SAN FRANCISCO (Northern California Record) — Orange attorney Mark Reman Hamilton faces reciprocal suspension and probation following an April 26 California Supreme Court order after using information gleaned from the Internet got him into trouble in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
The court handed down a stayed two-year suspension and two years' conditional probation with six months' actual suspension.
Among the conditions of Hamilton's probation is that he pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam as previously recommended by the California State Bar Court hearing department. Hamilton also was ordered to pay costs.
Hamilton's discipline will be effective May 26, according to an announcement recently posted on the state bar's website.
Hamilton was admitted to the bar in California on June 5, 1995, according to his profile at the state bar website. Hamilton had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to his profile.
Hamilton was in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for California's Central District on Oct. 20, 2016 when he told the judge that he thought omitting his client's landlord from an important creditor list would be "inconsequential pursuant to what I read on the Internet," said the stipulation filed with the state bar court in January.
When the judge asked Hamilton to explain himself further, the lawyer reportedly said, "I don't have the software to produce the forms. I purchased a [software] product designed for laypersons and it said not to answer the question. It was very confusing to me but I followed what it said."
The judge replied, "I have to say there are few times that I am completely speechless. I'm looking at a declaration that is very specific about intent to leave the landlord off the list and that cannot be due to any software issues."
In December 2017, a bankruptcy court disciplinary panel concluded Hamilton should be suspended for two years. The panel also concluded Hamilton could not be reinstated until, among other things, he presents "admissible evidence" that he is rehabilitated from the "psychological and physical impairments that allegedly have impaired his judgment."
Hamilton's prior 21 years of discipline-free practice, "extreme emotional and physical difficulties, extraordinary good character" and his prefiling stipulation were considered mitigating factors in the state bar's disciplinary proceedings against him.