Northern California Record

Friday, February 21, 2020

Roseville attorney on probation following 2017 no contest plea to alcohol-related charges


By Karen Kidd | Aug 22, 2019

Car crash

SAN FRANCISCO (Northern California Record) — Longtime Roseville attorney Matthew Paul Donahue faces suspension and probation following an Aug. 1 California Supreme Court order and his 2017 no contest plea to alcohol-related charges, 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. Conditions of Donahue's probation include passing the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination as previously recommended by the California State Bar Court's hearing department. He also was ordered to pay costs.

His discipline will be effective Aug. 31, according to an announcement recently posted on the state bar's website.

Donahue was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 17, 1991, according to his profile at the state bar website. Donahue had no prior discipline before the state bar, according to his profile.

Allegations against Donahue stem from a minor traffic accident on California state Route 89 at Squaw Valley Road in Placer County and his subsequent arrest for driving while under the influence Dec. 21, 2014, according to the stipulation filed with the state bar court in April. "Immediately after his arrest and before any criminal complaint was filed," Donahue voluntarily entered treatment, began counseling and entered into an alcohol-abstinence agreement with his then-law partner, the stipulation said.

In March 2015, a six-count misdemeanor complaint was filed against Donahue but "delayed entry of a plea in order to allow [Donahue] time to continue his efforts as counseling and treatment," the stipulation said.

In August 2017, Donahue pleaded no contest to misdemeanor driving while under the influence of alcohol and public intoxication. All other counts against him in the matter were dismissed and he was placed on three years' formal probation and 12 days in the Placer County jail, according to the stipulation.

"Respondent is in full compliance with his probation conditions and has abstained from alcohol since his arrest in 2014," the stipulation said. "On Aug. 17, 2018, [the] respondent self-reported his misdemeanor conviction to the state bar."

Donahue's misconduct did not involve moral turpitude but did "involve other conduct warranting discipline," the stipulation said.

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