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Arlo Hale Smith - #96971

Current Status:  Active

This member is active and may practice law in California.

See below for more details.

Profile Information

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

Bar Number: 96971    
Address: 106 Crespi Dr
San Francisco, CA 94132
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Phone Number: (415) 685-9331
Fax Number: Not Available
e-mail: Not Available 
County: San Francisco
Undergraduate School: Univ of California Berkeley; Berkeley CA
District: District 1    
Sections: None Law School: UC Hastings COL; San Francisco CA

Status History

Effective Date Status Change
Present Active
7/12/2001 Active  
5/11/2001 Not Eligible To Practice Law  
1/15/1981 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.

10/4/2008 Discipline, probation; no actual susp. 99-O-13577  
5/11/2001 Discipline w/actual suspension 97-O-10805 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
10/4/2008 99-O-13577 Stipulation [PDF]
10/4/2008 99-O-13577 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.

October 4, 2008

ARLO H. SMITH [#96971], 53, of San Francisco was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on three years of probation and was ordered to make restitution and prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect Oct. 4, 2008.

Smith successfully completed the State Bar’s Alternative Discipline Program after demonstrating a nexus between his mental health problems and misconduct in two matters. The discipline recommended at the time of his 2004 stipulation was postponed until completion of the program and is now imposed.

Smith successfully represented a couple in a real property lawsuit through trial and appeal. The couple asked Smith to sue for damages against the opposing party in the litigation and although he filed a complaint, he later determined the action lacked merit and dismissed the case. However, he did not tell his clients or withdraw properly, which would have allowed them to hire another lawyer. Although Smith offered to help the clients explore other avenues of relief, he never did so.

He stipulated that he failed to perform legal services competently, keep his clients informed of significant developments in their case or properly withdraw from representation.

In a second matter, while representing a group of defendants in a lawsuit, he filed for bankruptcy for one defendant and improperly removed the entire matter to bankruptcy court. He subsequently failed to file bankruptcy schedules and the case was dismissed and returned to the original court.

On the day set for jury trial, Smith filed a bankruptcy petition for another defendant and again moved the litigation to bankruptcy court. The plaintiff dismissed that defendant from her case, the bankruptcy court dismissed the petition and again sent the case back to superior court.

He then filed a second bankruptcy petition for the first defendant and again improperly moved the case to bankruptcy court. The plaintiff then dismissed that defendant from the case. The bankruptcy judge set an order to show cause against Smith, returned the case to state court and ordered Smith not to remove it again without the court’s permission.

The day of trial, Smith withdrew as counsel for yet another defendant who said he planned to file for bankruptcy and would move the case to bankruptcy court on his own. Once again, the bankruptcy court remanded the case back to state court and ordered sanctions of more than $16,000 against Smith. The sanctions were affirmed when Smith appealed.

He stipulated that he encouraged filing unjust actions.

Smith also was disciplined in 2001 for three counts of misconduct stemming from a 1996 unlawful detainer case.

May 11, 2001

ARLO HALE SMITH [#96971], 46, of San Francisco was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on probation for two years with a 60-day actual suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect May 11, 2001.

Smith stipulated to three counts of misconduct stemming from a 1996 unlawful detainer case in Contra Costa County. He filed an unjustified action that misrepresented a woman’s financial stake in the defendant’s company, which Smith represented. As a result, he and the defendants were sanctioned $10,000. Smith did not pay the sanctions, nor did he report them to the bar.

The third count also involved an unjustified action: On behalf of his client’s company, Smith had filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy though he knew or should have known the partnership was ineligible for Chapter 13 relief. The defendants were again sanctioned by the court when Smith filed a notice of removal. Again, Smith did not pay or report the sanctions.

In aggravation, the bar court found Smith’s actions caused harm to his client. In mitigation, he had no prior record of discipline and was suffering from emotional distress because his mother had cancer. He also cooperated with the bar’s investigation.


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