San Diego attorney Manuel Angel Gonzalez faces a possible minimum of two years' suspension following a California State Bar recommendation regarding 25 counts of misconduct in six consolidated matters.
The California State Bar Court found Gonzalez, "by clear and convincing evidence", culpable on 21 of those counts, according to the 28-page decision issued Dec. 18 by the state bar court. Allegations against Gonzalez including failing to perform legal services with competence, failing to respond to client inquiries, failing to refund unearned fees, improperly withdrawing from representation and practicing law while suspended, according to the decision.
Gonzalez also allegedly failed to cooperate in disciplinary investigations, according to the decision.
The state bar court recommended Gonzalez be suspended for the minimum two years. | Contributed image
The state bar court recommended Gonzalez be suspended for the minimum two years and until he pays $14,400 plus interest in restitution and provides proof to his rehabilitation, fitness to practice, and learning and ability in the general law, according to the decision.
The state bar's decision is pending final action by the California Supreme Court, and an appeal before the state bar's review department or expiration of the time in which parties can request further review within the state bar court.
Gonzalez's recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed by the state bar court's hearing department for December 2017. Gonzalez was admitted to the bar in California on April 29, 2002, according to his profile at the state bar website.
Allegations against Gonzalez stem from two periods, May 27 to July 26, 2011, and Feb. 6, 2012 to the present, when he was not entitled to practice law in California because of previous disciplines detailed in his state bar profile. Gonzalez also suffered a hemorrhagic stroke in 2012 and was incapacitated for an extended period of time during proceedings against him, according to the decision.
The state bar court recommended Gonzalez receive a stayed suspension of three years and that he be placed on four years' probation to include a minimum two years of actual suspension, according to the decision.