Gene Jeffrey Goldsman - #76554
The following information is from the official records of The State Bar of California.
501 Civic Center Dr West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
|Phone Number:||(714) 541-3333|
|Fax Number:||Not Available|
||Undergraduate School:||Seton Hall Univ; So Orange NJ|
|Sections:||None||Law School:||Pepperdine Univ SOL; Malibu 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.
April 29, 2001
GENE JEFFREY GOLDSMAN [#76554], 49, of Santa Ana was suspended for one year, stayed, and placed on probation for two years with a 30-day actual suspension. He was ordered to pay restitution, take the MPRE within one year and comply with rule 955. The order took effect April 29, 2001.Goldsman stipulated to failing to reasonably supervise a paralegal assisting in a 1996 personal injury claim following a vehicle accident in which four clients were passengers in the same car. He also stipulated to failing to get written consent from the clients regarding potential conflicts of interest.Goldsman learned the defendant’s insurance policy limit was $30,000, which would be shared among the four if the case was settled. He directed the paralegal to explain this to the clients and see if they would each agree to receive a proportionate share. The paralegal later told Goldsman the clients had agreed. Goldsman settled the case but did not obtain written consent to the aggregate settlement. He also learned the paralegal had misinformed him about the client who was to receive the lowest share — she had not given consent to the settlement. Goldsman was ordered to pay $2,625 in restitution to the client.In mitigation, Goldsman cooperated with the bar’s investigation.In a prior disciplinary action, Goldsman was suspended in 1996 for misconduct in seven consolidated cases, most involving problems with paying medical liens. He also failed to perform legal services competently, return client files, respond promptly to inquiries, disburse settlement funds promptly and comply with court orders, and he improperly withdrew from employment.
September 13, 1996
GENE JEFFREY GOLDSMAN [#76554], 45, of Santa Ana was suspended for three years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with an actual 75-day suspension, and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Sept. 13, 1996.Goldsman stipulated to misconduct in seven consolidated cases, most involving problems with paying medical liens. He also failed to perform legal services competently, return client files, respond promptly to inquiries, disburse settlement funds promptly and comply with court orders, and he improperly withdrew from employment.In a slip-and-fall case, he notified his client of a settlement and sent a check for $10,000, but the client says she never received either. She sued Goldsman, who personally paid the $10,000.A personal injury case was dismissed due to lack of prosecution and Goldsman did not make good on his promise to deliver the client's file.He was sanctioned $6,000 in another case when he did not follow the court's orders, and in a civil case which went to binding arbitration, Goldsman requested a trial after arbitration and was sanctioned by the court for "frivolous, bad faith and outrageous tactics."Goldsman's problems began in April 1988, when he separated from his wife, who also was his law partner. A bitter divorce ensued, marked by serious conflict and the sabotage of Goldsman's personal and professional life. Most of the complaints were the result of the physical disruption of Goldsman's practice by his former wife, and the distractions and emotional stress he endured in attempting to protect his practice and raise the couple's four children.Goldsman's home and car were broken into on numerous occasions and various items, ranging from files to financial records, disappeared from his office. One employee resigned and took virtually all the office records and gave them to Goldsman's ex-wife. At one point, his ex-wife instructed their bank not to honor any law firm checks from the general account that did not have both partners' signatures and then refused to sign any checks.His ex-wife disconnected the firm's telephone number, and mail delivery was changed from the office to a post office box. A gun was planted in Goldsman's car, and on one occasion, he returned home to find his suits had been cut over the breast and his pants had been slit.Goldsman was awarded sole custody of the couple's four children and the family residence by the court, which noted the ingestion of drugs by Goldsman's ex-wife and her interference with his visitation. When she removed her belongings, she took the children's belongings as well. When Goldsman was allowed to remove his corporate records from his ex-wife's home, there were 125 boxes.Although Goldsman attempted to reduce his practice, he had to continue working to support his children. Adding insult to injury, his bookkeeper stole $157,000 from the firm.Goldsman has implemented safeguards to protect his office records and documents and has taken courses on avoiding malpractice and client complaints. He believes some of his records and files have not been returned. He has relinquished any rights to attorney fees from the funds which are frozen in his client trust account.