ANAHEIM ATTORNEY FACING DISBARMENT FOR SEX OFFENSE, FILING FALSE DECLARATIONS

Contact: Laura Ernde  415-538-2028  laura.ernde@calbar.ca.gov

San Francisco, Aug. 29, 2012 –The State Bar Court has recommended the disbarment of an Anaheim attorney who was convicted of having sex with his underage employee, then lied about whether he had followed through with the terms of his subsequent suspension.

James Mazi Parsa, 47, went to trial in April and June on two consolidated disciplinary matters, one of which stemmed from his May 17, 2001 misdemeanor conviction for having sex with a 17-year-old girl who worked at his office. Parsa [Bar # 153389] was also accused of  filing a false declaration stating that he had complied with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court by notifying all of his clients that he had been suspended.

In her decision, filed Aug. 21, State Bar Court Judge Lucy Armendariz notes that Parsa’s failure to comply with rule 9.20 alone amounts to “extremely serious misconduct for which disbarment is generally considered the appropriate sanction.

“… The court remains gravely concerned by the misrepresentations contained in respondent’s declarations, especially when coupled with the facts and circumstances surrounding respondent’s criminal conviction matter,” Armendariz wrote. Parsa also failed to notify the bar about his conviction.

According to the decision, Parsa first tendered his resignation with charges pending on Oct. 21, 2009, but the California Supreme Court filed an order earlier this year declining to accept it.  Meanwhile, State Bar prosecutors had filed the second disciplinary matter against Parsa for failing to notify eight of his clients that he was no longer eligible to practice law.

Rule 9.20 requires attorneys who are suspended, disbarred or who have resigned to notify clients of their disqualification to practice law, to advise them to seek legal representation elsewhere, and return their files and any unearned fees. Attorneys must also notify opposing counsel in any matters that are pending.

Parsa’s disbarment must be approved by the California Supreme Court. He has been ineligible to practice law since October 2009.

Links to public documents in Parsa’s case can be found on his member profile.

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The State Bar of California is an administrative arm of the California Supreme Court, serving the public and seeking to improve the justice system for more than 80 years. All lawyers practicing law in California must be members of the State Bar. By August 2012, membership reached 238,000.