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The State Bar has seized a business based in the city of Orange that was operating as SoCal Latino Legal Services and Ortega Legal Services. The business deliberately misled hundreds of people, predominantly Spanish speakers seeking help with family law cases, criminal cases, evictions, civil rights, medical negligence, and auto accidents. The primary owner, Erika Ortega, claimed she provided legal services in these areas, even though she has never been licensed to practice law in California.
The State Bar announced it has largely concluded data-gathering on the technological issues experienced by a limited number of examinees during the July California Bar Exam.
Today Associate Justice Joshua P. Groban of the California Supreme Court swore in Ruben Duran as Chair of the State Bar Board of Trustees and Brandon Stallings as Vice-Chair at the Board’s first meeting of the 2021-2022 Board year.
Today, the State Bar Board of Trustees announced that it has appointed a new Chief Trial Counsel to lead the Office of Chief Trial Counsel (OCTC), which investigates and prosecutes disciplinary matters: George S. Cardona, a long-time prosecutor at both the federal and municipal level and currently the interim City Attorney for Santa Monica.
At its July 23 meeting, the State Bar Board of Trustees took significant steps to strengthen the discipline system, establishing a special committee—the Committee on the Special Discipline Case Audit—to further analyze the audit report on closed discipline complaints against Thomas Girardi and propose a comprehensive corrective action plan.
The joint Supreme Court and State Bar Blue Ribbon Commission on the Future of the Bar Exam will hold its first meeting on July 6, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Today the State Bar of California published its second digital annual report. In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic drove the State Bar to implement significant changes to continue to meet its public protection mission at the same time it advanced important strategic initiatives and critical policy work.
Following review of an audit of past complaints filed against attorney Thomas V. Girardi, the State Bar Board of Trustees is announcing measures responsive to the confidential audit’s findings. Mr. Girardi is the subject of pending disciplinary charges resulting from complaints filed in late 2020 regarding misappropriation of client funds.
After its meeting on June 9, 2021, the Board of Trustees announced it had unanimously appointed Leah T. Wilson as the State Bar’s next Executive Director. Wilson served in the same role from September 2017 to January 2020.
The State Bar has selected the first 20 legal services organizations that will receive grants to hire provisionally licensed lawyers (PLLs) in 2021–2022.