Richard Alan Eldridge - #103671
The following information is from the official records of The State Bar of California.
Law Office of Richard Eldridge
615 10th St
Sacramento, CA 95814
|Phone Number:||(916) 447-7425|
|Fax Number:||(916) 447-2024|
||Undergraduate School:||California St Univ Sacramento; CA|
|Sections:||None||Law School:||McGeorge SOL Univ of the Pacific; CA|
|Certified Legal Specialty:||
Family Law (State Bar of California)
Actions Affecting Eligibility to Practice Law in California
California Bar Journal Discipline Summaries
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 attorney discipline records are available upon request.
July 8, 1998
RICHARD ALAN ELDRIDGE [#103671], 43, of Sacramento was suspended for one year, stayed, and placed on two years of probation. The order took effect July 8, 1998.Eldridge provided legal services for a client in a divorce matter, but when the client stopped communicating with him, Eldridge did no further work. About five years later, even though the divorce was not final, he filed a formal notice that he was withdrawing as attorney of record, but he did not give his client due notice.In another marital dissolution, he secured a retainer agreement by a promissory note and a deed of trust on his client's residence. The note contained the wrong date, which Eldridge said was a typographical error, in that it provided that the client would sell her home seven days after the note was signed.The promissory note also provided that in the event it was not paid within five days of close of escrow on the residence, the client would pay annual interest of 21 percent.Eldridge did not explain that when he recorded the deed of trust, he could initiate a non-judicial foreclosure proceeding.By his conduct, he entered into an adverse business transaction with his client, with terms which were not fair and reasonable to the client.In a third matter, Eldridge used an advanced fee for costs without depositing the money in his client trust account. As part of a stipulated agreement with the bar, Eldridge agreed to forgive a small claims judgment he won against the first client for fees and costs, and he agreed that all non-attorneys in his office will refer to themselves as paralegals, legal assistants or certified law students, as applicable.He also agreed to not enforce the promissory note or initiate a non-judicial foreclosure on the second client's home and to subject his fees to binding arbitration. If the arbitration is not completed within one year, Eldridge may enforce the terms of the promissory note, but the interest rate will be 10 percent.Eldridge has a prior record of discipline, having received a public reproval in 1995 for two counts of failing to deposit advanced costs in a client trust account and two counts of failing to promptly refund the unearned portion of attorney's fees.In mitigation, he did not foreclose on the promissory note and deed of trust, nor did he take any action to collect the small claims judgment against another client.