By Karen Kidd | Aug 3, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — Victorville attorney Patrick Thomas Nichols faces disbarment following a California State Bar Court recommendation over multiple counts of alleged misconduct in two client matters.

Nichols was charged with nine counts of misconduct, according to the 22-page decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment issued July 16 by the state bar court. Eight those counts stemmed from two separate client matters and included failing to maintain client funds in a trust account, misappropriating client funds and failing to respond to client inquiries.

Nichols also was charged with seven violations of the one-year conditional disciplinary probation handed down by the state Supreme Court in September 2016.

"After considering the nature and extent of [Nichols]'s misconduct, including [Nichol]'s numerous misappropriations of client funds totaling more than $10,000, and the aggravating and mitigating circumstances, the court concludes that disbarment is the appropriate level of discipline to recommend to the Supreme Court," the decision and order 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 can request further review within the state bar court.

The state bar court's recommendation included an involuntary inactive enrollment order that rendered Nichols 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.

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

Nichols was admitted to the bar in California on Nov. 19, 2001, according to his profile at the state bar website.

In his previous discipline in September 2016, Nichols was suspended 30 days, placed on a year's probation and ordered to take the multistate professional responsibility examination, according to information on his state bar profile. That discipline was handed down after he allegedly approached a grieving family in 2015 about litigation. 

"In May 2015, Nichols showed up uninvited to the home of a couple whose son was killed in a motorcycle accident and tried to convince various members of the dead man's family to file a wrongful death suit," his state profile said.

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