SAN FRANCISCO (Northern California Record) — Sacramento attorney Matthew David Pearson faces suspension and probation following an April 26 California Supreme Court order over allegations arising from two client matters, according to a recent report issued by the State Bar of California and court documents.
The court handed down a stayed one-year suspension and a year of conditional probation, with a minimum of the first 60 days suspended. The state high court ordered Pearson to pay $4,500, plus interest in restitution, to two clients, which must be done before his suspension is lifted.
"If [Pearson] remains suspended for two years or longer as a result of not satisfying the preceding requirement, [Pearson] must also provide proof to the [California] State Bar Court of rehabilitation, fitness to practice and present learning and ability in the general law before the suspension will be terminated," the court's order said.
Pearson also must comply with other probation conditions previously recommended by a state bar court hearing department, including passing of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination within a year of the court's order.
Pearson's discipline will be effective May 26, according to an announcement recently posted on the state bar's website.
Pearson was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 3, 2003, according to his profile at the state bar website.
Allegations against Pearson stem from a couple's probate case, for which Pearson was hired in June 2017, and another couple's driveway easement dispute with their neighbor, for which he was hired in September 2017, according to the stipulation filed with the state bar court in January.
In the probate case, Pearson was alleged to have constructively withdrawn from representation by failing to take any action on his clients' behalf after Aug. 15, 2017, and to have failed to inform his clients about his withdrawal. Pearson also allegedly failed to take reasonable steps to avoid reasonably foreseeable prejudice to his clients, to notify the clients that his e-mail service was down, promptly return phone calls, respond to status inquiries, provide an accounting and release papers and property.
In the easement dispute, Pearson allegedly failed to provide an accounting and return unearned fees.
In both cases, Pearson allegedly failed to respond and fully cooperate and participate in the state bar's inquiry.