derparseghian was admitted to the State Bar in 2003.
Court documents for all State Bar Court of California cases can be located online at calbar.ca.gov.