Tuesday, January 10, 2012
U.S. High Court Rejects Petition to Review Disbarment
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday declined to review the disbarment of an Arcadia lawyer who is also being prosecuted on charges of grand theft by embezzlement.
The high court denied without comment the certiorari petition by Ronald N. Gottschalk, 68, of Gottschalk & Associates. Gottschalk, a State Bar member since 1972, was placed on involuntary inactive status two years ago after he failed to appear for trial in State Bar Court and disbarred last summer.
The Review Department found that the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School graduate had committed multiple acts of misconduct in connection with four separate client matters, two of which also formed the basis for criminal charges.
In addition to a variety of client trust account violations, the review panel said Gottschalk filed meritless or harassing claims and presented unwarranted claims or defenses, disrespected a trial court, sought to mislead a trial court judge on two occasions, charged an unconscionable fee, failed to release client files, engaged in multiple acts of moral turpitude and lied to State Bar investigators.
A district attorney spokesperson said Gottschalk faces trial today before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Henry J. Hall. Gottschalk was arrested in 2009 for allegedly misappropriating over $350,000 in client funds from 10 victims.
He is accused of pocketing $240,000 from settlement proceeds belonging to nine victims he represented in a civil lawsuit in 2007 and stealing approximately $118,000 from another client who had hired him to manage the estate of a deceased relative in 2005.
In an earlier case, he was sanctioned by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge for filing a frivolous suit in retaliation against a former client who had sued him for malpractice.
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