SAN FRANCISCO – Laguna Beach attorney Victor Lamont Block faces suspension and probation following a April 26 California Supreme Court order after he allegedly failed to reveal a possible conflict to more than a dozen clients, according to a recent report issued by the State Bar of California and court documents.
The Supreme Court handed down a stayed one-year suspension and two years of conditional probation with the first 90 days spent on suspension. Conditions of Block's probation include passing the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination as previously recommended by the California State Bar Court's Hearing Department.
Block also was ordered to pay costs.
Block's discipline will be effective Sunday, May 26, according to an announcement recently posted on the state bar's website.
Block was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 9, 1999, according to his profile at the state bar website. Block had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to his profile.
Allegations against Block stemmed from three client matters, according to the stipulation filed with the State Bar Court in January.
Block was alleged to have failed to provide his clients in Song-Beverly Warranty Act claims against an automobile manufacturer with written disclosure that he previously had a direct attorney-client relationship with the manufacturer.
Block had previously represented the manufacturer in "numerous Song-Beverly actions," including one case that involved defects with the car model over which his client was making a claim.
That prior relationship with the manufacturer "would substantially affect his representation," the stipulation said.
Block also allegedly failed to obtain the manufacturer's informed written consent to represent his clients and "accepted employment adverse to a former client where, by reason of the representation, respondent obtained confidential information material to the employment, without the informed written consent of the former client," the stipulation said.
Alleged multiple acts of wrongdoing were considered an aggravating factor in the disciplinary proceedings against Block, according to the stipulation.
"[Block] failed to adequately communicate with two of his clients and failed to comply with the conflict rules with respect to 13 of his clients," the stipulation said.