Northern California Record

Friday, December 13, 2019

Cathedral City attorney recommended for disbarment over alleged ethical violations

By Karen Kidd | Jul 7, 2017

General court 06

A Riverside County attorney has been recommended for disbarment by the California State Bar over "numerous violations of his ethical obligations," according to a May 18 state bar decision.

Ruben Daniel Sanchez of Cathedral City was charged by the state bar of willfully violating rules of professional conduct in two separate disciplinary proceedings. These included failures to act with competence, communicate with his client, release a client file, cooperate in the state bar's investigation, to comply with conditions of probation and to file a timely compliance statement, in addition to accepting fees from a third party without his client’s proper consent.

Sanchez's prior disciplinary record worked against him in the state bar's decision and recommendation. "In view of the respondent’s misconduct and the aggravating factors including the history and nature of his three prior disciplines, the court recommends, inter alia, that he be disbarred from the practice of law," said the bar's decision and recommendation.

Sanchez, according to his profile the state bar's website, was admitted to the bar in California on June 4, 1993. 

The state bar handed down its decision and recommendation in the two separate disciplinary proceedings against Sanchez that were consolidated. Charges against Sanchez in the consolidated proceedings included failing to competently perform legal services, failing to respond to client inquiries and probation violations.

In his response filed the following month, Sanchez denied all allegations against him and requested referral to the state bar's Alternative Discipline Program.

That request ultimately was denied by a judge who found Sanchez ineligible for the program, "presumably because of his prior participation in the program," the decision and recommendation said.

Sanchez was disciplined by the bar three time in less than 10 years, once in 2009, another in 2011 and the third in 2015, for which he variously received stayed suspensions and probation, according to his profile on the state bar's website. Sanchez completed the bar's Alternative Discipline Program for lawyers with substance abuse and mental health issues for the 2012 disciplinary action, according the website profile.

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State Bar Court of California