John Mark Heurlin - #119899
Current Status: Disbarred
This member is prohibited from practicing law in California by order of the California Supreme Court.
See below for more details.
The following information is from the official records of The State Bar of California.
Law Ofc John M Heurlin
13681 Newport Ave Ste 8 #191
Tustin, CA 92780
|Phone Number:||(949) 289-1658|
|Fax Number:||Not Available|
||Undergraduate School:||Univ of Washington; Seattle WA|
|Sections:||None||Law School:||Lewis & Clark Coll Northwestern SOL; OR|
|Effective Date||Status Change|
|2/19/2005||Not Eligible To Practice Law|
|12/10/1985||Admitted to The State Bar of California|
Actions Affecting Eligibility to Practice Law
State Bar Court Cases
NOTE: 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. Only Opinions designated for publication in the State Bar Court Reporter 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, which can be found at: http://apps.statebarcourt.ca.gov/dockets/dockets.aspx
DISCLAIMER: Any posted Notice of Disciplinary Charges, Conviction Transmittal or other initiating document, contains only allegations of professional misconduct. The attorney is presumed to be innocent of any misconduct warranting discipline until the charges have been proven.
|Effective Date||Case Number||Description|
|1/10/2013||09-O-10774||Opinion [PDF] [WORD]|
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.
January 9, 2013
JOHN MARK HEURLIN [#119899], 55, of Tustin was disbarred Jan. 9, 2013, and was ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.Heurlin sought review of a State Bar Court hearing judge’s recommendation that he be disbarred in his fourth disciplinary matter. The judge found that Heurlin held himself out as entitled to practice law while he was suspended. A three-judge review panel upheld the hearing judge, finding “no merit” to Heurlin’s “procedural and substantive challenges.” State Bar prosecutors agreed with the hearing judge as well.Heurlin, who was admitted to practice in 1985, formed FairWageLaw with two other lawyers in 2004 in order to prosecute wage and hour class action lawsuits against large national corporations. Each lawyer was a one-third shareholder of FairWageLaw.Heurlin was suspended in 2005 for misconduct stemming from prosecuting a frivolous appeal arising from a fee dispute with a former client. His partners only learned of his suspension from opposing counsel in a class action filed by FairWageLaw. Although Heurlin initially denied his status, his partners voted to dissolve FairWageLaw and remove Heurlin as a director. While suspended, Heurlin filed a lien notice in which he identified himself as an attorney. When the court ordered that Heurlin be excluded as a payee, he wrote to the opposing attorney twice on letterhead from his law offices and signed “John M. Heurlin, Esq.” The other lawyer did not know if Heurlin was still suspended. An appellate court twice referred him to the State Bar because he continued to represent himself as an attorney.The bar court’s review panel found five specific instances that Heurlin improperly held himself out as entitled to practice. Heurlin said he was permitted to do so because he represented himself, and he argued that the word “Esquire” has many meanings, “including that of property owner and subscriber to the magazine Esquire.”The panel rejected his claims that he did not receive a fair trial because his due process rights were violated, and because the hearing judge committed procedural errors and made various evidentiary rulings in error. Indeed, Heurlin said, the hearing judge “singlehandedly violated every precept of due process” in the disciplinary proceedings and committed “serial error.”The review panel found no mitigation and said Heurlin continues to hold himself out as entitled to practice and engaged in a pattern of “litigation abuse” and disregard for the courts that provided the bases for three prior disciplines. He was privately reproved in 1998 for failing to pay a $1,000 sanction for filing meritless pleadings. When he did not comply with the conditions of the reproval, he was privately reproved again in 2001. The following year, the court of appeal sanctioned Heurlin $6,000 for prosecuting a frivolous appeal arising from a fee dispute with a former client. The court described his conduct as “litigation abuse” and “disgraceful,” and said he had “followed a path of artifice and deceit with single-minded determination.”Heurlin was then suspended in 2005 after he stipulated that he charged an unconscionable fee, filed an appeal in order to cover up his deceit and committed acts of moral turpitude.“This is not a lone instance of inadvertently holding oneself out as entitled to practice,” wrote Judge Judith Epstein for the review panel. “Rather, Heurlin repeatedly and consciously flouted the authority of the courts of record by continuing to file pleadings misrepresenting himself as a licensed attorney in good standing and entitled to practice law when clearly he is not.”
February 19, 2005
JOHN M. HEURLIN [#119899], 47, of Tustin was suspended for five years, stayed, placed on five years of probation with a two-year actual suspension and was ordered to prove his rehabilitation, take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. The order took effect Feb. 19, 2005.Heurlin stipulated to three acts of misconduct stemming from a lengthy fee dispute with a former counsel and his successor counsel. He admitted that he withheld money from settlement proceeds as “collection costs,” an act that amounted to charging an unconscionable fee, and failed to maintain client funds in trust, an act involving moral turpitude. He also filed and pursued an unjust appeal for motives that included trying to delay the effects of an adverse judgment, cover up his mishandling of funds he was supposed to hold in trust and dishonesty before a trial court.Originally hired to represent a client in a dental malpractice case, Heurlin said he would not endorse any settlement draft until his claim for fees and costs totaling $12,590 was resolved. He also offered to disburse any funds not in dispute and keep the rest in his trust account. Heurlin received the $75,000 settlement, disbursed part and withheld $16,063, representing fees and costs as well as $3,473 in “collection costs.” Demands that he return the collection costs were not met and extensive litigation, lasting more than two years, ensued. The court of appeal eventually imposed sanctions of $6,000 against Huerlin for prosecuting a frivolous appeal, finding that he “followed a path of artifice and deceit with respect to his handling of the disputed funds” and other litigation, according to the stipulation.Huerlin has been disciplined twice previously. He was privately reproved in 1998 and 2001 for similar misconduct.In mitigation, Huerlin admitted he became emotionally involved in the dispute and lost sight of his professional obligations. He also admitted he did not maintain his client account records diligently. He made restitution and paid the sanctions.