Case Number(s): 05-O-02996
In the Matter of: Edmundo Espinoza-Bojorquez, Bar # 64059, A Member of the State Bar of California, (Respondent).
Counsel For The State Bar: Shari Sveningson, Bar # 195298
Counsel for Respondent: Paul J. Virgo, Bar # 67900
Submitted to: assigned judge State Bar Court Clerkís Office Los Angeles
Filed: September 21, 2006
† <<not>> checked. PREVIOUS STIPULATION REJECTED
Note:† All information required by this form and any additional information which cannot be provided in the space provided, must be set forth in an attachment to this stipulation under specific headings, e.g., "Facts," "Dismissals," "Conclusions of Law," "Supporting Authority," etc.
1. Respondent is a member of the State Bar of California, admitted June 30, 1975.
2. The parties agree to be bound by the factual stipulations contained herein even if conclusions of law or disposition are rejected or changed by the Supreme Court.
3. All investigations or proceedings listed by case number in the caption of this stipulation are entirely resolved by this stipulation and are deemed consolidated. Dismissed charge(s)/count(s) are listed under "Dismissals."† The stipulation consists of 10 pages, not including the order.
4. A statement of acts or omissions acknowledged by Respondent as cause or causes for discipline is included under "Facts."
5. Conclusions of law, drawn from and specifically referring to the facts are also included under "Conclusions of Law".
6. The parties must include supporting authority for the recommended level of discipline under the heading "Supporting Authority."
7. No more than 30 days prior to the filing of this stipulation, Respondent has been advised in writing of any pending investigation/proceeding not resolved by this stipulation, except for criminal investigations.
8. Payment of Disciplinary Costs-Respondent acknowledges the provisions of Bus. & Prof. Code ßß6086.10 & 6140.7. (Check one option only):
†checked. costs added to membership fee for calendar year following effective date of discipline (public reproval).
<<not>> checked. case ineligible for costs (private reproval).
<<not>> checked. costs to be paid in equal amounts for the following membership years: †(hardship, special circumstances or other good cause per rule 284, Rules of Procedure.)†
<<not>> checked. costs waived in part as set forth in a separate attachment entitled "Partial Waiver of Costs".
<<not>> checked. costs entirely waived.
9. The parties understand that:
<<not>> checked.† (a) A private reproval imposed on a respondent as a result of a stipulation approved by the Court prior to initiation of a State Bar Court proceeding is part of the respondentís official State Bar membership records, but is not disclosed in response to public inquiries and is not reported on the State Barís web page. The record of the proceeding in which such a private reproval was imposed is not available to the public except as part of the record of any subsequent proceeding in which it is introduced as evidence of a prior record of discipline under the Rules of Procedure of the State Bar.
<<not>> checked. (b) A private reproval imposed on a respondent after initiation of a State Bar Court proceeding is part of the respondentís official State Bar Membership records, is disclosed in response to public inquiries and is reported as a record of public discipline on the State Barís web page.
†checked. (c) A public reproval imposed on a respondent is publicly available as part of the respondentís official State Bar membership records, is disclosed in response to public inquiries and is reported as a record of public discipline on the State Barís web page.
See page 8 [Client Trust Accounting School]
IN THE MATTER OF: EDMUNDO ESPINOZA-BOJORQUEZ
CASE NUMBER(S): 05-0-02996
FACTS AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW.
Respondent admits that the following facts are true and that he is culpable of violations of the specified statutes and/or Rules of Professional Conduct:
1. In January 2004, Respondent was employed by Rudy Hooper ("Hooper) to represent him in a criminal matter while Hooper was incarcerated. At the time of employment, Hooperís father gave Respondent $37,000. These funds were to be used for both Respondentís legal fees and for future expenses that Respondent was to pay on behalf of Hooper per "pay orders" that Hooper would submit to Respondent. The parties did not enter into a written fee agreement.
2. On January 29, 2004, Respondent paid himself $5,000 as his legal fees and deposited the remaining $32,000 of the $37,000 paid by Hooperís father into a money market account, account number 09858-03231 at Bank of America (the "money market accountí).
3. In February 2004, Respondent paid himself an additional $6,000 in legal fees from the money market account. The balance in the money market account became $26,000.
4. In March 2004, Respondent transferred $22,000 from the money market account to a general account, account number 0958-09990 at Bank of America (the "general account"). Respondent withdrew the remaining $4,000 in the money market account as his fees.
4. In March 2004, Respondent issued a total of $1,300 in money orders to various people per pay orders submitted by Hooper from the general account.
