Carter French Johnston - #131860
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 Offices of Carter F. Johnston
8221 Blossom Ln
Spring Valley, CA 91977
|Phone Number:||(619) 741-0757|
|Fax Number:||(619) 741-0858|
||Undergraduate School:||Western State Univ; San Diego CA|
|Sections:||None||Law School:||Thomas Jefferson SOL; San Diego CA|
|Effective Date||Status Change|
|8/18/2014||Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA|
|12/14/1987||Admitted to The State Bar of California|
Actions Affecting Eligibility to Practice Law in California
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|
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 7, 2015
CARTER FRENCH JOHNSTON [#131860], 70, of Spring Valley, was disbarred Jan. 7, 2015 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. Johnston stipulated to seven counts of misrepresentation and one count of employing means inconsistent with the truth stemming from work he did on behalf of a couple he knew both professionally and personally. At the time, the couple was engaged in a lawsuit over damage to their home that occurred during a fire. When Johnston entered into the stipulation, the lawsuit was still pending. In May 2010, the wife asked Johnston if he would draft a letter to a real estate broker on the couple’s behalf so that they could buy a new home. Johnston drafted a letter that day based on the wife’s instructions, stating he was the attorney of record for the couple and that they had reached a settlement in the lawsuit and planned to use $600,000 of the funds to purchase a new home so there would be no need for financing. At the time, he did not make any effort to verify the client’s claims, did not state in the letter that the information came from her and did not represent the couple. A few months later, Johnston drafted another letter on the couple’s behalf so they could get presettlement funding. It contained a number of misrepresentations, including that there was a payout scheduled, the settlement amount totaled $2.49 million and that the couple would receive $1.75 million after legal fees and expenses. Johnston sent the same misleading letter to another person involved in the presettlement funding process. Johnston was later contacted by the general counsel and director of underwriting for the company advancing the money, who was not satisfied with the documents sent and wanted more information. In response, Johnston provided him with what he said was a draft settlement agreement between the couple and the defendants in their case. But it was actually a fake document as no settlement had been proposed in the case. Johnston later had a telephone conversation with the general counsel in which he said that the couple’s claim in the lawsuit had been heard by a court-appointed mediator. He also made other misrepresentations, including that the settlement would be paid within 30 days of an upcoming hearing. As a result, the company advanced the couple $676,310, and they were able to purchase the house. In January 2011, when the company had still not received its share of the settlement money, the president contacted Johnston, who tried to delay payment further by claiming there was another hearing. In August, when he was contacted by the general counsel again, Johnston admitted he was not the attorney of record for the couple and there had been no hearing. The company ultimately sued Johnston and the couple and prevailed. All three were ordered to pay $1,559,119 in compensatory damages. Johnston was also ordered to pay $6,000 in punitive damages, and the couple was ordered to pay $60,000 in punitive damages. In mitigation, Johnston had no prior record of discipline and entered into a prefiling stipulation with the State Bar.