LOS ANGELES (Northern California Record) – Calabasas attorney Michael Thomas Stoller faces suspension and probation following a recent California State Bar Court recommendation after he was charged with two counts of misconduct in two matters stemming from an unpaid sanction order.
Stoller allegedly willfully failed to obey a court order and to report judicial sanctions, according to the 21-page decision issued May 11 in which the state bar court recommended the attorney receive a stayed two-year suspension. The state bar court recommended Stoller's suspension be followed by two years of probation with six months of actual suspension "and until he complies with the underlying sanctions order," the recommendation said.
The allegations against Stoller stemmed from a sanctions order issued in August 2016 by Los Angeles County Superior Court in which Stoller was ordered to pay $3,000 but failed to pay by an Oct. 1, 2016, deadline. "Indeed, he still had not paid the sanction as of the date of trial in this matter," 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.
Stoller's recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed by the state bar court's hearing department for May.
Stoller was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 10, 1985, according to his profile at the state bar website.
If the state bar court's recommendation is sustained, it will not be the first time that Stoller has been suspended for misconduct in California. In July 2011, Stoller received a stayed three-year suspension and two years of probation with 60 days of actual suspension after he stipulated to misconduct in seven matters, according to information on his state bar profile. Four of those matters involved bankruptcy petitions in which Stoller opened a multi-state practice in Arizona where he was not admitted to handle bankruptcy cases. He also filed several petitions in Arizona.
In a previous discipline, Stoller received a stayed two-year suspension with two year probation after he admitted to not performing with competence in five bankruptcy cases, according to information on his state bar profile.