San Pedro attorney Robert Arthur Degrell has been disbarred by the California State Bar after failing to comply with condition of his probation imposed in 2011 after admitting to misconduct, including misappropriation of client funds, in four separate cases.
"Except for an approximately 2 1/2-year period, [Degrell] has either been committing misconduct or subject disciplinary conditions since November 1997, said the 26-page decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment issued Sept. 25 by the state bar, disbarring Degrell. "This is close to two-thirds of his time as a practicing attorney."
Degrell told the bar he "now understands the significance of complying with his probation conditions," but he had many previous opportunities to understand that, the decision said.
"His recognition now is too late," the decision said.
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 may request further review within the state bar court.
Degrell's recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed earlier this month by the state bar court's hearing department for September.
Degrell practiced law under the name "Robert A. Dickrell" until he changed his name in 2007, according to the decision.
Degrell was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 4, 1990, according to his profile at the state bar website, which also lists his disciplinary history that begins almost 12 years later in October 2002.
In that discipline, Degrell received a stayed one-year suspension and was placed on four years' probation with 60 days of actual, for misconduct in two cases, according to information in his state bar website profile. In that suspension, Degrell stipulated to allegations that included failing to perform legal services competently, failing to promptly pay settlement funds, and making misrepresentations to the court, the state bar and to his client.
In mitigation, Degrell said his daily use of marijuana contributed to his problems and that he was attending a marijuana and narcotics anonymous meetings and limiting his practice.
His state bar profile indicates Degrell was disciplined in 2000 but does not provide details. He also was suspended in 2005, according to his profile.