Montana attorney Harris Day Himes, licensed in California for almost 40 years, faces possible suspension following a State Bar of California recommendation after his 2013 securities fraud conviction.
A state bar court hearing department recommended the California Supreme Court hand down a one-year stayed suspension against Himes, of Hamilton, Montana, and place him on two years' conditional probation, according to the 25-page decision issued Jan. 31 and signed by the state bar court Judge Donald F. Miles. The hearing department also recommended Himes be required to take and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination.
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 can request further review within the state bar court.
Himes's recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed earlier this month by the state bar court's hearing department for January. Himes was admitted to the California bar May 31, 1979, according to his profile at the state bar website.
In September 2013, Himes was found guilty by a Madison County Montana District Court jury on three counts of securities fraud. The following December was sentenced to 10 years in prison with all but 90 days of the sentence suspended. The following July, Himes was placed on interim suspension in California, according to information on his state bar profile.
In March 2015, the Montana Supreme Court remanded the case back to the district court for a new trial but upheld a $150,000 restitution order against Himes.
"On Dec. 7, 2015, on remand, the trial court dismissed the fraudulent practices felony charge and ordered [Himes] to begin serving the sentence it had previously imposed for the other two convictions", the state bar decision said
In may 2017, Himes' convictions were referred to the state bar court to consider disciplining Himes who filed his response the following June, according to the decision. "In his response, [Himes] alleged that neither the convictions nor the underlying circumstances of those convictions involved moral turpitude," the decision said.