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Peter James Longanbach - #48988

Current Status:  Inactive

This member is inactive, but is eligible to become active.

See below for more details.

Profile Information

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

Bar Number: 48988    
Address: PO Box 1774
Southern Pines, NC 28388
Phone Number: (910) 692-4112
Fax Number: Not Available
e-mail: Not Available 
County: Non-California
Undergraduate School: Univ of Washington; Seattle WA
District: Outside California    
Sections: None Law School: California Western SOL; San Diego CA

Status History

Effective Date Status Change
Present Inactive
12/15/2008 Inactive  
10/20/2004 Active  
1/7/2002 Not Eligible To Practice Law  
1/18/1971 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.

3/4/2004 Discipline w/actual suspension 01-C-00583 Not Eligible To Practice Law 
1/7/2002 Interim suspension after conviction 01-C-00583 Not Eligible To Practice Law 

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
10/19/2004 04-V-12515 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.

March 3, 2004

PETER J. LONGANBACH [#48988], 59, of Pinehurst, N.C. was suspended for three years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with an actual two-year suspension and until he proves his rehabilitation, and was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 955. Credit will be given for an interim suspension that began Jan. 7, 2002. The order took effect March 3, 2004.

Longanbach, a former deputy district attorney in San Diego County, was convicted of grant theft in 2001 after admitting he worked on private matters during work hours and used the DA’s fax, copy machine and telephones for personal purposes.

In mitigation, Longanbach had no prior discipline record, he cooperated with the bar’s investigation and he presented evidence of his good character.

January 7, 2002

A former San Diego deputy district attorney was placed on interim suspension early this year after pleading guilty to one count of grand theft, a charge that resulted from conducting his real estate business out of his office. PETER JAMES LONGANBACH [#48988], 56, of Rancho Santa Fe, who once headed the DA’s economic fraud unit, lost his license Jan. 7.

Longanbach quit his job two years ago after state investigators searched his home and office at the San Diego Hall of Justice as part of an investigation into his financial dealings.

Although he could have been sentenced to three years in prison, Longanbach was ordered last month to spend 350 hours teaching underprivileged children to play golf and to organize a charity golf tournament. San Diego Superior Court Judge Kenneth So also placed Longanbach on probation for three years and ordered him to spend one day in jail.

After a 17-month investigation by the attorney general, Longanbach was indicted by a grand jury last year on 12 felony charges including misuse of public funds, grand theft and embezzlement. The investigation was launched when two secretaries complained he was forcing them to work on his personal business during work hours.

Transcripts of the grand jury testimony showed he used employees to type personal letters, prepare leases for rental properties and run errands. One secretary testified she sometimes spent between 50 and 75 percent of her work time on Longanbach’s personal business. An avid golfer, he also was investigated for playing golf during work hours, but was never charged with that offense.

In a plea bargain reached with the attorney general, Longanbach wrote, “I used San Diego district attorney staff to prepare personal documents. I used San Diego district attorney’s office fax, copy machine and telephone equipment for personal purposes, and I worked on private matters during district attorney office hours.”

As part of the agreement, he will pay San Diego County $25,000 in restitution. The judge said he opted for probation rather than prison because Longanbach had never before been convicted of a crime.

Over the course of the investigation, 34 witnesses testified before the grand jury, most of them fellow employees.

The grand theft plea was the culmination of Longanbach’s legal woes, which began following his successful prosecution of a 1996 murder trial. An appeals court overturned the defendant’s second-degree murder conviction two years later, citing a legal error by the judge.

A second trial was held amid allegations by the defense attorney that Longanbach coached a key witness to lie. The witness admitted she perjured herself and Longanbach, called as a witness, took the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination and refused to answer questions.

The defendant was found guilty last year of the less serious charge of involuntary manslaughter by a second jury. He subsequently filed a federal lawsuit against Longanbach and the district attorney’s office, charging that the former prosecutor engaged in criminal conduct to win a murder conviction.

As a result of the murder case, Longanbach became the subject of a separate criminal investigation by the attorney general.

In addition, a San Diego Superior Court judge ruled in 2000 that Longanbach committed prosecutorial misconduct in a 1998 grand theft and forgery case. Judge Judith Hayes said he “willfully violated both the spirit and the letter” of the law requiring disclosure of evidence.

Longanbach’s name is playing a prominent role in this month’s primary election for district attorney in San Diego, where Paul Pfingst, seeking a third four-year term, faces a challenge from three other candidates.

Pfingst’s opponents say he failed to discipline Longanbach properly when allegations were made against him in 1998, pointing to the investigation that included a raid on the DA’s downtown offices seeking evidence. In addition, they criticize Pfingst for giving Longanbach a raise when he knew about the secretaries’ complaints.


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