Northern California Record

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

San Francisco attorney faces suspension following alleged misconduct and disbarment in Northern District Court

By Karen Kidd | Feb 8, 2018

General court 09

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco attorney Gregory Melvin Haynes faces suspension following a State Bar of California recommendation over alleged misconduct during Northern District Court proceedings in 2009 and 2010.

The state bar court recommended Haynes receive a two-year suspension, with all but nine months stayed, and that he be placed on three years of conditional probation, according to the 32-page decision issued by the court Jan. 12. Haynes allegedly failed to comply with court orders, failed to follow rules of practice and committed "professional misconduct involving abusive and antagonistic behavior toward opposing counsel," the decision said.

The misconduct was "primarily limited to two client matters," the decision said.

"This court concludes that it has not been established by clear and convincing evidence that (Haynes') misconduct rises to the level of a pattern of misconduct."

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.

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

Haynes was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 12, 1983, according to his profile at the state bar website. Haynes had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to his profile and the state bar court's decision. 

"His 26 years of discipline-free conduct prior to the present misconduct warrants highly significant consideration in mitigation," the decision said.

The decision details misconduct Haynes allegedly committed, including profanity-laced emails to opposing counsel, filing a notice of appeal that his client emphatically did not want filed, and questioning a court committee's "authority and impartiality" to investigate a complaint against him.

A Northern District Court judge reportedly found Haynes' conduct "reprehensible," and noted Haynes' had been sanctioned for discovery abuses and was repeatedly late in filing submissions, including opposition to a summary judgment motion, according to the decision. Haynes' alleged misconduct resulted in his clients’ cases being dismissed without adjudication on the merits, according to the decision.

Haynes was disbarred from the Northern District Court in March 2013.

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