SAN FRANCISCO (Northern California Record) — Longtime Dixon attorney Dane Allen Besneatte faces probation following a California State Bar Court recommendation after he allegedly lied to a judge in 2012 about why his client didn't attend a trial conference.
"In this contested original, disciplinary proceeding, respondent Dane Allen Besneatte is charged with three counts of misconduct involving a single client matter," said the 20-page decision issued July 18 by the state bar court. "During a trial management conference in superior court, the respondent stated that his client was not present in court because the respondent received an email indicating that his client rushed his wife to the hospital. In fact, the respondent never received such email from his client."
Besneatte allegedly made the comments to a Solano County Superior Court judge in October 2012 while representing his client who had been involved in a auto accident while driving under the influence with his 6-year-old son in the car, according to the decision. Besneatte's client "never indicated that his wife had an emergency," the decision said.
The state bar court found Besneatte culpable of charges that he sought to mislead a judge and misrepresentation but dismissed as duplicative a charge of failing to obey a court order. The state bar court recommend Besneatte receive a stayed one-year suspension and that he be placed on a year of conditional probation, according to the decision.
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.
Besneatte's recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed earlier this month by the state bar court's hearing department for July.
Besneatte was admitted to the bar in California on July 18, 1979, according to his profile at the state bar website.
In a prior discipline on his record in California, Besneatte was publicly reproved and placed on two years' conditional probation in August 1993 after he was found culpable of failing to respond to his client's reasonable status inquiries and inform his client that he failed to remove a mechanics lien from her home. Besneatte was also found culpable in that discipline of failing to take material action in his clients' civil case.