Lawrence Gordon Smith - #83901
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.
1105 Chapala St
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
|Phone Number:||(805) 963-4047|
|Fax Number:||(805) 963-4188|
||Undergraduate School:||Univ of California Berkeley; Berkeley CA|
|Sections:||None||Law School:||U of San Francisco SOL; San Francisco CA|
|Effective Date||Status Change|
|2/25/2005||Not Eligible To Practice Law|
|9/3/2002||Not Eligible To Practice Law|
|11/29/1978||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|
|9/27/2007||06-N-12157||Decision [PDF] [WORD]|
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.
September 27, 2007
LAWRENCE GORDON SMITH [#83901], 62, of Santa Barbara was disbarred Sept. 27, 2007, and was ordered to comply with rule 9.20. Smith failed to comply with rule 955 of the California Rules of Court (now renumbered as rule 9.20) by not submitting to the State Bar Court an affidavit stating that he notified his clients, opposing counsel and other interested parties of his 2005 suspension from practice. He did not participate in the disbarment proceedings.In the underlying discipline, in which Smith also defaulted, the bar court found that he failed to perform legal services competently, return a client’s file, respond to a client’s reasonable status request or cooperate with the bar’s investigation. He also held himself out as entitled to practice while suspended. In recommending Smith’s disbarment, Judge Richard Platel said he “has demonstrated an unwillingness or an inability to comply with his professional obligations and the rules of conduct imposed on lawyers.”
January 27, 2006
LAWRENCE GORDON SMITH [#83901], 61, of Santa Barbara was suspended for two years, stayed, actually suspended for one year and until the State Bar Court grants a motion to terminate the suspension, and he 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 Jan. 27, 2006.In a default proceeding, the bar court found that Smith committed 11 acts of misconduct in three matters.In a personal injury case in which he represented a married couple and two minor children, Smith failed to perform legal services competently: he did not respond to discovery and did not seek the appointment of a guardian for the children, as required by law. When the clients fired him, he did not promptly return their file.During the course of the case, Smith was placed on administrative inactive status for not completing his MCLE requirements. While not entitled to practice, he appeared at two case management conferences and filed applications for the appointment of guardians for the children. The applications were denied because of his bar status. He did not appear at another case management conference, where the clients’ new lawyer informed the court of the difficulties the clients’ were having with Smith.Smith also handled an extremely complicated divorce matter involving distribution of substantial property. Mediation and trial were scheduled in May and June 2004, but months before, Smith stopped communicating with the client. The client hired a new lawyer shortly before trial was to begin, but Smith did not release the file or sign a substitution of attorney form, despite repeated requests.Another client hired Smith to represent him in a lawsuit against his restaurant’s landlord for damages resulting from having to replace the kitchen floor. Smith had represented the client regarding the restaurant for 20 years without any problems. During a conversation about the complaint, Smith told the client he would file the complaint and contact the landlord’s attorneys about accepting service of the complaint or otherwise arranging for service on the landlord.The client subsequently left numerous messages for Smith without a response. When he went to the court to determine the status of his case, he learned it had not been filed. The client fired Smith and asked that his file be returned, but received no response.The bar court found that Smith failed to communicate with clients, return their files, perform legal services competently or cooperate with the bar’s investigation, and he engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.In mitigation, Smith practiced law for almost 23 years without a record of discipline.