Attorney Licensee Profile
Richard A Canatella #53264
License Status: Active
Address: Cotter & Del Carlo, 4610 Mission St Fl 4, San Francisco, CA 94112-2641
County: San Francisco County
Phone Number: (415) 584-5446
Fax Number: (415) 584-5447
Law School: UC Hastings COL; San Francisco 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.
September 17, 1999
RICHARD A. CANATELLA [#53264], 61, of San Francisco was suspended for 18 months, stayed, placed on 18 months of probation with a 30-day actual suspension, and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Sept. 17, 1999.Canatella stipulated to filing numerous frivolous actions in courts in San Mateo, San Francisco, and Santa Clara county courts, as well as in the California Court of Appeal and federal district and appeals courts.Six were civil matters he filed relating to a criminal case in which he represented a babysitter who was convicted of second degree murder and felony child abuse. The civil cases, filed on behalf of the babysitter and her parents, who owned the house where she lived, included legal malpractice, insurance bad faith, and allegations that various defendants conspired to deprive his clients of their constitutional rights.Canatella’s involvement in nine other matters also was the subject of discipline.Sanctions were ordered against him or his clients 37 times. Courts repeatedly found him responsible for frivolous, meritless and vexatious actions. Sanctions totalled more than $18,000 in one matter, and the opposing parties were granted all fees and costs in another.In one case, a federal judge said, “This complaint is a paradigm for ‘frivolous.’” Wrote another federal jurist: “Plaintiff’s repeated attempt to challenge the sanctions and judgments . . . in the face of clear authority that his claim is frivolous evidences his bad faith and wrongful purpose.”In mitigation, Canatella has no record of discipline since beginning to practice law in 1972 and he demonstrated his good character by presenting testimonials from eight people, including four attorneys and three judges. He also presented a lengthy list of his professional accomplishments.
California Lawyers Association (CLA) is an independent organization and is not part of The State Bar of California.