Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, October 21, 2002


Page 3


Supreme Court Accepts Resignation of Some Lawyers, Suspends Others—and Forgives the Dead


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The California Supreme Court has filed orders affecting the careers of eight local attorneys, two of whom are presumed by the State Bar to be dead.

The court set aside earlier orders suspending Kathleen S. Caswell, born 1949, and Dwain L. Clark, born 1916, for failure to pay their bar dues after the State Bar received information that the two attorneys are deceased. The court also expunged records that indicated the decedents had been suspended for nonpayment of bar fees.

In addition to the nunc pro tunc orders, the Supreme Court accepted the resignations of Anthony Curtis III and Alex Van Kovn, with charges pending on Sept. 29.

Curtis, who was admitted to the bar in 1995, resigned in August. He was previously suspended by the bar on three separate occasions between 1996 and 2001 for failing to pay bar dues. In September of last year Curtis was declared administratively inactive because of MCLE non-compliance.

In June, Curtis, who did not respond to a notice to show cause, was ordered inactive in a default proceeding. A State Bar spokesman said Curtis has not responded to another notice filed with the state bar in July.

Van Kovn, a Tarzana criminal defense attorney, tendered his resignation in early July after pleading guilty to charges related to the smuggling of Ukrainians across the Mexican-American border.

On May 27, Van Kovn, who had been acquitted in March in an insurance fraud case, was placed on interim suspension after being convicted of attempted witness tampering, filing a false statement, and harboring undocumented aliens.

The Supreme Court has also ordered the involuntary inactive enrollment of three attorneys who have each been repeatedly disciplined by the bar.

Melvyn C. Embree, who refused to comment on the Oct. 3 court order, had been previously placed on probation and received a public reproval in June 2001.

This year, he was ordered inactive after he failed to respond to a notice of charges. A second notice of disciplinary charges has been filed since Embree was ordered inactive.

Ramon Oller and Alvin Gilbert Tenner were also ordered inactive on Sept. 29 after failing to respond to notices of disciplinary charges. Tenner had previously been disbarred in May 1986 and then ordered inactive in both August and September of this year after being reinstated in 1992.

In September, the Supreme Court ordered that the stay of Alma Rosa Bonilla’s suspension be lifted and that her probation be revoked. She is now serving a nine-month suspension, but was given credit for the period of inactive enrollment which began in May.


Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company