Northern California Record

Monday, November 18, 2019

Longtime Orinda attorney faces likely suspension over 'intentional misappropriation'

By Karen Kidd | Jun 10, 2018

Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

SAN FRANCISCO – Orinda attorney Allan Merle Tabor, practicing in California for 46 years, faces possible suspension following a recent California State Bar Court recommendation regarding 12 counts of misconduct in three client matters.

Tabor was found culpable on all counts, according to the 27-page decision issued May 29 by the state bar court and more recently made available on Tabor's profile at the State Bar of California's website. Allegations against Tabor in the contested disciplinary proceeding included failing to competently perform legal services, making false statements, misappropriating client funds, failing to maintain client funds in a trust account, failing to promptly payout client funds upon request and failures to communicate.

The state bar court recommended Tabor received a mostly stayed suspension of five years with actual suspension "for a minimum of two years and until he establishes his rehabilitation, fitness to practice," the decision said. The court also recommended Tabor be placed on five years of conditional probation.

The state bar court'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.

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

Tabor was admitted to the bar in California June 2, 1972, according to his profile at the state bar website. Tabor had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to his profile and the decision.

During his two-day trial in March, Tabor stipulated in two of the counts against him to having willfully misappropriated more than $3,366 "as a result of his gross negligence in handing client funds" in a statutory Medi-Cal lien, the decision said.

The Office of Chief Trial Counsel (OCTC) did not seek disbarment for Tabor, though it could have, according to the decision. "The court concludes that there are sufficiently compelling mitigating circumstances, namely [Tabor]'s 40 years of misconduct free practice, to depart from the presumed sanction of disbarment for [Tabor]'s single intentional misappropriation in the Medi-Cal lien matter," the decision said.

"Without giving the parties' positions undue weight, the court notes that OCTC does not contend that [Tabor] should be disbarred in this proceeding."

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State Bar of CaliforniaCalifornia Supreme Court