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Hal Erwin Wright - #157814

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: 157814    
Address: 216 F St
Davis, CA 95616
Phone Number: Not Available
Fax Number: Not Available
e-mail: Not Available 
County: Yolo
Undergraduate School: California St Univ Sacramento; CA
District: District 3    
Sections: None Law School: Lincoln Law School; Sacramento CA

Status History

Effective Date Status Change
Present Disbarred
5/23/2014 Disbarred  
6/14/2013 Not Eligible To Practice Law  
11/8/2001 Active  
10/19/2001 Not Eligible To Practice Law  
12/23/1999 Active  
9/27/1999 Not Eligible To Practice Law  
4/7/1992 Admitted to The State Bar of California

Explanation of member status

Actions Affecting Eligibility to Practice Law

Effective DateDescriptionCase NumberResulting Status

Disciplinary and Related Actions

Overview of the attorney discipline system.

5/23/2014 Disbarment 12-O-16850 Disbarred 
12/23/2013 Ordered inactive 12-O-16850 Not Eligible To Practice Law 
11/2/2013 Ordered inactive 12-O-16850 Not Eligible To Practice Law 
6/14/2013 Inactive - Irreparable injury (6007c) 13-TE-12119 Not Eligible To Practice Law 

Administrative Actions

7/2/2013 Suspended, failed to pay Bar membr. fees Not Eligible To Practice Law 
10/19/2001 Ordered Inactive/Fee Arb/B&P 6203 01-AE-02958 Not Eligible To Practice Law 
9/27/1999 Suspended, failed to pay Bar membr. fees Not Eligible To Practice Law 


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
5/23/2014 12-O-16850 Stipulation [PDF]
11/2/2013 12-O-16850 Order re Entry of Default [PDF]
6/14/2013 13-TE-12119 Decision [PDF] [WORD]
6/13/2013 13-TE-12119 Modification Order [PDF]
Pending 10-O-10808 Decision [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 23, 2014

Davis attorney disbarred over forgery and multiple thefts of client funds

A Northern California attorney has been stripped of his law license for misconduct that included pretending he was moving forward with a client’s personal injury suit and secretly siphoning his settlement money. HAL ERWIN WRIGHT [#157814], 60, of Davis was disbarred May 23, 2014 and ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court and make restitution.

Wright stipulated to misconduct in two client matters, including multiple acts of moral turpitude and failures to perform legal services with competence, promptly notify a client of the receipt of funds, refund unearned fees or render appropriate accounts to a client. He was ordered to pay $58,000 plus interest in restitution.

In 2010, Steve Isaacson suffered injuries in a fall at the Big Idea Theater in Sacramento and asked Wright to represent him in a personal injury suit. Unbeknownst to Isaacson, on April 1, 2011 Wright settled his claim with the theater for a sum of $40,000, far less than the suit was worth. That day, Wright forged Isaacson’s and Isaacson’s wife’s signature on a release and sent it to the Northland Insurance Co., which issued two checks to settle the claim.

Wright forged Isaacson and his wife’s signatures on the checks and deposited them into his client trust account, eventually moving the money to another checking account and spending it. He also told Isaacson he planned to file a suit for medical malpractice to address the care Isaacson received after his fall, but never did. Isaacson gave Wright a check for $390 written to the Sacramento County Superior Court to cover filing fees for the new case, but Wright altered the check to make it payable to him, taking the money for himself.

From the beginning of his representation of Isaacson in September 2010 until January 2013, he lied to his client on numerous occasions, saying he was working on his personal injury lawsuit when, in fact, he had never filed one.

On Oct. 9, 2012, for example, Wright sent Isaacson an email which said, “Hi Steve, still working on getting you some jingle.” In another email in January of that year he wrote, “It sickens me that you are still in pain and I’m trying my best with these ‘suits’ but thinking outside the box/bun is not their forte.”

Meanwhile, Isaacson, in his capacity as a board member and vice president of the Davis Musical Theater Company, hired Wright for another matter – to help obtain money that a patron had left the theater in her will. Once he received a check from the trustee of the estate, Wright paid Isaacson $3,000 of the $15,000 received, pocketing the rest. He never told Isaacson the money was from the trust, saying instead that it was a partial payment from the insurance company on the personal injury matter.

Wright’s other misconduct stemmed from a matter in which a couple hired him to obtain a trademark for their towing company. Steven and Kathleen Ramirez also retained Wright in 2010 to file paperwork for two limited liability corporations and to seek to vacate a judgment against them. The Ramirezes paid Wright $3,000 in advance for his services but he did not do any work on their behalf, lying to them by telling them he had sent in their copyright application when he had not.

In February 2012, Kathleen Ramirez emailed him requesting an accounting and a full refund, but he provided neither. The couple hired a new attorney who demanded the money from Wright. He only made one payment of $500 on June 8, 2012.

Wright had two prior records of discipline, the earliest of which was a 2003 private reproval for failures to perform, refund an unearned fee or maintain disputed funds in trust. On March 28, 2013, the State Bar Court recommended he receive an actual 18-month suspension for misconduct in two client matters including moral turpitude, misrepresenting to clients the status of their legal matters and falsely reporting his Minimum Continuing Legal Education requirements. At the time of his stipulation the case was on appeal.


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