Richard David Comess - #198665
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.
1121 Teresita Cir
Monrovia, CA 91016
|Phone Number:||(310) 895-0506|
|Fax Number:||Not Available|
||Undergraduate School:||No Information Available;|
|Sections:||None||Law School:||Whittier Coll SOL; CA|
|Effective Date||Status Change|
|1/24/2003||Not Eligible To Practice Law|
|9/1/2001||Not Eligible To Practice Law|
|12/9/1998||Admitted to The State Bar of California|
Actions Affecting Eligibility to Practice Law
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|
|10/25/2012||10-N-10075||Decision [PDF] [WORD]|
|8/26/2011||10-N-10075||Order re Entry of Default [PDF]|
|6/13/2010||02-O-13697||Decision [PDF] [WORD]|
|6/13/2010||02-O-13697||Stipulation [PDF] [HTML]|
|Pending||10-N-10075||Initiating Document [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 13, 2010
RICHARD DAVID COMESS [#198665], 60, of Monrovia was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on probation for three years with an actual suspension of 60 days and was ordered to make restitution and take the MPRE. If he remains suspended for 90 days, he must comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court, and if he remains suspended for two years or more, he must provide proof of rehabilitation. The suspension took effect June 13, 2010.Comess entered the Lawyer Assistance Program for mental health and substance abuse issues in 2004. In that matter, he stipulated that he practiced law while suspended for failing to comply with MCLE requirements. He also did not refund a $4,000 fee that he was not entitled to receive and he committed acts of moral turpitude by misrepresenting his status with the bar to his client. In a second matter, he stipulated that he did not comply with rule 955 (later renumbered as Rule 9.20) of the California Rules of Court that requires a disciplined attorney to submit to the bar court an affidavit stating that he notified his clients, opposing counsel and other interested parties of his suspension.Comess successfully completed the LAP program in 2009. He also was disciplined in 2003 and 2004.
February 11, 2004
RICHARD DAVID COMESS [#198665], 54, of Santa Monica was suspended for three years, stayed, actually suspended for six months and until he makes restitution and the bar court terminates the suspension, and was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. If the actual suspension exceeds two years, he must prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect Feb. 11, 2004.In a default proceeding, the State Bar Court found that Comess committed multiple acts of wrongdoing in two client matters and failed to cooperate with the bar’s investigation.In the first matter, he agreed to file an appeal of a trial court ruling in a civil case. He received four extensions but never filed the appeal or returned his client’s many phone calls. The appeal was dismissed.The client hired a new lawyer, but his client personally filed the substitution of attorney form and a motion to vacate the dismissal of the appeal. Comess did not provide the client’s file promptly and although the client requested a time extension as a result, the court denied his request and his motion.The bar court found that Comess committed four acts of misconduct: he failed to perform legal services competently, respond to a client’s status inquiries or refund an unearned $1,300 fee and he abandoned his client without protecting his interests.In the second matter, Comess filed a lawsuit on behalf of his client but did not serve the defendant. When the client checked the file, he learned that Comess missed two status conferences and the court scheduled an order to show cause hearing. The client appeared at that hearing, but Comess did not.The client fired Comess and demanded the return of his documents, but Comess did not respond to a letter or repeated phone calls.The bar court found that he failed to perform legal services competently, notify his client of significant developments in his case or return client papers and he improperly withdrew from employment.Comess also was disciplined in 2003 for multiple acts of misconduct in one client matter, including failing to perform competently, communicate, return a client file or obey court orders, and he improperly withdrew from employment, was dishonest by holding himself out as entitled to practice and engaged in unauthorized practice while suspended for non-compliance with MCLE requirements.
December 18, 2003
RICHARD DAVID COMESS [#198665], 53, of Santa Monica was suspended for two years, stayed, actually suspended for 90 days and was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. If the actual suspension exceeds two years, he must prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect Dec.18, 2003.In a default proceeding, the State Bar Court found that Comess committed eight acts of misconduct in a single matter, including failure to perform legal services competently, communicate with a client, return a client file, obey a court order or cooperate with the bar’s investigation, and he improperly withdrew from employment and practiced law while suspended for not completing the MCLE requirement.He represented the defendant in a criminal matter and told the court he was ready to begin trial when in fact he was suspended. He later informed the court, which continued the trial three times. In total, he made about 14 court appearances in eight months on his client’s behalf; he was suspended for about a month. On a day trial was to begin, he told his client he wanted to drop his case but that the judge might not permit him to do so. The client understood Comess to mean the he might withdraw at the next scheduled court date and he called Comess more than 25 times in the next few weeks. Comess told the client he would prepare a petition related to his defense, but he never called the client again. He also did not respond to five certified letters. When the actual trial date arrived, the client appeared but Comess did not. He never complied with the court’s order to bring all discovery to the clerk by the following day and he never returned his client’s documents.