Beverly Hills attorney disbarred following nine counts of misconduct

By Karen Kidd | Aug 18, 2017

Beverly Hills attorney Gail Judith Higgins, has been disbarred by the California State Bar following nine counts of misconduct involving two separate client matter, according to a recent decision.

Allegations against Higgins included professional conduct rules violations, according to the state bar’s 11-page decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment, disbarring Higgins. Other allegations included failing to notify her clients that their bankruptcy proceeding was dismissed because of her failure to respond to the bankruptcy court’s case commencement deficiency notice and other violations in relation to bankruptcy proceedings, according to the decision.

One count, that Higgins falsely represented to her clients that she was a certified consumer bankruptcy specialist after her specialist certification had been revoked, was dismissed with prejudice "for want of proof", according to the decision. A separate count of making false statements regarding the status of her clients’ bankruptcy proceeding also was dismissed with prejudice for the same reason, according to the decision.

Higgins was found to have violated state bar rules of professional conduct by failing to refund $4,700 in unearned fees and failing to respond to a state bar investigation, according to the decision.

The state bar handed down the decision July 20. The bar's order for entry of default was issued Feb. 16.

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.

Higgins was admitted to the bar in California on June 15, 1993, according to her profile at the state bar website.

Higgins had one prior record of discipline before the state bar, according to the decision and information on her profile at the state bar website. In August 2010, Higgins received a stayed one-year suspension, was placed on two years' probation with 30 days of actual suspension after she stipulated to misconduct in three matters, according to information on her profile. In that discipline, Higgins successfully completed the state bar's alternative discipline program after she demonstrated a connection between her mental health issues and her misconduct.

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