Inactively enrolled San Jose attorney disbarred over misconduct

By Karen Kidd | Jul 31, 2017

San Jose attorney Vi Katerina Tran has been disbarred by the California State Bar over four counts of misconduct stemming from a single client matter and other allegations, according to a recent decision.

Tran allegedly failed to promptly respond to numerous reasonable client status inquiries, according to the decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment issued June 20. Tran also allegedly terminated her employment without notice to her clients, failed to promptly turn over her clients’ papers and property upon her clients’ request, and didn't provide a substantive response to the allegations in a the state bar's disciplinary investigation, according to the decision.

Tran failed to participate in person or via counsel and state bar's decision and order for disbarment was entered by default. In such cases, when an attorney fails to participate in a California State Bar disciplinary proceeding despite adequate notice and opportunity, the bar invokes Rule 5.85, which provides the procedure for the state bar to recommend an attorney’s disbarment.

The bar's decision is pending final action by the California Supreme Court, an appeal before the bar's Review Department or expiration of time in which parties to may request further review within the State Bar Court.

Tran was admitted to the bar in California Nov. 22, 2006, according to her profile on the state bar's website.

The state bar issued its order for an entry for default on Jan. 30 and Tran has remained inactively enrolled since then, according to the decision. Tran did not respond to an order to show cause issued in March and the State Bar filed the petition for disbarment May 9. Tran also did not respond to the petition for disbarment and the case was submitted to the court for decision June 6, according to the June 20 filing.

The decision also noted that the state bar has not had contact with Tran since the default was entered, that Tran has no prior record of discipline and that the Client Security Fund has not made any payments resulting from Tran’s conduct. Other disciplinary matters are pending against Tran, according to the decision.

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