Santa Monica attorney faces disbarment over misappropriation, bad checks and trust fund issues

By Karen Kidd | Sep 11, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO (Northern California Record) – Santa Monica attorney Lisa Lynn Maki faces possible disbarment following a recently announced California State Bar Court recommendation over nine counts of misconduct in three unrelated client matters

Allegations against Maki included misappropriation, failure to maintain client funds in a trust account, bad checks and failure to pay client funds promptly, according to the 47-page decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment issued Aug. 21 by the state bar court.

The decision and order describes Maki's alleged misappropriation of hundreds of thousands of dollars in client funds, some of which were later covered by bad checks and a loan from an attorney friend who had not yet been paid back at the time of hearing. "(Maki's) wrongful misappropriation of the funds of her clients was accomplished with numerous inappropriate transfers and other uses of their funds," the decision and order said.

Maki stipulated to facts in the case, "freely admitted all of the moral turpitude/trust account violations in this case" and also repaid her former clients the previously misappropriated funds, according to the decision and order. However, that Maki committed multiple acts of misconduct and that the misconduct caused "significant harm" were considered aggravating factors in the state bar court's decision to recommend Maki be disbarred.

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 Maki 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.

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

Maki was admitted to the bar in California on June 8, 1992, according to her profile at the state bar website. Maki had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to the decision and order.

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