California state bar court recommends Virginia attorney be disbarred by default

By Karen Kidd | Nov 12, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO (Northern California Record) — Longtime Virginia attorney Wayne Richard Hartke faces possible disbarment by default following a recently announced California State Bar Court recommendation and suspension in his home state after appearing drunk at a conference.

Hartke, of Falls Church, Virgnia, did not response to charges against him in California and gave no reason why discipline on the East Coast should not mean discipline on the West Coast, according to the eight-page decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment issued Oct. 30 by the state bar court.

"By (1) making two separate misrepresentations to Virginia courts in the 2011 Virginia disciplinary case and another in the 2017 Virginia disciplinary case, and (2) misrepresenting material facts in connection with the investigation of the 2015 Virginia disciplinary matter before finally admitting the truth [Hartke] willfully violated Business and Professions Code section 6106," 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.

Hartke's recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed earlier this month by the state bar court's hearing department for October. The decision and order against Hratke was only more recently uploaded to his state bar profile.

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

Hartke was admitted to the bar in California on June 17, 1974 and he has no other disciplinary matters pending against him in California, according to the decision and order.  

Hartke was most recently suspended in Virginia, this time for five years, for violating professional rules governing candor toward the tribunal, according to a Virginia State Bar announcement. The suspension was made consecutive with a previous three-year suspension handed down in October 2016, meaning his most recent suspension won't become effective until Oct. 27, 2019, according to the announcement.

Before those suspensions, Hartke was suspended in Virginia in April 2015 for six months after he allegedly appeared drunk, asleep and snoring at a continuing legal education seminar in January 2014.

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California Supreme Court State Bar Court of California State Bar of California Virginia State Bar

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