SAN FRANCISCO – Longtime Whittier attorney Anthony E. Contreras faces suspension and probation following a July 17 California Supreme Court order for allegedly failing to report sanctions, 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 Contreras' probation include passing the multistate professional responsibility examination as previously recommended by the California State Bar Court's Hearing Department.
Contreras also was ordered to pay costs.
Contreras' discipline will be effective Aug. 16, according to an announcement recently posted on the state bar's website.
Contreras was admitted to the bar in California on Sept. 28, 1994, according to his profile at the state bar website.
Allegations against Contreras stem from a lawsuit he filed on behalf of a client in July 2015 in U.S. District Court for California's Central District, according to the stipulation filed with the state bar court in April.
Contreras allegedly failed to report to the state bar in writing within 30 days of his knowing about the judicial sanctions imposed against him in the case in March 2016. The court sanctioned Contreras on behalf of an opposing party and ordered Contreras to pay $8,310 for the defendant's attorney fees.
The following April, Contreras filed a motion asking the court to vacate and set aside the sanction but the court denied his motion the following June and ordered the sanctions be paid in a couple of weeks.
"[Contreras] admitted to the state bar that he did receive a copy of the order of June 2, 2016, at or around that same date," the stipulation said. "With an extension of time, [Contreras] ultimately paid the full amount of the sanctions, but he never reported the imposition of sanctions to the State Bar."
Later in the year, Contreras told the state bar through counsel that he did not report the sanctions because he "was unclear about his obligation to do so," the stipulation said.