SAN FRANCISCO — Atascadero attorney Frederick James Wood faces a minimum 60-day suspension and a requirement he pay thousands in restitution following a State Bar of California recommendation after he was found culpable of misconduct in a single client matter.
The state bar court recommended Wood receive a stayed one-year suspension and be placed on probation for two years with at least 60 days suspended until he fulfills certain requirements, according to the 16-page decision issued Feb. 13 by the state bar court. Those requirements under the state bar court's recommendation include paying $3,885, plus interest, to former clients and a $250 sanction issued in February 2015 by the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court, according to the recommendations in the decision.
The state bar court handed down the decision after finding Wood culpable in four of the five counts of misconduct against him, according to the decision. Allegations against Wood included improper withdrawal from employment; and failing to promptly release a client file, perform legal services with competence, respond to client inquiries and obey court orders, the decision said.
The state bar's recommendation 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.
Wood's recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed earlier this month by the state bar court's hearing department for February.
Wood was admitted to the California bar on Dec. 12, 1985, according to his profile at the state bar website. Wood had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to his profile and the decision.
The state bar court also recommended Wood be ordered to take and pass the multistate professional responsibility examination within one year after the effective date of a state supreme court order or while he is suspended, whichever is longer, according to the decision.