Oakland attorney faces probation after found culpable of failing to supervise support staff

By Karen Kidd | Apr 5, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO (Northern California Record) — Oakland attorney DeWitt Marcellus Lacy faces probation following a recommendation issued March 5 in a State Bar of California decision that he allegedly failed to properly supervise his support staff during an appeals court matter in 2015.

The state bar court recommended Lacy receive a stayed one-year suspension and be placed on two years' probation with conditions, according to the 19-page decision issued by the state bar court. The decision also recommended Lacy be ordered to take and pass the multistate professional responsibility exam within one year after the effective date the Supreme Court's order imposed discipline in the matter and that Lacy be required to pay the state bar's costs in the proceedings.

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.

Lacy's recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed earlier this month by the state bar court's hearing department for March.  Lacy was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 3, 2008, according to his profile at the state bar website.

Lacy originally was charged in the contested disciplinary matter with nine counts of misconduct, including seeking to mislead a judge, misrepresentation, failure to maintain respect to the court, maintaining an unjust action and failure to obey a court order. "After thorough consideration", the state bar court found Lacy culpable on only one of the counts against him, failure to perform legal services with competence.

That count arose from allegations that Lacy failed "to supervise support staff responsible for serving and filing court documents which resulted in the status reports due on the first court days of January 2015 and July 2015 being filed late," the decision said.

"The court agrees. The evidence before the court demonstrates that [Lacy], who delegated much of these responsibilities to his support staff, willfully failed to perform legal services with competence by repeatedly filing his clients' status reports late with the Court of Appeal."

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