Ohio attorney suspended for failing to meet education requirements

By Olivia Olsen | Apr 27, 2017

LOS ANGELES — Leonard Michael Sikes, an attorney in Warren, Ohio, who was licensed to practice law in California, was recently suspended from practicing law by the State Bar Court of California. 

The Feb. 10 order was issued in lieu of Sikes’ false reporting of the completion of his minimum continuing education hours to the California State Bar. 

Members of the California State Bar were required to complete 25 continuing education hours between Feb. 1, 2011, and Jan. 31, 2014, to be in compliance. According to court documents, on June 30, 2014, the attorney reported to the California State Bar that he had completed the necessary hours but did not provide any documentation to corroborate his claims.

An investigator with the state bar contacted Sikes via regular mail on Nov. 18, 2015, and Feb. 8, 2016, to inform the attorney of potential misconduct charges and to request his response. Sikes did not respond allegedly because he had moved offices and failed to update his membership records. 

The state bar determined that Sikes’ alleged dishonesty displayed moral turpitude and therefore warranted a suspension. The attorney will be suspended for 60 days and a three-year probation will follow. Sikes will need to notify any clients and opposing counsel of his inactive status and provide quarterly reports to the state bar. He also will be responsible for attending and passing the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) before he is admitted to practice. Failure to adhere to any of the statutes of his discipline will result in an automatic one-year suspension without a hearing. 

Sikes has been a member of the California State Bar since 1987 and graduated law school from Western State University in California. He had no prior record of discipline, although he has been deemed inactive several times for failing to pay his membership fees.

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