Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, July 17, 2023


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Lawyer Who Lies, Gambles Should Be Disbarred—State Bar Court Judge


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The State Bar of California has announced that disbarment of a Manhattan Beach attorney has been recommended by an administrative law judge who found the lawyer to have lied to his clients and taken more than $122,000 from them without performing services, using some of the funds for gambling at casinos.

State Bar Court hearing Judge Yvette D. Roland made her findings concerning Sergio Valdovinos Ramirez on Wednesday, and the announcement was made Thursday. Roland found validity in 19  ethical violations alleged by the State Bar’s Office of Chief Trial Counsel (“OCTC”).

She determined that Ramirez lied during his testimony at the State Bar hearing. She wrote:

“Most notably, despite the fact that Respondent’s own banking records showed that immediately or soon after receiving funds from clients he would withdraw funds or otherwise make purchases from one of several casinos, Respondent was dishonest when he testified that he did not frequent casinos for gambling. OCTC produced documentary and testimonial evidence showing that from February 16, 2021, to November 22, 2022, Respondent purchased $433,235 in gambling chips at the Parkwest Bicycle Casino. And from December 21, 2021, to February 24, 2023, Respondent purchased $453,350 in gambling chips from the Commerce Casino.”

The judge found that Ramirez also lied in claiming, in mitigation, that he is being treated for terminal cancer at City of Hope by a Dr. Stephen Chang. It was determined he is not a patient there and no Dr. Stephen Chang is on the staff at the facility.

Roland concluded that he told one client he had filed a case when he hadn’t and provided a phony case number and wrote checks to another client, supposedly from a settlement, when no settlement had occurred and there were no funds in the account.

Ramirez was placed on involuntary inactive status as of Saturday.

He was admitted to practice in 2017. His law degree is from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego.


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