The State Bar of California ruled a Beverly Hills attorney inactive as of March 10, following his failure to appear at his bar disciplinary trail.
Attorney Martin Ian Cutler was originally suspended from the practice of law in January after failing to complete Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) that was stipulated as part of proceedings over an earlier suspension.
That suspension followed complaints involving his client trust account.
In the facts relayed in the State Bar Court’s January stipulation, Cutler held a client trust account that he did not properly maintain. The account, held at GBC International Bank, the attorney allegedly drafted seven checks without waiting for a deposit he’d made of his earned fees to clear. Not only did he not have the necessary fees, he had also commingled personal funds in his client trust. In addition, he drafted one check to pay personal expenses in July 2013. During the period in which he issued the checks, there were no client funds in the account.
Cutler also was charged with misconduct in a second matter from February 2013. He was hired to represent a woman in her divorce and had allegedly agreed to help her negotiate with the IRS about her inability to make a payment to them until her divorce was settled. Cutler reportedly did not perform these services.
The attorney incurred a six-month suspension with conditions. Included in the terms of his suspension was the stipulation that he would need to take and pass the MPRE within a set time. When he failed to adhere to this requirement, he was placed on a suspension until he could provide the state bar with proof of passage.
An inactive status means the attorney has voluntarily left the state attorney's rolls, and must make a request to return to active status.
Cutler was admitted to the California State Bar in 1989 and obtained his law degree from the Indiana University Bloomington School of Law. The attorney was previously suspended for 60 days in February 2014 for commingling and mishandling his client trust account. He was also placed on suspension in November 2015 for failing to pass the MPRE, although it is not clearly stated in the MPRE suspension order if passage was required in the February suspension terms.