Los Angeles attorney Keith Goffney, currently ineligible to practice law in California, received a public reproval after being charged with six counts of misconduct, including unauthorized practice of law that he tried not to do, according to a recent state bar filing.
Goffney has maintained he is not culpable of misconduct because he disclosed his status during court proceedings in September and December 2015 but that the court would not listen to him, according to the California State Bar's June 22 decision and order of reproval. Goffney "is partially correct," the decision said.
"[Goffney] is not culpable of engaging in UPL [unauthorized practice of law] by holding himself out as being entitled to practice law when he was not an active member of the State Bar of California as charged in counts one and three because he did not hold himself out as being entitled to practice law," the decision said
Goffney was found culpable on two counts of UPL and given "the appropriate level of discipline", which is public reproval, according to the decision. The state bar also attached the condition that Goffney attend and successfully complete the state bar’s ethics school.
Goffney was admitted to the bar in California on Nov. 18, 1987 and for almost 28 years had no record of discipline, according to his profile at the state bar's website and the decision.
In June 2015, Goffney was placed on the status of not being entitled to practice law after he failed to pay a final and binding fee-arbitration award in favor of one of his clients, according to the decision.
Goffney remains ineligible to practice law in California, according to his profile.
Despite his status, Goffney filed pleadings in Los Angeles Superior Court and participated in an evidentiary hearing in September and December 2015. The superior court "was very upset with" Goffney for filing a further request on Dec. 3, 2015, according to the decision. Goffney informed the court of his status and said "he was trying to not make an appearance" but the court did not accept that statement and reported his actions to the state bar, the decision said.