LOS ANGELES — The State Bar Court of California recently ruled to disbar Debra Rawls Pricola, a Ventura attorney, from practicing law.
The court’s decision to disbar Pricola came on on Feb. 4 and was a result of the attorney’s alleged failure to complete the required minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) hours and her lack of cooperation in the subsequent investigation.
The state bar provided all registered attorneys a time period between Feb. 1, 2011 to Jan. 31, 2014 to complete the 25 mandatory hours of education. Court documents state that Pricola falsely reported that she had completed the hours but did not provide sufficient evidence to validate her claims.
A notice was sent to Pricola on Dec. 29, 2015 to the address she had on file with the state bar. The notice informed Pricola that if she failed to respond, the state bar would move forward with a recommendation for disbarment. The first notice sent was returned to the state bar as undeliverable.
After several more attempts to contact Pricola failed, a state bar deputy trial counsel mailed, emailed and faxed a copy of the notice on Jan. 29, 2016. The letter provided the attorney with a deadline of Feb. 8th, 2016 to respond to the notice or further action would be taken. Pricola, the ruling said, did not respond.
On Feb. 26, 2016, a default was entered on the attorney’s behalf. The state bar gave Pricola time to contest the default. After she failed to contest, the state bar proceeded with the disbarment.
Pricola was admitted to the California State Bar in December 1995 after graduating from the University of Northern California Lorenzo Patino School of Law. She had no prior record of discipline.