Northern California Record

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Las Vegas attorney disbarred after allegedly submitting more than $216,000 in false bills


By Karen Kidd | Apr 12, 2019

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SAN FRANCISCO (Northern California Record) — Las Vegas attorney Nelson Lee Cohen has been disbarred following a California Supreme Court decision and allegations of two counts of misconduct, according to a notification recently issued by the State Bar of California.

The high court issued its disbarment order on Jan. 4 and Butler's effective disbarment date was Feb. 3, according to a notification provided to the Northern California Record earlier this week.

The Supreme Court also ordered Cohen to pay more than $216,000 in restitution plus interest to a San Diego law firm "or such other recipient as may be designated by the Office of Probation or the State Bar Court."

The high court also ordered Cohen to pay costs.

The restitution order stems from one of the allegations that Cohen submitted false bills totaling more than $216,000, according to the seven-page decision and order of involuntary inactive enrollment issued in September by the California State Bar Court. Cohen also was alleged to that have submitted about the same amount in false expense reports.

The state bar court dismissed a count of failing to support the constitution and laws, according to the decision and order.

Cohen was admitted to the bar in California on June 6, 1991, according to his profile at the state bar website. Cohen had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to the decision and order. No other investigations or disciplinary charges were pending against Cohen, according to the decision and order.

Cohen 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 bar to recommend an attorney's disbarment.

The state bar court's recommendation included an involuntary inactive enrollment order that rendered Cohen involuntarily enrolled as an inactive member of the State Bar of California. That order was effective three calendar days after service, according to the decision and order.

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