Northern California Record

Thursday, September 19, 2019

San Diego attorney faces disbarment following commingling, other alleged misconduct

Discipline

By Karen Kidd | Jul 1, 2019


SAN FRANCISCO (Northern California Record) — San Diego attorney Michael John Brown faces disbarment following a June 3 California Supreme Court order after he was charged with seven counts of misconduct in two client matters, according to a recent report issued by the State Bar of California and court documents.

In addition to ordering Brown's disbarment, the Supreme Court also ordered the attorney to pay all costs in the matter. Brown's discipline will be effective July 3, according to an announcement recently posted on the state bar's website.

Brown was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 3, 1984, according to his profile at the state bar website. Brown had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to is profile. The Supreme Court's order follows a decision issued by the California State Bar Court in November recommending Brown's disbarment.

In both client matters against him, Brown is alleged to have deposited a client's funds into his trust account and then failed to maintain sufficient client funds in the account to pay the amount he owed the client and third parties, according to the state bar court's decision. In both matters, Brown is alleged to have misappropriated more than $10,000.

Brown's alleged misconduct violated professional conduct rules, including those regarding failure to maintain client funds in trust, misappropriation, commingling and failure to maintain complete records/render complete accounts, according to the decision.

Brown and his counsel did appear and participate in proceedings early in the disciplinary matter against him but in July filed a notice of intent to default and indicated he would not appear for trial scheduled that month. The state bar entered the default against Brown that same month and the matter was submitted for decision to the state bar court in late October, according to the decision.

No other disciplinary matters are pending against Brown and the client security fund made no payments as a result of his alleged misconduct, according to the decision.

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California Supreme Court State Bar Court of California State Bar of California

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