SAN FRANCISCO (Northern California Record) — Modesto attorney Gabriel Gerardo Castillo faces disbarment by default following a California State Bar Court recommendation over allegations involving numerous ethical violations in six matters.
The state bar court also recommended that Castillo be ordered to pay more than $12,000 in restitution, plus interest, to six clients, according to the court's 15-page decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment issued June 1.
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 can request further review within the state bar court.
The state bar court's recommendation included an involuntary inactive enrollment order that rendered Castillo involuntarily enrolled as an inactive member of the State Bar of California. That order was effective three calendar days after service, according to the recommendation.
Castillo failed to participate in person or via counsel and state bar's decision and 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 entered in February.
Castillo's recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed earlier this month by the state bar court's hearing department for June.
Castillo was admitted to the bar in California on June 9, 2008, according to his profile at the state bar website.
In a previous discipline in October 2016, Castillo, then 36, received a stayed one-year suspension and was placed on two years' probation, with 90 days of actual suspension, over allegations stemming from three client matters, according to the decision and order information on his state bar profile. Castillo was found culpable in two counts of failure to perform with competence, two counts of failure to communicate, three counts of failure to refund unearned fees, an act of moral turpitude and improper withdrawal from employment. Indifference and multiple acts of wrongdoing were considered the aggravating factors in that discipline while Castillo's community service, including pro bono services on behalf of several clients in immigration cases, were considered in mitigation.