LOS ANGELES — The State Bar Court of California recently issued a public reprimand to Anju Multani, a Downey attorney, after the attorney allegedly failed to return unearned fees and pay court interest in a matter stemming from a transfer of conservatorship.
According to the court's Nov. 9 decision, Multani represented a woman who sat as the conservator of an estate between July 2009 and May 2012. During this time, it was determined that the client had paid Multani more than 33,000 for her services. However, the attorney for another party with interest in the estate filed a petition against Multani and her client stating that she had been paid the funds without a court order and therefore was required to return the money to the trust.
The attorney filed a an objection to the petition, and a trial was held June 2, 2014 to address the issue. The court ruled that the attorney had received conservatorship fees without a court order. It was also determined that Multani had earned a portion of the fees for her services.
Of the $33,814.50 paid to her, Multani was only entitled to keep $16,814 for her services and advanced funds, requiring her to repay $15,483.50 to the trust. Another judgment was filed against Multani, stating she would also need to pay a 10 percent interest on the repayment.
At the time of discipline, Multani had still not repaid any of the funds. Along with her public reprimand, the attorney will need to attend ethics school and submit quarterly reports to the California State Bar’s Office of Probation.
The Los Angeles County attorney has been a member for the California State Bar since 1991. He is a graduate of Barat College in Illinois and obtained his law degree from the Western State University College of Law in Fullerton.