Christopher James O'Keefe - #165197
The following information is from the official records of The State Bar of California.
12179 Royal Lytham Row
San Diego, CA 92128
|Phone Number:||(858) 683-9000|
|Fax Number:||Not Available|
||Undergraduate School:||No Information Available;|
|CLA Sections:||None||Law School:||Thomas Jefferson SOL; San Diego CA|
|California Lawyers Association (CLA) is an independent organization and is not part of The State Bar of California.|
Actions Affecting Eligibility to Practice Law in California
|Effective Date||Description||Case Number||Resulting Status|
|11/1/2014||Admin Inactive/MCLE noncompliance||Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA|
|7/1/2014||Admin Inactive/MCLE noncompliance||Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA|
|2/22/2005||Ordered Inactive/Fee Arb/B&P 6203||04-AE-15409||Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA|
|9/16/2004||Suspended, failed to pay Bar membr. fees||Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA|
Copies of official attorney discipline records are available upon request.
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.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|
|7/30/2012||09-N-15798||Order re Extension of Time [PDF]|
|8/13/2011||09-N-15798||Stipulation [PDF] [HTML]|
|6/29/2006||06-PM-10555||Stipulation [PDF] [HTML]|
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.
February 28, 2018
Christopher James O’Keefe [#165197], 59, of San Diego, California, was disbarred effective Feb. 28, 2018, and ordered to notify his clients of the discipline and perform other obligations under rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.O’Keefe was found to have falsely certified that he had complied with the 25 hour MCLE requirement, when in fact he had not taken any courses during the compliance period. Upon being audited, O’Keefe provided supporting documentation showing he had completed some courses, but they were not in the compliance period. In aggravation, O’Keefe has five previous disciplinary matters, all which resulted in actual suspensions from practice. The court found no evidence in mitigation except O’Keefe’s limited cooperation with the State Bar in stipulating to certain facts.
August 13, 2011
CHRISTOPHER JAMES O’KEEFE [#165197], 53, of San Diego was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on two years of probation with a one-year actual suspension and until he proves his rehabilitation and he was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. The order took effect Aug. 13, 2011.O’Keefe filed a rule 9.20 compliance declaration 93 days late, violating the terms of a 2009 disciplinary order.In mitigation, he had emotional and physical difficulties and the drugs he was taking for treatment of depression and pain affected his ability to comply with probation.O’Keefe has a lengthy discipline record, with suspensions ordered in 2005, twice in 2006 and 2009. The underlying matter also was a probation revocation. Other misconduct in the past included abandoning clients, committing acts of moral turpitude, mishandling his client trust account and failing to cooperate with the bar’s investigation.
May 29, 2009
CHRISTOPHER JAMES O’KEEFE [#165197], 51, of San Diego Probation was revoked and he was suspended for two years and until he proves his rehabilitation. He was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20. The order took effect May 29, 2009.O’Keefe was suspended in 2006 but he did not file two quarterly probation reports and filed two others late, and he did not file three medical reports and filed one late.The underlying misconduct included client abandonment and failure to refund unearned fees or cooperate with the bar’s investigation.O’Keefe also was suspended and placed on probation in 2005 for mishandling his client trust account and failing to cooperate with the bar’s investigation. His probation in that matter was revoked as well.
June 29, 2006
CHRISTOPHER J. O’KEEFE [#165197], 48, of San Diego Probation was revoked, the previous stay of suspension was lifted and he was suspended for 30 days. The order took effect June 29, 2006.O’Keefe stipulated that he did not file two quarterly probation reports on time or keep his contact information up-to-date with the bar.The underlying discipline was imposed in 2005 for mishandling his client trust account. He also was disciplined earlier this year for abandoning his clients in a bankruptcy case, committing an act of moral turpitude and failing to cooperate with the bar’s investigation.In mitigation, O’Keefe became dependent on painkillers after an automobile accident in 2003, he was unable to practice law, lost his insurance and eventually lost his home to foreclosure. He is no longer dependent on painkillers and is undergoing treatment for depression, anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
January 15, 2006
CHRISTOPHER J. O’KEEFE [#165197], 47, of San Diego was suspended for two years, stayed, actually suspended for six months and until he makes restitution and the State Bar Court grants a motion to terminate the suspension and was ordered to comply with rule 955. If the suspension exceeds two years, he must prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect Jan. 15, 2006.In a default proceeding, the State Bar Court found that O’Keefe committed misconduct in a bankruptcy case. A couple hired him to both file a chapter 7 proceeding and to negotiate resolutions of tax liens that the IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board had filed against them for unpaid back taxes. Initially, O’Keefe told the couple his fee was $6,000, which they paid in installments, but he later asked for an additional $5,000, which they provided.After the bankruptcy petition was filed, the court discharged the couple’s dischargeable debts.Over the course of a year, from 2002-03, O’Keefe told his clients repeatedly that he was working with the IRS and the FTB to negotiate payment of their back taxes. However, in 2004 the FTB placed liens on two of the couple’s bank accounts and collected $8,000 of their 1998 taxes. The couple began to research their case and learned their 1998 taxes were not discharged, as O’Keefe had told them. In addition, had their debts been discharged in October rather than July, the 1998 taxes would have been discharged.Later in 2004, the FTB served one of the couple’s banks with an order to withhold more than $6,000 from their account. The couple hired a tax professional to help them with their back taxes; in five days, the tax expert obtained stays of execution on the tax liens and worked out payment plans with the FTB.The clients fired O’Keefe and asked for their file and a refund of $5,000. He never responded. The couple later learned that O’Keefe never dealt with anyone at the FTB regarding their tax liens and back taxes. The court concluded he earned none of the $5,000 fee and only a portion of the $6,000 fee.The court found that he withdrew from representation and abandoned his clients, and he failed to protect their interests or refund unearned fees. He also failed to cooperate with the bar’s investigation.O’Keefe was suspended and placed on probation in 2005 for committing acts of moral turpitude, commingling personal and client funds in his trust account, drawing checks against insufficient funds in the account and failing to maintain a ledger for the trust account or cooperate with the bar’s investigation.
July 10, 2005
CHRISTOPHER JAMES O’KEEFE [#165197], 47, of San Diego was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on one year of probation with an actual 60-day suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect July 10, 2005.O’Keefe stipulated to misconduct in two matters, both involving mishandling his client trust account.In the first case, he wrote checks against insufficient funds in his client trust account, and failed to maintain records of his account. In the second case, he authorized an electronic check to be drawn against the account when it contained insufficient funds, an act of moral turpitude, and he commingled personal and client funds in the account.In both matters, O’Keefe did not cooperate with the bar’s investigation.