Robert Neil Marcus - #158299
The following information is from the official records of The State Bar of California.
4727 Wilshire Blvd #101
Los Angeles, CA 90010
|Phone Number:||(323) 939-7400|
|Fax Number:||(323) 939-7575|
||Undergraduate School:||No Information Available;|
|Sections:||None||Law School:||Univ of LaVerne COL; Ontario CA|
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.
November 29, 2000
ROBERT N. MARCUS [#158299], 37, of Los Angeles was disbarred Nov. 29, 2000, and ordered to comply with rule 955.In a default proceeding, the State Bar Court found that Marcus committed an act of moral turpitude by depositing into his business account a forged check for $151,916.13, written on the account of a corporation with which he had no relationship. He or someone on his behalf then withdrew the entire amount.Marcus also wrote six checks against insufficient funds in his client trust account, acts of moral turpitude, and after depositing numerous settlement checks for clients in the account, wrote more than 35 checks to pay personal and business expenses. The court found that he used his client trust account improperly.He also did not cooperate with the bar’s investigation.Marcus was disciplined last year for failing to deposit disputed settlement funds in a client trust account, for charging or collecting an unconscionable fee and for committing acts involving moral turpitude.In recommending Marcus’ disbarment, Judge Carlos E. Velarde said his conduct with respect to the forged check was “particularly reprehensible.” His failure to answer the charges, Velarde wrote, “suggests to this court that respondent has no concern for his professional obligations and duties and a lack of respect for the disciplinary system.”
June 11, 2000
ROBERT NEIL MARCUS [#158299], 37, of Los Angeles was suspended for three years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with a one-year actual suspension, and was ordered to make restitution, prove his rehabilitation, take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. The order took effect June 11, 2000.The State Bar Court found that in representing a client in a loss of consortium claim, Marcus asserted a claim in bad faith to fees he was not owed, failed to deposit and maintain the disputed fees in a client trust account although he had notice of pending tax liens against him and allowed the funds to be taken by the IRS to satisfy his personal tax obligations and, in part, a default judgment. He took no steps to have the levied funds released by the taxing authorities.In addition, the court found, Marcus charged an unconscionable fee, claiming in excess of $28,000 for work the court valued at no more than $2,000 and for which he was awarded no fees in two arbitrations.The case began as a personal injury and loss of consortium claim by a couple who eventually divorced. The divorce settlement provided the wife with spousal support of more than $72,000, plus 5 percent of any future net recovery received by the husband in his personal injury case.When the wife hired Marcus to handle the loss of consortium claim, he was put on notice that his contingency fee did not extend to the client’s divorce settlement money, which had been agreed to prior to his hiring.The personal injury case settled in favor of Marcus’ client and her ex-husband and the loss of consortium claim settled for $100,000. Marcus had several discussions with the couple’s personal injury lawyer calculating the wife’s 5 percent share of that settlement. They agreed she would receive $82,480.79, which included the $72,000 from the divorce and another $10,000 representing her share of the personal injury settlement less about $3,000 in costs.When Marcus and the client received the $100,000 settlement in the loss of consortium case, he claimed he was entitled to $61,826 as fees — one-third from that case and one-third ($28,493) from the divorce settlement lien against the personal injury settlement.The client disagreed and instructed Marcus to take one-third of the loss of consortium settlement as his fee, disburse $38,173 to her and place the remaining $28,493 in trust as disputed funds. Marcus sued her.He and the client then placed the disputed funds in a money market account rather than a client trust account.Both a fee arbitrator and a judicial arbitrator ruled that Marcus was not entitled to any part of the divorce settlement in fees.Meanwhile, the money market account was depleted when the IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board seized most of it to satisfy Marcus’ outstanding tax obligations and a bank seized what was left to satisfy a $156,790 default judgment against Marcus. Marcus took no action to have any of the agencies replenish the account and his client received none of the money to which she was entitled. She has never received her settlement funds.The court cited in mitigation Marcus’ pro bono work, a donation to the Diabetes Foundation and the donation of uniforms to a softball team.