Fresno attorney Benjamin Prescott Tryk faces a 60-day suspension following a California State Bar decision regarding nine counts of professional misconduct in three client matters.
Allegations against Tryk included failures to release client files, render accounts of client funds and notify client of receipt of client funds, according to the 22-page decision issued Oct. 6 by the state bar. Other allegations included falsely endorsing client check by simulation of signature, misappropriating client funds misrepresenting the amount of client fees paid, according to the decision.
The State Bar Court found Tryk culpable of seven of nine charges, according to the decision. Single counts of failure to return client papers/property and an act involving moral turpitude both were dismissed with prejudice, the decision ruled.
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.
Tryk's recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed earlier this month by the state bar court's hearing department for October. Tryk was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 4, 2007, according to his profile at the state bar website. Tryk had had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to his profile and the decision.
In one client matter, Tryk represented a woman in a slip and fall case, according to the decision. In April 2014, Tryk received a personal injury settlement check from national department store chain that was made payable to both Tryk and his client. Tryk's employment by the client ended that day, and the client received less than half the settlement check amount but no disbursement statement or cover letter was included, according to the decision.
Tryk also failed to render an accounting to the client until January of the following year when he was contacted by the state bar, which was looking into a complaint filed by the client, the decision said. That same month the state bar provided Tryk with his former client's new address, and Tryk sent the accounting, according to the decision.