California State Bar Court recommends disbarment for Auburn attorney

By Karen Kidd | Aug 12, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO  — Auburn attorney Wendell Dean Peters faces disbarment following a California State Bar Court recommendation over fifteen counts of misconduct in two consolidated notices of disciplinary

Allegations against Peters included three counts of practicing law while not entitled, three counts of practicing law while suspended, two counts of failing to obey a court order, two counts of misrepresentation, according to the 26-page decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment issued July 30 by the state bar court. Peters also faced single counts of failing to communicate significant developments, refund unearned fees and comply with conditions of disciplinary probation, in addition to allegedly collecting an illegal fee, in the contested disciplinary proceeding.

The state bar court found Peters culpable in thirteen of the counts against him, the decision and order said. The court dismissed with prejudice two separate allegations that he appeared in court and representing clients while he was suspended and knew he was not an active state bar member.

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 may request further review within the state bar court.

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

Peters' recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed earlier this month by the state bar court's hearing department for July.  The state bar court's decision and order only recently was posted to Peters' profile at the state bar website.

Peters was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 4, 1990, according to his profile at the state bar website.

Peters asked the court to consider "the extreme emotional difficulties he has faced and is working to overcome" but offered no expert testimony about those difficulties, the decision and order said. "As such, there is insufficient evidence before this court to conclude that [Peters] has fully resolved his emotional issues," the decision and order said.

"Nonetheless, the court applauds his efforts to overcome the challenges he has faced and affords limited weight in mitigation to Respondent’s emotional difficulties."

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