Northern California Record

Friday, December 6, 2019

Santa Rosa attorney disbarred after allegedly assisting nonattorneys to practice law


By Karen Kidd | Jun 13, 2019


SAN FRANCISCO – Longtime Santa Rosa attorney Patrick Arthur Sizemore faces disbarment following a May 16 California Supreme Court decision after he allegedly helped nonattorneys practice law, according to a recent report issued by the State Bar of California and court documents.

Sizemore allegedly aided and abetted non-attorneys to practice law and engage in debt reduction services, according to the state bar's report.

The Supreme Court disbarred Sizemore and ordered him to pay about $14,107 in restitution to three clients.

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

Sizemore was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 18, 1974, according to his profile at the state bar website.

Allegations against Sizemore stem from four matters filed over his debt reduction service, Sizemore Law Group, founded in 2010, according to the stipulation filed with the State Bar Court in January. That same year, Sizemore allegedly began to allow the company M3 Investments to use the name of his law group to offer debt reduction service with M3 nonattorneys who claimed to be Sizemore Law Group representatives or employees.

Sizemore exercised no managerial or supervisory control but received payments from M3 for the use of the Sizemore Law Group name and the use of his state bar number and address.

"The purpose of this arrangement was so that M3 and the nonattorneys could market themselves as working for [Sizemore]'s law group with the imprimatur of [Sizemore]'s law license and bar number," the stipulation said.

Sizemore's disbarment followed a suspension handed down by the State Supreme Court last summer in what appears to be unrelated alleged misconduct. In August, Sizemore, then 77, was suspended for 90 days and placed on a year of probation after he was found culpable of failing to return advanced fees of $13,500 to a client, according to information on his state bar profile.

In that discipline, Sizemore also allegedly failed to respond to his client's reasonable inquiries and to provide accounting, and also constructively terminating the attorney-client relationship.

"Sizemore returned the funds to the client three years after obtaining the funds," his profile said. "In mitigation, Sizemore had no prior record of discipline, and acknowledged his misconduct by entering into a stipulation with the State Bar."

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