Leon Jenkins - #96406
The following information is from the official records of The State Bar of California.
14005 Palawan Way #206
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
|Phone Number:||(310) 904-8371|
|Fax Number:||(310) 397-1179|
||Undergraduate School:||Howard Univ; Washington DC|
|Sections:||None||Law School:||Wayne State Univ Law School; Detroit MI|
Actions Affecting Eligibility to Practice Law in California
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|
|Pending||12-R-13895||Opinion [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.
October 19, 2001
A Marina del Rey attorney who was removed from the Michigan bench for judicial misconduct and then lost his license there was disbarred in California Oct. 19, 2001. LEON JENKINS [#96406], 48, lost his license after a years-long battle in which he argued that the California proceedings were rife with procedural errors and that disbarment was too severe a punishment given the favorable evidence he offered.The State Bar Court’s review department, which considered his case three times, recommended the Supreme Court disbar Jenkins, rejecting his procedural arguments and finding he did not prove his innocence in the Michigan case.Jenkins was not charged with any wrongdoing in California and he provided extensive evidence of community service. He also argued that the Michigan proceedings relied on a preponderance of evidence to find him guilty of judicial misconduct — a lower standard of proof than is required in California.But Review Judge Ronald Stovitz said Jenkins’ actions in Michigan, which included accepting gifts and favors to influence his conduct on the bench and improper contacts with parties or counsel, were serious enough to warrant disbarment in California. Jenkins “has clearly not sustained his burden to show that culpability should not be found,” Stovitz wrote.“The Michigan [Attorney Discipline Board] considered a full evidentiary record, which established respondent’s serious misconduct while a Michigan judge,” Stovitz wrote. “The Michigan Supreme Court independently reviewed the record of Michigan judicial disciplinary proceedings, finding respondent culpable of corrupt and improper judicial conduct on ‘overwhelming evidence.’ . . . [Jenkins] has shown no constitutional unfairness, and his culpability found in Michigan would compel a finding of culpability in California.”Jenkins was admitted to practice in Michigan in 1979 and in California the following year. In 1984, he was appointed a district court judge in Michigan, a position equivalent to a municipal court judge in California before courts here were unified. The Michigan Supreme Court found that between 1984 and 1987, Jenkins “systematically and routinely sold his office and his public trust, . . . committed wholesale violations of the most elementary canons of judicial conduct, and brought grave dishonor upon this state’s judiciary.”The court found that he accepted bribes to dismiss traffic citations, intentionally misstated his address to get a reduction in his auto insurance premiums, solicited an individual for whom he fixed traffic tickets to commit perjury in a federal investigation of Jenkins’ conduct, engaged in improper communications with parties and counsel regarding matters coming before him, improperly accepted gifts and favors from litigants and counsel who appeared before him, and signed a writ of habeas corpus to release from custody someone he believed to be a close friend without adequate information about the case.Although Jenkins was prosecuted twice in federal court, he was not found guilty. In 1991, between the two trials, he was removed from the bench by the Michigan Supreme Court. Three years later, after an 11-day hearing before the state’s discipline board, his license was revoked. The following year, disciplinary proceedings began in California under a statute which permits professional misconduct in another jurisdiction to be considered in a disciplinary proceeding in this state.Although he conceded that he dismissed a few citations improperly, Jenkins disputed most of the evidence against him. He testified he was an inexperienced lawyer and that he had to cope with several deaths in his family, including the sudden death of his wife, leaving him with two young daughters.After moving to California in 1990, Jenkins’ practice involved mostly police brutality, personal injury, wrongful death and medical malpractice cases. He devoted between 20 and 30 percent of his practice to pro bono work, chaired the NAACP legal redress committee and served on the executive board of another non-profit. He also funded a scholarship in his late wife’s name, spoke at schools to encourage young people to complete their education and worked with at-risk youth.Nevertheless, a hearing judge determined that Jenkins’ good works and discipline-free practice fell short of demonstrating adequate rehabilitation. In addition, Jenkins continues to deny the serious acts which led to the revocation of his license in Michigan.In upholding the hearing judge, Stovitz said Jenkins “failed to demonstrate that he understands the magnitude and severity of his misconduct found in the Michigan decision to revoke his law license.”