SAN FRANCISCO (Northern California Record) — Petaluma attorney Celeste Marie Vogler faces disbarment by default following a California State Bar Court recommendation over felony vehicular convictions in 2001, more than a decade before she was admitted to the bar in California.
"Even though [Vogler]'s convictions occurred more than 16 years ago and more than 10 years before [Vogler] was even admitted to the practice of law in this state, the State Bar Court Review Department suspended [her] from the practice of law effective Oct. 30, 2017, pending the final disposition of this proceeding," said the eight-page decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment issued June 1 by the state bar court.
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 order that rendered Vogler 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.
Vogler 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.
Vogler knew about the conviction referral proceeding against her but elected to allow it to proceed by default, according to the decision and order. The state bar's default was entered in December. Four other conviction referral proceedings are pending against Vogler, according to the decision and order.
Vogler's recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed earlier this month by the state bar court's hearing department for June.
Vogler was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 19, 2011, according to her profile at the state bar website. Vogler had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to her profile.
In December 2001, Vogler pleaded guilty to felony counts of taking an automobile without the owner's consent and fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer, according to the decision and order.