Sacramento attorney is disbarred
April 14, 2017
• One of 15 California attorneys to get disbarred in February
• “The risk is high he will commit future misconduct”
Attorney Gerald William Filice, 60, of Sacramento, was disbarred February 10 and ordered to notify clients and opposing counsel that he will not be eligible to practice law due to disbarment.
He is one of 15 attorneys disbarred in February, but the only one from the Central Valley.
“I thought it was unfair but it was their decision to make,” Mr. Filice tells CVBT.
A State Bar Court hearing judge found Mr. Filice culpable of misconduct in what were his third and fourth discipline cases in a span of five years. A three-judge review panel upheld the culpability findings and the hearing judge’s disbarment recommendation noting that “given Filice’s discipline history and his repeated violations of disciplinary orders, the risk is high he will commit future misconduct.”
In one matter, Mr. Filice failed to maintain client funds in trust or cooperate with a State Bar investigation. A longtime friend had hired him to register two companies with the Secretary of State for a flat fee of $1,180. Shortly after, Mr. Filice filed articles of incorporation for each company and issued four checks from his client trust account but, before the checks cleared, he made several withdrawals from the account and two of the checks bounced.
When the State Bar notified Mr. Filice about the negative balance in his client trust account and repeatedly asked for a response, he failed to provide one, the State Bar says.
In the other matter, says the State Bar, Mr. Filice violated terms of his disciplinary probation by failing to meet deadlines for submitting a quarterly report to probation by deadline, filing a client funds certificate and providing proof of having attended ethics and client trust accounting schools.
Mr. Filice engaged in multiple probation violations and showed indifference or lack of insight into his misconduct, the State Bar says.