Mission Hills attorney Lauro Nick Pacheco Jr. faces a stayed suspension of two years regarding more than two dozen counts of misconduct, according to a recent California State Bar filing.
Pacheco was charged with 27 counts of misconduct in nine client matters, according to the 20-page decision issued July 27 by the state bar. Allegations against Pacheco included failures to refund unearned fees, render an accounting of client funds, perform with competence, respond to client inquiries and cooperate the state bar's disciplinary investigation, as well as the improper withdrawal from employment, according to the decision.
The state bar court found Pacheco guilty of 18 of those counts of misconduct and recommended a stayed suspension of two years and two years' probation with six months of actual suspension, according to the decision.
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 the parties can request further review within the state bar court.
Pacheco was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 8, 1994, according to his profile at the state bar website.
One of the allegations against Pacheco was that he failed to appear on behalf of a client or to inform the client that he was withdrawing his representation, according to the decision. Pacheco also was accused of failing to provide the same client with an appropriate accounting of all funds coming into his possession, according to the decision.
The state bar court found the multiple acts of misconduct, significant harm to clients and failure to make restitution to be aggravating factors in the case against Pacheco. His lack of a prior disciplinary record was found to be a mitigation factor.
At his three-day trial in April, Pacheco acknowledged his misconduct and stipulated to culpability on multiple charges, which normally would be considered in mitigation, according to the decision. )
"However, since [Pacheco] did not stipulate to these facts and culpability before the commencement of trial, he did not save the state bar significant resources or time," the decision said. "Moreover, the mitigation credit the respondent would have obtained for stipulating to facts and culpability at trial is eliminated by the respondent’s failure to cooperate during the OCTC investigations."