LOS ANGELES — The State Bar Court of California recently suspended Alexander Chase, a San Francisco attorney, from the practice of law for 90 days after the court was determined that the attorney had failed to perform legal services and later concealed his misconduct.
The order was handed down on March 31 and stems from a February 2013 matter in which Chase was hired to represent a client in a personal injury suit against Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) and the City of Oakland.
Chase filed a claim in May 2013 against the City of Oakland, but later informed his client that the claim had been rejected. He then said he would file against PG&G, which he claimed to have completed in August 2013. According to court documents, the claim was not filed by September 2013 when Chase falsely told his client that he had.
From December 2013 to March 2015, the client contacted Chase six times and received no response besides one in-person meeting in April 2014. No further action was taken by the attorney to represent the client.
The California State Bar opened an investigation into the misconduct and contacted Chase in January 2016, and the attorney admitted that the accusations were true. When recommending discipline, the state bar took Chase’s candor into consideration. Chase was charged with four counts of misconduct in a single matter, made attempts to conceal his misconduct and caused significant harm to his client.
Chase will be suspended from practice for 90 days followed by a one-year probationary period. He will be required to attend the state bar's ethics school and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam.
Chase, who focused in litigation, elderly law and personal injury, is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law. The attorney was admitted to the California State Bar in 2008 and had no prior record of discipline.