Attorney Robert Lindsay Earle Jr., of Sedona, Arizona, practicing 42 years in California, has been disbarred by the California State Bar following the Arizona Supreme Court's decision to disbar the attorney earlier this year.
Earle's disbarment in Arizona was effective March 23 and he also was ordered to pay $45,172 to three clients, in addition to costs and expenses, according to an announcement by the Arizona State Bar in April. Earle's disbarment in Arizona followed four counts of misconduct, including funds going missing or unaccounted for in his client trust account, overbilling a client and keeping unwarranted funds, according to the Arizona State Bar's announcement.
Earle's disbarment in California is part of an eight-page decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment issued Sept. 21 by the California State Bar. 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.
Earle's recommended discipline in California was among the dispositions filed earlier this month by the state bar court's hearing department for September.
Earle was admitted to the bar in California on June 27, 1975, according to his profile at the California State Bar website.
Earle failed to participate in person or via counsel and the California State Bar's decision and order for disbarment was entered by default. In such cases, in which 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.
Earle was placed on interim suspension in Arizona this past December following allegations of client fund misappropriation, according to an Arizona State Bar announcement Dec. 9. Earle also was alleged to have misappropriated third party funds in multiple cases and to have violated ethical obligations, according to the December announcement.
In a previous discipline, Earle was admonished and ordered to pay restitution to his client and the Arizona State Bar within 30 days of a March 2015 order, according to the Arizona State Bar's April announcement. As of that announcement, neither the state bar nor the client has received full restitution as ordered, according to the announcement.