San Francisco attorney faces possible disbarment for allegedly impersonating another lawyer

By Karen Kidd | Feb 6, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco attorney Christopher Matthew Weidinger faces possible disbarment by default following a recently announced California State Bar Court recommendation over allegations he has impersonated another attorney multiple times since 2013.

Weidinger's impersonation included in writing to the Department of Industrial Relation Electronic Adjudication Management System in February 2013, according to the nine-page decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment issued Jan. 24 by the state bar court. Weidinger also impersonated the other attorney while representing dozens of clients before the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board and in litigation, including a lawsuit against the city and county of San Francisco.

Weidinger's impersonation was without other attorney's knowledge or consent, according to the decision.

Weidinger allegedly violated multiple violations of professional conduct rules, including those regarding misrepresentation and misleading a judge.

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 request further review within the state bar court.

Weidinger's recommended discipline was among the dispositions filed earlier this month by the state bar court's hearing department for January. The state bar's entry for default was entered in September.

That same month, following many attempts to reach him, Weidinger contacted the office of chief trial counsel, inquired about the disbarment process and then replied to an earlier email "and indicated his preference was to let the default stand," the decision said.

"[Weidinger] did not subsequently seek to have his default set aside or vacated," the decision said.

Weidinger failed to participate in person or via counsel and state bar's decision and order for disbarment was entered by default. In such cases, in which an attorney fails to participate in a State Bar of California disciplinary proceeding  despite adequate notice and opportunity, the bar invokes Rule 5.85, which provides the procedure for the state bar to recommend an attorney's disbarment.

Weidinger was admitted to the bar in California on Feb. 13, 2009, according to his profile at the state bar website. He had no prior discipline, has no other disciplinary matters pending, and the client security fund has made no payments as a result of his alleged misconduct, according to the decision.

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