LOS ANGELES — Robert G. Scurrah Jr., a Tustin attorney, was recently disbarred from the practice of law by the State Bar Court of California.
The ruling was handed down on on Feb. 4 and was the result of the attorney’s alleged failure to adhere to the terms of a prior suspension.
The initial suspension was for the attorney’s alleged acceptance of upfront fees in loan modification matters. The California State Senate had passed a bill in October 2009 that prohibited lawyers from accepting such fees without providing modification services. The senate had determined that paying advanced fees typically left clients who were already in financially precarious situations depleted of funds.
Though Scurrah was aware of the new bill, he allegedly continued to collect unearned fees resulting in several complaints to the state bar. He was suspended for one year and ordered to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination and attend ethics classes.
Scurrah’s disbarment was enacted after he failed to comply with the California Rules of Court Rule 9.20 subsections (a) and (c). The rule required the attorney 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 suspension.
Scurrah did not file his declaration with the California State Bar Court's clerk within the allotted time frame, and a default was entered on his behalf. Scurrah had 90 days to contest the default, but he did not.
The 68-year-old Orange County attorney had no prior record of discipline before his initial suspension last year. He was admitted to the California State Bar in 1978 after graduating from the American College of Law in Brea and was part owner of the Consumer Debt Advocate Law Center, a loan modification firm.