Attorney Licensee Profile
Jerald Scott Bennett #123450
License Status: Active
Address: 3730 12th St, Riverside, CA 92501-3833
County: Riverside County
Phone Number: (951) 434-1151
Fax Number: Not Available
Law School: McGeorge SOL Univ of the Pacific; CA
State Bar Court Cases
The listing below is partial, as the State Bar Court is transitioning to online dockets. Please refer to the License Status, Disciplinary and Administrative History section above for a record of discipline cases. Case dockets and documents may be available using the State Bar Court Search for a Case feature.
Summaries from the California Bar Journal are based on discipline orders but are not the official records. Not all discipline actions have associated CBJ summaries. Copies of official licensee discipline records are available upon request.
November 11, 2004
JERALD SCOTT BENNETT [#123450], 46, of Lake Elsinore was suspended for two years, stayed, actually suspended for one year and until he makes restitution, and was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. If the actual suspension exceeds two years, he must prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect Nov. 11, 2004.In a default proceeding, the State Bar Court found that Bennett committed 12 acts of misconduct in two cases, including failing to perform legal services competently, communicate with clients, promptly release client papers, refund unearned fees or cooperate with the bar’s investigation. He also represented potentially adverse interests without their informed consent and committed an act of moral turpitude.In the first, he represented a married couple’s interests in a revocable trust created by the husband’s deceased mother and in an unlawful detainer action filed against them by the husband’s sister. The property in question was the couple’s house; its title was held in the trust. The couple agreed to pay $10,000 as advance fees, but Bennett accepted a promissory note secured by the husband’s insurance settlement from an unrelated matter.At the same time, the husband’s younger brother hired Bennett to represent him in purchasing the couple’s house. He paid Bennett $5,000 as advanced fees and he paid the $10,000 fee his brother owed.Bennett was representing potentially conflicting interests, but did not inform the clients or obtain their written consent. He failed to appear at a hearing and the husband’s sister was appointed executor of the trust.Because Bennett did not file an answer on the wife’s behalf in the unlawful detainer matter, default was entered against her. Bennett did not inform her, took no action to set aside the ruling, and the wife was prevented from presenting a defense at the subsequent trial. At the conclusion of the trial, Bennett was ordered to file briefs, but did not do so. Judgment was entered against the married couple in the amount of $4,083, plus $193 in costs. Bennett did not inform the clients and did not return their phone calls. They were served with eviction papers and eventually their house was sold by the trust.A week later, they fired Bennett and asked for a refund and the return of their file. They obtained the file only after intervention by the State Bar. Two refund checks were returned due to insufficient funds, and two were honored by the bank.In a probate matter, Bennett told his client he had sent letters to a bank and an insurance company when he had not, nor did he perform any work involving beneficiary designations. The client fired Bennett and asked for a refund of the $2,000 advance fee, which he never provided. He also did not provide an accounting of the advance fees or return documents related to the case.
The State Bar Court began posting public discipline documents online in 2005. The format and pagination of documents posted on this site may vary from the originals in the case file as a result of their translation from the original format into Word and PDF. Copies of additional related documents in a case are available upon request. On May 31, 2019, the State Bar Court launched online case dockets. If a case was open or filed on or after Feb 7, 2019, documents are being added online as events occur, and can be accessed with the new Search for a Case feature. Older case records are available on request.
NOTE: Only Published Opinions may be cited or relied on as precedent in State Bar Court proceedings. For further information about a case that is displayed here, please refer to the State Bar Court's online docket (Search for a Case).
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California Lawyers Association (CLA) is an independent organization and is not part of The State Bar of California.