SAN FRANCISCO (Northern California Record) – Los Angeles attorney Richard J. Sullivan faces suspension and probation following a recent California State Bar Court recommendation regarding allegations that include professional misconduct and failing to report court sanctions.
The state bar court recommended Sullivan receive a stayed two-year suspension followed by two years of probation with 18 months of actual suspension and until he has made restitution and proves his rehabilitation, according to its 23-page decision issued May 7.
The contested matter involves a disciplinary proceeding and a conviction referral in which Sullivan is alleged to failed to obey a court order, report court sanctions and cooperate with the State Bar of California, in addition to committing an act of moral turpitude, according to the decision issued by the state bar court. The conviction referral matter was based on Sullivan's alcohol-related misdemeanor conviction of reckless driving
"The court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that (Sullivan) is culpable of the alleged misconduct, and that the facts and circumstances surrounding his misdemeanor conviction involved moral turpitude warranting discipline," the state bar court's recommendation said.
On the second day of Sullivan's trial in March, the state bar court granted his request for a late start and a two-hour lunch break, from which Sullivan did not return, according to the decision. "To date, the court has not heard from (Sullivan) for his failure to return to trial," 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.
Sullivan's recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed by the state bar court's hearing department for May.
Sullivan was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 13, 1993, according to his profile at the state bar website.
In a previous discipline in August 2002, Sullivan received a stayed one-year suspension after he stipulated to allegations in a contingency fee case, according to information on his state bar profile. In that case, Sullivan allegedly failed to promptly pay a client's former attorney and almost all of the client's medical providers the settlement funds to which they were entitled in addition to failing to properly maintain his client's funds and misappropriating funds.