5. In March 2004, Respondent paid $2,000 in costs on behalf of Hooper and paid himself $4000 in legal fees from the general account. The balance in the general account became $14,700.
6. Between March 2004 and September 2004, Respondent paid $11,953 in expenses per "pay orders" submitted by Hooper. Respondent paid these expenses by first electronically transferring funds from the general account to another general account, account number 10395-14334 at Bank of America (the "second general account"). Respondent then issued checks from the second general account to pay the $11,953 in expenses. Respondent paid the remaining $2,747 that was still in the general account to himself in legal fees.
By failing to deposit the initial $37,000 in a client trust account and by subsequently depositing the remaining client funds in the money market account, the general account and the second general account, Respondent failed to deposit client funds in a trust account.
The disclosure date referred to, on page one, paragraph A.(7), was by letter dated July 12, 2006.
AUTHORITIES SUPPORTING DISCIPLINE.
Vaughn v. State Bar (1972) 6 Cal. 3d 847:
The attorney received a Public reproval for misconduct that included repeatedly allowing his client trust account to fall below the minimum balance he was required to maintain in it.
Fitzsimmons v. State Bar (1983) 34 Cal. 3d 327:
The attorney was found to be grossly negligent in handling estate assets by failing to maintain proper records. The court imposed a Public Reproval.
Respondent was negligent in handling client funds by depositing such funds in multiple bank accounts that were not client trust accounts.
Respondent maintained client funds in several bank accounts that were not client trust accounts.
Respondent did not harm the client, he accounted for all of the fees he received and the number of hours of specific services he performed on behalf of the client. Respondent provided copies of cancelled checks and money orders that he paid out on behalf of the client. He has provided his client with a Notice of Right to Arbitrate Fees if the client disagrees with the amount of fees Respondent claims he earned.
OTHER CONDITIONS NEGOTIATED BY THE PARTIES
Within eighteen (18) months of the effective date of discipline, Respondent shall provide proof of attendance of the State Bar Client Trust Accounting School to the Office of Probation of the State Bar.
SIGNATURE OF THE PARTIES
Case Number(s): 05-O-02996
In the Matter of: Edmundo Espinoza-Bojorquez
By their signatures below, the parties and their counsel, as applicable, signify their agreement with each of the recitation and each of the terms and conditions of this Stipulation Re Facts, Conclusions of Law and Disposition.
Respondent: Edmundo Espinoza-Bojorquez
Respondentís Counsel: Paul J. Virgo
Deputy Trial Counsel: Shari Sveningson
Case Number(s): 05-O-02996
In the Matter of: Edmundo Espinoza-Bojorquez
Finding the stipulation to be fair to the parties and that it adequately protects the public, IT IS ORDERED that the requested dismissal of counts/charges, if any, is GRANTED without prejudice, and:
†checked. The stipulated facts and disposition are APPROVED AND THE REPROVAL IMPOSED.
<<not>> checked. The stipulated facts and disposition are APPROVED AS MODIFIED as set forth below, and the REPROVAL IMPOSED.
<<not>> checked. All court dates in the Hearing Department are vacated.
The parties are bound by the stipulation as approved unless: 1) a motion to withdraw or modify the stipulation, filed within 15 days after service of this order, is granted; or 2) this court modifies or further modifies the approved stipulation. (See rule 125(b), Rules of Procedure.) Otherwise the stipulation shall be effective 15 days after service of this order.
Failure to comply with any conditions attached to this reproval man constitute cause for a separate proceeding for willful breach of rule 1-110, Rules of Professional Conduct.
Judge of the State Bar Court: Robert M. Talcott
[Rule 62(b), Rules Proc.; Code Civ. Proc., ß 1013a(4)]
I am a Case Administrator of the State Bar Court of California. I am over the age of eighteen and not a party to the within proceeding. Pursuant to standard court practice, in the City and County of Los Angeles, on September 21, 2006, I deposited a true copy of the following document(s):
STIPULATION RE FACTS, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND DISPOSITION AND ORDER APPROVING PUBLIC REPROVAL
in a sealed envelope for collection and mailing on that date as follows:
†checked. by first-class mail, with postage thereon fully prepaid, through the United States Postal Service at Los Angeles, California, addressed as follows:
PAUL JEAN VIRGO
PO BOX 67682
LOS ANGELES, CA 90067 - 0682
checked. by interoffice mail through a facility regularly maintained by the State Bar of California addressed as follows:
SHARI SVENINGSON, Enforcement, Los Angeles
I hereby certify that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed in Los Angeles, California, on September 21, 2006.
Tammy R. Cleaver
State Bar Court