SAN FRANCISCO (Northern California Record) — Longtime Palmdale attorney Michael Stuart Paxton faces suspension and must pay restitution following a June 24 California Supreme Court over misconduct in multiple client matters, according to a recent State Bar of California announcement 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 Paxton's probation include passing the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination as previously recommended by the California State Bar Court's hearing department.
Paxton also was ordered to pay costs. His discipline will be effective July 24, according to an announcement recently posted on the state bar's website.
Paxton was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 21, 1977, according to his profile at the state bar website. Paxton had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to his profile.
Allegations against Paxton stem from four client matters, according to the stipulation filed with the state bar court in February. Paxton's alleged misconduct "caused harm to each of his clients," the stipulation said. In one matter Paxton's failure to perform caused his client to be sanctioned and he did not return unearned fees to the client.
In another client matter, in which Paxton was hired to seek a restraining order, his failure to perform caused a lapse in time that cost the client's cause of action. In a third client matter, Paxton allegedly "charged an exorbitant fee for the work quality and difficulty of work performed," the stipulation said.
In the fourth client matter, Paxton's failure to perform caused his client's case to be dismissed, and Paxon failed to refile the complaint as agreed and failed to return unearned fees. In that matter, Paxton failed to comply with a show cause order, failed to appear for a hearing and disobeyed or violated a court order, according to the stipulation.