Attorney Licensee Profile
David Lewis Ganezer #134337
License Status: Resigned
Address: 1223 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403-5406
County: Los Angeles County
Phone Number: Not Available
Fax Number: Not Available
Email: Not Available
Law School: UCLA SOL; Los Angeles CA
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.
March 16, 2001
DAVID L. GANEZER [#134337], 40, of Santa Monica was suspended for five years, stayed, placed on five years of probation with an actual two-year suspension, and was ordered to prove his rehabilitation, take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. The order took effect March 16, 2001.In a ruling on a second appeal by Ganezer, the State Bar Court’s review department upheld most of the findings of a hearing judge in 18 consolidated cases. Ganezer and his brother, Elliott, originally were charged together with regard to the operation of the Ganezer Law Firm (GLF) and the handling of their trust account. Elliott Ganezer stipulated to misconduct in 1995.Daniel Ganezer was charged with additional ethical violations stemming from his individual Wilshire Boulevard practice. He claimed his discipline was grossly disproportionate to that received by his brother, a claim the court rejected.In 1991 and 1992, GLF expended about $150,000 a year on advertising and opened approximately one new personal injury case a day. For several months, the firm also completed settlements and disbursed funds in some eight cases per month.By his own admission, Ganezer treated the firm’s trust accounts as a convenience. The review department characterized his handling of client funds as “grossly careless and negligent.” No client ledger or record of disbursements was maintained, trust accounts were never reconciled and bank statements were not reviewed more than twice a year.Ganezer repeatedly allowed the balance in the trust account to fall below the required amount, wrote checks against insufficient funds, misappropriated client funds, allowed one client’s trust funds to be used to pay another’s attorney fees, and committed numerous acts of mortal turpitude. The review department found 14 instances of failure to deposit client funds in a trust account and 19 acts of moral turpitude, as well as nine additional uncharged instances of both.In one matter, Ganezer used the proceeds from a client’s settlement to pay office expenses. In another, he did not notify one client’s previous attorney, who had a lien against any settlement, of the receipt of settlement funds. The former attorney’s signature was on the check, although he had not endorsed it. Ganezer also told the other lawyer that the case had not settled when in fact it had.He also did not pay a medical provider, who was forced to sue Ganezer to recover money he was owed.For the seven months the Wilshire office operated under his name, Ganezer turned over control to a non-lawyer, who opened about 200 files. The non-lawyer signed up clients and cases were negotiated and settled by his employees, sometimes without Ganezer’s knowledge. Ganezer acknowledged he lost control of the office and that he was not sure some clients’ “accidents” had actually occurred. The non-lawyer took 40 to 50 client files when Ganezer fired him.After Ganezer closed the Wilshire office, checks totaling $34,500 were deposited in his client trust account, bearing the purported signatures of Ganezer and three clients. None of the clients ever knew the checks were received or endorsed.The review department found that in looking at Ganezer’s misconduct, “a picture of total indifference to the ethical responsibilities of the practice of law emerges.”It did credit him for handling significant pro bono litigation over more than three years, requiring about 1,000 hours of work.
California Lawyers Association (CLA) is an independent organization and is not part of The State Bar of California.