SAN FRANCISCO — Los Angeles attorney Raaqim A. S. Knight, suspended in 2016 after he disappeared and abandoned his clients amid "marital and financial difficulties," faces disbarment over probation violations, according to a recent State Bar of California recommendation.
The state bar court found Knight "culpable as charged" of single counts of willfully violating court rules and failing to comply with conditions of his probation, according to the 22-page decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment issued by the court Feb. 1.
"In light of the nature of [Knight]'s culpability and the serious aggravating circumstances that far outweigh the mitigating factors, the court recommends that [Knight] be disbarred from the practice of law," the decision said.
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.
Knight's recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed earlier this month by the state bar court's hearing department for February.
Knight was admitted to the California bar on Dec. 3, 2001, according to his profile at the state bar website.
In May 2016, Knight was suspended for 90 days, followed by two years' probation, according to information on his state bar profile.
"Knight’s discipline stems from the fact that he disappeared in 2013 while experiencing marital and financial difficulties," his profile says. "He abandoned his clients and forced them to find new counsel."
At that time, Knight was charged with 10 counts of misconduct in three client matters, including failure to perform legal services with competence, to obtain the court's permission to withdraw and to return client papers, according to his profile.
Knight, who had no prior record of discipline, had been "suffering from extreme emotional difficulties" and cooperated with the state bar, according to his profile.
The following July, he was suspended for failing to pay his bar membership dues, his profile said.
Knight has since failed to comply with the terms of his probation, including requirements he file quarterly reports and attend ethics school, and despite multiple state bar efforts to reach out to him, according to the decision. Knight's "indifference to his discipline requirements is a significant aggravating factor," the decision said.