Northern California Record

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Santa Monica attorney to be reproved for unauthorized practice of law in Arizona

By Karen Kidd | Nov 5, 2017

General court 08

Santa Monica attorney Cynthia Ann Futter has been recommended for private reproval with public disclosure by the California State Bar following her 2015 discipline before the Arizona State Bar for unauthorized practice of law in that state, according to a recent filing.

Futter, during the Arizona proceedings, admitted to violating rules before that state's bar when she said she was general counsel for a homeowners' association (HOA) when she wasn't licensed to practice law in that state, according to the 15-page decision issued Sept. 8 by the California State Bar. The discipline handed down in California was reciprocal. The effective date of Futter’s reproval is Oct. 14, according to information on her profile at the state bar's website.

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. Futter's recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed earlier this month by the state bar court's hearing department for September.  

Futter was admitted to the bar in California on June. 7, 1984, according to her profile.

Futter's discipline in Arizona stemmed from her time working for the HOA in Phoenix, beginning in March 2009, according to the decision. Initially, Futter was general counsel pending for a few weeks until the HOA hired an Arizona lawfirm and she later became the HOA's business consultant by interfacing with unit owners, according to the decision.

Her agreement with the HOA stated she would not render legal services and noted Futter was not licensed in Arizona, but "she not only performed legal services for the HOA, she held herself out to others, on multiple occasions, as 'general counsel' to the HOA," the decision said.

Futter entered into a agreement for discipline by consent during a hearing before the Arizona Supreme Court Sept. 1, 2015, following allegations she'd negligently engaged in unauthorized practice of law, according to the California State Bar's decision. A month later the Arizona State Bar accepted the agreement and reprimanded Futter. She also was required to pay costs and expense of the state bar, according to the decision.

The California State Bar initiated its own proceedings this past March, according to the decision.

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State Bar of CaliforniaCalifornia Supreme Court