New York attorney disbarred following bank larceny conviction

By Karen Kidd | Sep 27, 2017

New York attorney Richard Leo Denman has been disbarred by the California State Bar following a conviction on a misdemeanor charge of bank larceny, according to a recent decision.

Denman pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor violation in June 2016, according to the state's bar's Aug. 4 decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment, disbarring Denman. In December, the state bar's chief trial counsel transmitted evidence that Denman's conviction was final and in January the review department referred the matter to the hearing department for a hearing and decision recommending the discipline, according to the seven-page decision.

Denman largely failed to participate in person or via counsel and state bar's decision and order for disbarment was entered by default. In cases such as this, when an attorney fails to participate in a California State Bar disciplinary proceeding despite adequate notice and opportunity, the bar invokes Rule 5.85, which provides the procedure for the state bar to recommend an attorney’s disbarment.

The bar's decision is pending final action by the California Supreme Court, an appeal before the bar's Review Department or expiration of time in which parties to may request further review within the State Bar Court.

Denman was admitted to the bar in California on April 27, 1993, according to his profile at the state bar's website.

Denman has been ineligible to practice law in California since July 1, 2014, when he was suspended for failing to pay his bar membership dues, according to information listed on his profile page at the state bar's website. He was placed on interim suspension in February following the bank larceny conviction, which the state bar found to be a crime involving moral turpitude.

That same month a state bar senior trial counsel spoke with Denman by telephone, according to the state bar's decision and order. Denman "evinced awareness of the conviction referral proceeding, but said he had already submitted his resignation to the State Bar of California," the decision and order said.

Denman told the senior trial counsel he did not intend to participate in the state bar's disciplinary proceeding and no resignation has been found, according to the decision and order.

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