Los Angeles attorney Kenneth William Szalonek has been disbarred by the California State Bar over 12 counts of alleged business and professional conduct violations in two separate bankruptcy client matters, according to a recent decision.
The state bar also recommended Szalonek be ordered to make restitution to his clients in both matters, according to the state bar’s nine-page decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment, disbarring Szalonek. The state bar recommended the California Supreme Court order Szalonek to pay $1,790 plus interest to one client and $8,000 plus interest to a second client, from whose cases the 12 counts of allegations arose, according to the decision.
The state bar handed down the decision July 11.
The state bar filed its notice of disciplinary charges against Szalonek in October, according to the decision. Szalonek has been ineligible to practice law in California since January, the same month that an order of default was entered against him, according to information on his state bar profile.
The state bar's decision is pending final action by the California Supreme Court, an appeal before the state bar's Review Department or expiration of time in which parties to may request further review within the State Bar Court.
Szalonek was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 2, 2003, according to his profile at the state bar website.
Szalonek failed to participate in person or via counsel and state bar's decision and order for disbarment was entered by default.
Szalonek is alleged to have filed a Chapter 7 rather than a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on behalf of one client, which caused that client's assets to be seized and put up for sale, according to the decision. In a separate client matter, Szalonek is alleged to have "repeatedly and recklessly" failed to take action to stop or delay foreclosure his clients' real property and to have made misrepresentations to them about a request to rescind the foreclosure sale of their real property, according to the decision.
In both client matters, Szalonek is alleged to have not returned his clients' papers after they fired him and to have failed to respond to a state bar investigation.
Szalonek had no previous discipline before the state bar, according to his profile.