LOS ANGELES — The State Bar Court of California recently suspended Mary Frances Prevost, a San Diego attorney, for alleged misconduct.
According to the March 12 decision, Prevost allegedly failed to comply with the minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) hour requirements to keep her license. The attorney needed to complete 25 hours in a set time period and was reminded multiple times by the California State Bar to do so. When she did not complete her hours during the compliance period, she was determined ineligible to practice.
Prevost’s second charge of misconduct was a result of her MCLE hours charge. After she was ruled ineligible to practice, the attorney filed a memorandum of points and authorities on July 3, 2014 on behalf of her client in an ongoing litigation matter.
The state bar then began an investigation into Prevost’s filing while ineligible though she failed to respond or cooperate. This led to another misconduct charge.
The final matter is unrelated to the other charges. In 2009, Prevost and another attorney, Thomas Beck, represented a man in a civil suit against the City of Chula Vista for false arrest and civil rights violations. In 2013, the defendants in the case filed five motions to dismiss evidence. Prevost and Beck allegedly failed to appear at the initial hearing or file motions against the dismissals. Neither attorney informed their client of the issue.
Prevost will be suspended for six months followed by a three-year probation. The attorney is a graduate of the California Western School of Law and was admitted to the California State Bar in 1992. She has several instances of prior discipline, including three charges filed against her in 2015 and 2016 and a suspension for not passing the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam in November 2016.