SAN FRANCISCO – Longtime Coachella attorney Jose Arturo Rodriguez faces suspension and probation following an Aug. 8 California Supreme Court order for allegedly failing to comply with conditions of a reproval, according to a recent State Bar of California announcement and court documents.
Rodriguez allegedly failed to pass the state bar's ethics school and the multistate professional responsibility examination (MPRE), which had been required as part of a public reproval he received in November 2016.
The Supreme Court handed down a stayed one-year suspension and a year of conditional probation with the first 60 days spent on suspension. Conditions of Rodriguez's probation again include passing the MPRE as previously recommended by the California State Bar Court's Hearing Department. Rodriguez also was ordered to pay costs.
Rodriguez's discipline will be effective Saturday, Sept. 7, according to an announcement recently posted on the state bar's website.
Rodriguez was admitted to the bar in California on Dec. 28, 1984, according to his profile at the state bar website.
Rodriguez was reproved following a hearing department's 2016 decision after he allegedly failed to obey a court order and to report $3,000 in judicial sanctions in a Riverside County Superior Court case. Under the conditions of his reproval, Rodriguez had until the day after Thanksgiving the following year to pass the state bar's ethics school and the MPRE, according to the stipulation filed with the state bar court in April.
Rodriguez failed to attend ethics school and to take and pass the MPRE by the deadline and he had not done so when the stipulation was filed, according to the stipulation.
"In aggravation, the court found respondent was indifferent towards his obligation to pay court-ordered sanctions," the stipulation said. "In mitigation, the court found that respondent had no prior record of discipline over 30 years of practice prior to the misconduct."
Rodriguez's continued failure to comply with the conditions of his public reproval or to file a motion with the State Bar Court seeking modification of those conditions "demonstrates indifference towards rectification," the stipulation said.