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Thomas Henry Merdzinski - #152148

Current Status:  Disbarred

This member is prohibited from practicing law in California by order of the California Supreme Court.

See below for more details.

Profile Information

The following information is from the official records of The State Bar of California.

Bar Number: 152148    
Address: 79321 Bowden Dr
Bermuda Dunes, CA 92203
Phone Number: Not Available
Fax Number: Not Available
e-mail: Not Available 
County: Riverside
Undergraduate School: Arizona St Univ; Tempe AZ
District: District 4    
Sections: None Law School: Western State Univ COL; Fullerton CA

Status History

Effective Date Status Change
Present Disbarred
6/25/2011 Disbarred  
10/20/2008 Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA  
10/19/2008 Inactive  
5/7/1991 Admitted to The State Bar of California

Explanation of member status

Actions Affecting Eligibility to Practice Law in California

Effective DateDescriptionCase NumberResulting Status

Disciplinary and Related Actions

Overview of the attorney discipline system.

6/25/2011 Disbarment 08-C-13180 Disbarred 
2/5/2011 Ordered inactive 08-C-13180 Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA 
2/18/2009 Vol.inactive(tender of resign.w/charges) 09-Q-10661 Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA 
10/20/2008 Interim suspension after conviction 08-C-13180 Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA 

Administrative Actions

This member has no public record of administrative actions.

Copies of official attorney discipline records are available upon request.

Explanation of common actions

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
6/25/2011 08-C-13180 Stipulation [PDF] [HTML]
10/20/2008 08-C-13180 Order [PDF]

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.

June 25, 2011

Child porn possession leads to disbarment

A Riverside County attorney who was convicted of possession of child pornography after his arrest as part of a widespread federal investigation in 2008 was disbarred. THOMAS HENRY MERDZINSKI [#152148], 61, lost his license June 25. The Supreme Court rebuffed his effort to resign from the State Bar in 2010 and sent the case back to the bar for further prosecution. He stipulated to disbarment.

Merdzinski was sentenced to 51 months in prison and was ordered to register as a sex offender after he reached a plea agreement with the government. Although he faced a possible 10-year sentence, prosecutors sought reduced time in exchange for his guilty plea.

He was one of 52 people arrested by federal and local authorities in 2008 as part of an investigation of defendants who allegedly used peer-to-peer networks to exchange graphic images and video.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Merdzinski had stored more than 600 sexually explicit photos and videos of minors on seven computer hard drives. “As (the) defendant knew, the images contained visual depictions of prepubescent children engaged in sadistic and masochistic acts, such as adult males engaged in intercourse with prepubescent girls, some as young as infants,” according to the plea agreement.

Several images were shipped and transported in either interstate or foreign commerce and some victims were known to law enforcement.

The arrests capped an eight-month investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the FBI, with assistance from the Secret Service and other agencies. It marked the first time peer-to-peer users who share child pornography were targeted as part of a coordinated sweep.

All those arrested were charged with possession of child pornography, some with additional charges such as production of child pornography and committing crimes while registered sex offenders.

Law enforcement used sophisticated computer programs to track down computers on which child pornography was stored and made available to others through peer-to-peer networks, an increasingly popular method of sharing files on the Internet. According to law enforcement, computer users can join networks that allow sharing by using software programs such as Limewire, often for no charge.

Law enforcement used the same networks to identify individuals who were sharing child pornography.

The suspects arrested in the investigation lived in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.

Merdzinski was placed on interim suspension in October 2008 and on involuntary inactive status last February. He failed to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court by not submitting to the State Bar Court a declaration that he had notified his clients, opposing counsel and other pertinent parties that he was disciplined. Failure to do so is grounds for disbarment.

He was incarcerated in the Federal Correctional Institution in Anthony, N.M.

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