SAN FRANCISCO (Northern California Record) — Longtime Bakersfield attorney Gregory Henrick Mitts faces possible suspension following a recently announced California State Bar Court recommendation over 12 counts of misconduct in three separate client matters and a probation condition.
The state bar court recommend Mitts receive a two-year suspension with all but a minimum of six months stayed and that he be placed on two years' conditional probation, according to the 22-page decision issued Dec. 13 by the state bar court. The court also recommended Mitts be ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution to one client, in addition to costs in the matter.
Mitts was charged with violating professional conduct rules, including those regarding competence and improper withdrawal, and failures to respond to client inquiries, to inform client of significant developments, render an accounting, obey a court order and refund unearned fees.
In February, Mitts admitted to culpability in 11 of the counts against him, according to the 22-page decision issued Dec. 13 by the state bar court.
"Given the judicial admission, this court finds by clear and convincing evidence that [Mitts] is culpable of the misconduct in those 11 counts," the decision said. "Moreover, this court finds the respondent culpable of [a 12th] count."
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 when parties can further review within the state bar court.
Mitts' recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed earlier this month by the state bar court's hearing department for December.
Mitts was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 22, 1976, according to his profile at the state bar website. In a single previous discipline, Mitts was privately reproved in August 2012 after he stipulated to misconduct in a single client matter, according to the decision.
Mitts admitted he represented a client in a post-conviction matter but, over a two-year period, he failed to take action on his client's behalf.