Los Angeles attorney reciprocally disciplined in California after allegedly violating client confidences

By Karen Kidd | Jun 11, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO – Los Angeles attorney Maria Adriana Sanford faces reciprocal stayed suspension and probation following a May 16 California Supreme Court order over allegations she violated client confidences, 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 a year of conditional probation with the first 30 days spent on suspension. Conditions of Sanford's probation include passing the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination as previously recommended by the California State Bar Court's Hearing Department.

Sanford also was ordered to pay costs.

Sanford's discipline will be effective Saturday, June 15, according to an announcement recently posted on the state bar's website.

Sanford was admitted to the bar in California on Jan. 13, 2005, according to her profile at the state bar website. Sanford was admitted to The Florida Bar on May 2, 1995, according to her profile at that state bar's website. Sanford had no prior discipline before either state bar, according to her profiles.

Sanford, also known as M. Adriana Koeck, was suspended following a February 2018 District of Columbia Court of Appeals order, according to the stipulation filed with the California State Bar Court in January. The D.C. court issued its order after she was found to have knowingly revealed client confidences and/or secrets while she was an in-house lawyer for General Electric Consumer & Industrial in 2006.

The Appeals Court's board on professional responsibility found Sanford disclosed the information to a newspaper reporter, the U.S. Attorney’s office, the government of Brazil, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the American Bar Association Journal reported at the time.

"As a matter of law, [Sanford]'s culpability of professional misconduct determined in the proceeding in the District of Columbia warrants the imposition of discipline under the laws and rules binding upon [Sanford ] in the State of California at the time [she] committed the misconduct in the other jurisdiction," the stipulation said.

In May, Sanford also was reciprocally suspended in Florida.

Sanford retired from the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in 2014 and is on inactive status in California and Florida.

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