Carmichael attorney Robert Norik Kitay is under 18-month suspension for multiple counts of misconduct, including using his law firm email account during a previous period of suspension, according to a recent California State Bar filing.
Kitay was found culpable of 10 counts of misconduct, including issuing insufficiently funded checks and failing to obey a court order, according to the 28-page decision issued May 25 by the state bar's hearing department.
"In light of the serious nature and extent of respondent’s misconduct, as well as the mitigating and aggravating circumstances, the court recommends that respondent be suspended from the practice of law for two years, that execution of suspension be stayed, that he be placed on probation for two years, and that he be actually suspended for 18 months," the decision said.
Kitay was admitted to the bar in California on Jan. 29, 2004, according to his profile at the state bar website.
The decision was not the attorney’s first discipline from the state bar, according to his profile page. In November 2014, Kitay was suspended for six months and ordered to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) after he admitted to misconduct in two client matters.
That suspension was relevant in some of the allegations against Kitay. In October 2014, he agreed to represent a woman in a marital dissolution case, according to the decision. Kitay did not inform the client of that suspension until the month after it began.
Although the hearing department found no clear and convincing evidence in that instance that Kitay held himself out as entitled to practice law, he did continue to use his law firm email address, with the tag of his law office address, in correspondence with clients, according to the decision. "A suspended attorney cannot expressly or impliedly create or leave undisturbed the false impression that the attorney has the ability to practice law," the decision said.
Kitay also was found culpable of commingling his personal funds with client funds when he deposited his own money into a client trust account to cover insufficient funds and failing to comply with a court order to pay $2,200 in sanctions in 2011 case.
The state bar hearing department also dismissed a count of writing a check for which there were insufficient funds.