Santa Barbara attorney faces disbarment by default following alleged probation violations

By Karen Kidd | Nov 12, 2017

Santa Barbara attorney and former Mendocino County district attorney Joseph Dulles Allen faces disbarment by default following a California State Bar decision for alleged probation violations.  

Allen, who will be 73 in January, was accused of failing to comply with conditions of a previous probation by failing to contact the probation office schedule a meeting, meet with the probation office and to submit two quarterly reports, according to the seven-page decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment issued by the state bar Oct. 13.

Allen failed to participate in person or via counsel and 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.

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.

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

Allen was admitted to the bar in California on Jan. 12, 1971, according to his profile at the state bar website. He was a deputy public defender in Mendocino County, Ukiah, until 1973 when he became chief public defender. He was the county's district attorney from 1979 to 1983 before going into private practice in Santa Barbara.

In August 2016, Allen was suspended for 60 days and placed on two years' probation after he stipulated to misconduct in a personal injury claim, according to the stipulation and information on his state bar profile. Allegations against Allen included failing to file a civil action prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations, to file an opposition to a defense motion and to appear or provide appearance counsel at a hearing, according to information on his state bar profile.

Allen's nearly 44 years of practice without discipline, his admission of wrongdoing and his pro bono legal services provided to homeless people were considered mitigating factors in that matter, according to information on his state bar profile.

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