LOS ANGELES — Jesse Soto Ortiz III, a Sacramento attorney, was recently placed on a two-year probation by the State Bar Court of California.
The Feb. 4 order was decreed after it was determined Ortiz had failed to adequately preform legal services for a client.
The Office of the Chief Trial Counsel (OCTC) sent Ortiz a Notice of Disciplinary Charges (NDC) on July 16, 2014, for his conduct in a criminal defense matter. Ortiz allegedly failed to file an opening brief for his client’s appeal of a murder conviction. The attorney did not inform his client of the status of his case and he failed to complete any further work on the case causing it to be dismissed by a judge. Due to the significant harm the attorney’s conduct caused, disciplinary proceedings were warranted.
Ortiz sought help from the State Bar’s Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP) in July 2014 for substance abuse before responding to the NDC, which became a mitigating factor in his case. Ortiz entered into a pretrial stipulation with the state bar in September 2014, and he was sentenced to a one-year stayed suspension and the two years of probation he will serve.
During Ortiz’s probation, he will be required to submit quarterly reports to the state bar and notify them of any changes in his professional status within 10 days. The attorney will also need to take and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam and pay all court costs, which at the time of filing totaled $3,419. Failure to adhere to any of the terms of his probation will result in a one-year suspension.
Ortiz has been a member of the California State Bar since his admittance in 1995 and is a graduate of the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. The attorney had one prior record of discipline from 2007 in which failed to promptly respond to status inquiries by his client’s wife.