Long-time Stockton attorney faces possible disbarment after being caught passing drugs to imprisoned client

By Karen Kidd | Jun 7, 2018

Suspended long-time Stockton attorney Carl Douglas Spieckerman faces disbarment by default following a May 7 California State Bar Court recommendation over his conviction last year after he was caught passing marijuana and other drugs to his client during a 2016 prison visit.

SAN FRANCISCO — Suspended long-time Stockton attorney Carl Douglas Spieckerman faces disbarment by default following a May 7 California  State Bar Court recommendation over his conviction last year after he was caught passing marijuana and other drugs to his client during a 2016 prison visit.

Spieckerman's conviction stemmed from his June 2016 visit to Central California Women's Facility, a state prison in Chowchilla, where correctional officers observed the attorney pass a black popcorn bag to his incarcerated client, according to the state bar court's nine-page decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment. Correctional officers searched Speickerman's client and found the popcorn bag that contained 15 grams of marijuana, two amphetamine and morphine pills, and 11 grams of methamphetamine.

At the time, Spieckerman denied passing the drugs to his client "and falsely suggested that a correctional officer smuggled the marijuana to his client," the recommendation said. The following December, Spieckerman plead guilty to one of four counts against him, knowingly possessing marijuana in a state prison without authorization. The superior court placed Spieckerman on three years probation with the condition that he be confined for 228 days, for which he received credit for 203 days that he already had been confined, the recommendation said.

Spieckerman was placed on interim suspension last summer following his conviction.

Spieckerman failed to participate in person or via counsel, and the state bar's decision and order for disbarment were 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 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.

Spieckerman's recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed earlier this month by the state bar court's hearing department for May.  

Spieckerman was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 18, 1975, according to his profile at the state bar website. Spieckerman had no prior discipline before the state bar, but there are three other disciplinary matters pending against him, according to his profile and the state bar court's recommendation.

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