SAN FRANCISCO (Northern California Record) — Carmichael attorney Robert Norik Kitay faces disbarment following a State Bar Court of California recommendation after being found culpable of multiple counts of misconduct.
"The court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that [Kitay] is culpable of three counts of misconduct," said the 18-page decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment issued April 5 by the state bar court. "Based upon the nature and extent of culpability, as well as the applicable mitigating and aggravating circumstances, the court recommends that [Kitay] be disbarred."
In the contested disciplinary proceeding, the State Bar of California's office of chief trial counsel had charged Kitay with five counts of professional misconduct in two client matters. The alleged misconduct included communicating with a represented party and failures to perform with competence, release client files, respond to client inquiries and return unearned fees.
The state bar court found Kitay culpable of three ethical violations in the two matters, one of which involved a client. “Disbarment is both necessary and appropriate since [Kitay] 's current violations, when considered with his prior misconduct, evidences a continuing disregard for his ethical responsibilities,” the decision and order 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.
Kitay's recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed earlier this month by the state bar court's hearing department for April.
Kitay was admitted to the bar in California on Jan. 29, 2004, according to his profile at the state bar website.
In a previous discipline, Kitay was suspended for six months and placed on two years' probation in November 2014 after he stipulated to misconduct in two client matters, according to information on his state bar profile. Kitay stipulated to making misrepresentations, not transferring assigned settlement funds to a third party and failing to perform competently.
Last spring the state bar recommended an 18-month suspension for Kitay after he was found culpable of 10 counts of misconduct, including issuing insufficiently funded checks and failing to obey a court order.