SAN FRANCISCO (Northern California Record) — Victorville attorney Jimmy Philip Mettias, admitted to the bar eight years ago, faces disbarment by default following a State Bar of California recommendation after he was charged with seven counts of misconduct stemming, in part, from a failure to resolve his clients' probate matter in 2016.
Mettias failed to perform with competence when he repeatedly failed to appear at court hearings and to perform services for his clients who retained him in the probate matter from April 28-Nov. 14, 2016, according to the eight-page decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment issued April 25 by the state bar court.
In another count against him, Mettias allegedly, "by dishonestly or grossly negligently," misappropriated $110,710.84 owed to his clients, according to the order.
Mettias failed to participate in person or via counsel and state bar's decision and the order for disbarment was entered by default. In such cases, in which an attorney fails to participate in a California State Bar disciplinary proceeding despite adequate notice and opportunity, the bar invokes Rule 5.85, which provides the procedure for the state bar to recommend an attorney’s disbarment.
The state bar's entry for default was issued in November. Mettias was served with the petition for disbarment in March but he did not seek to have his default set aside or vacated.
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 the parties can request further review within the state bar court.
Mettias' recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed earlier this month by the state bar court's hearing department for April.
Mettias was admitted to the bar in California on May 20, 2010, according to his profile at the state bar website.
In a previous discipline, Mettias received a stayed suspension of one year and was placed on a year of probation after he stipulated failure to perform with competence, knowingly made misrepresentations to his married clients and failed to promptly provide his clients their file, according to the order.