L.A. attorney privately reproved following series of alcohol, substance abuse incidents

By Karen Kidd | Aug 27, 2017

Los Angeles attorney Raj Tanden has been privately reproved after a series of alcohol and other substance abuse-related incidents that began in 2010, including two DUI convictions, according to a recent California State Bar filing.

The state bar court found the circumstances surrounding Tanden's two DUI convictions did not involve moral turpitude, according to the decision and amended order of private reproval issued July 10. The 31-page decision detailed a series of alcohol and substance-abuse related problems that began after Tanden suffered major injuries in separate bicycling and skiing accidents in 2010 when he was prescribed highly addictive opiate pain killers.  

A follow-up decision errata and modification was filed by the state bar Aug. 8 to correct a typographical mistake.

Tanden was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 1, 1992, according to his profile at the state bar website.

"In the near quarter-century since his admission, he has been discipline free," the original decision said. "Even now the disciplinary charges against him do not arise out of his dealings with clients."

A successful and recognized expert on tax law, Tanden "has been plagued during the last decade with the demons of marital strife, physical injuries suffered in recreational activities, and resulting and recurring problems with alcohol and prescription drug abuse," the original decision said. "The two convictions generating this disciplinary proceeding arise from his driving while under the influence of either alcohol or prescriptions drugs."

Although the state bar court did not find the circumstances of Tanden’s two DUI convictions involved moral turpitude, it did find his conduct warranted discipline, the original decision said. "While there is no evidence that [Tanden]'s problems with substance abuse caused any actual harm to a client in the past, there is clearly a nexus between such substance abuse and [Tanden]'s practice of the law," the original decision said.

The state bar court found the multiple acts of misconduct were an aggravating factor in its decision. Tanden's otherwise clean disciplinary record, evidence of his good character, hundreds of hours of community service, family problems and substance abuse problems, as well as remorse and remediation, were mitigating factors in the decision.

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