Santa Barbara attorney David Ellis Reese was placed on suspension by the State Bar Court of California on Jan. 3, because he has allegedly failed to take or pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) ordered as part of a previous probation order.
The Bar Court says Reese was charged in November 2013 with driving under the influence, a charge the bar noted, of which he had previously been convicted in 2005 The attorney pleaded no contest to the DUI charge, a misdemeanor.
According to bar, Reese rear-ended the bumper of a parked car in November 2013, forcing it into the car parked ahead of it. When police officers arrived, the attorney allegedly said that he had one hour of sleep the night before, causing him to fall asleep at the wheel.
Documents note the accident occurred in the afternoon. Although the officer did not detect the smell of alcohol on his breath, Reese’s slow and slurred speech paired with his inability to keep balance led the officer to conduct an extensive field sobriety test which, allegedly, the attorney could not successfully complete.
Despite the incident, the State Bar noted that Reese had attended and completed a 28-day patient drug program and, at the time of filing, he was living in a sober house.
On Nov. 25, 2015, the State Bar Court placed Reese on a one-year probation with conditions, one of which was to pass the MPRE within a given time frame. Reese, however, has allegedly failed to meet this requirement and is suspended until such time as he can provide proof of passage to the state bar.
Reese is a graduate of the University of California Hastings College of Law and was admitted to the California State Bar in 1987. He has no record of discipline prior to the 2015 probation listed on his bar membership profile.