DENNIS MICHAEL SACKS [#86377], 63, of Riverside was disbarred June 21, 2012, and was ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.Sacks did not submit to the State Bar Court a declaration that he notified his clients, opposing counsel and other pertinent parties of his 2011 suspension, thus violating rule 9.20. Failure to comply with the rule is grounds for disbarment.The 2011 order was imposed for Sacks failures to perform legal services competently, promptly refund unearned fees, account for client funds or communicate with clients, and he represented adverse interests and committed acts of moral turpitude. He also was privately reproved in 1996.In mitigation, he cooperated with the bars investigation that he and his associates violated California Senate Bill 94 stipulating to disbarment .
Both are silent business partners with Frank Barilla
December 28, 2006TERRANCE JAMES SHANNON [#94750], 53, of Dana Point was disbarred Dec. 28, 2006, and was ordered to comply with rule 955.The State Bar Court found that Shannon committed three acts of misconduct: he failed to perform legal services competently, promptly refund unearned fees or cooperate with the bars investigation.The proceedings arose from a case in which Shannon was hired to transfer ownership of a beer and wine license and to apply for a new liquor license for his clients restaurant. The client gave Shannon $5,000 cash as a flat fee. At the time, Shannon operated a satellite office above the restaurant.He met with the client, who provided all the information Shannon requested, but it was not complete. After that meeting, Shannon did very little, if any work, on the case. The client finally called the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and learned that no application had been filed on his behalf.Shannon said he did not file the application because the client did not provide all the necessary information. State Bar Court Judge Richard Platel said he did not believe Shannons testimony that the client refused to provide complete information or that he sent the client five letters seeking that information.The client complained to the bar and filed a small claims action against Shannon in an effort to recover his fee. Shannon obtained four continuances of trial, twice in order to complete the ABC application. He did not appear twice and the judge ordered payment to the client of the $5,000 fee plus $52 in costs. Shannon paid the fee but not the costs.Platel also found that Shannon tried to obtain an advantage in the disciplinary proceeding by offering deliberately false testimony in which he claimed the client signed a release and settlement agreement. The client testified that the signature on the agreement was a forgery.Platel said the evidence Shannon offered in mitigation was not meaningful, and said instead that he has three prior disciplines a 1993 private reproval and suspensions with probation in 2005 and 2006. The misconduct in the two recent disciplines included failure to perform legal services competently, return client files, communicate with clients or refund unearned fees and engagingThe judge said Shannon had been engaged in some type of professional misconduct since 1997 through 2005. Had all his misconduct been prosecuted in one State Bar Court proceeding and (Shannon) did not have any prior record of discipline, Platel added, disbarment would be called for.February 24, 2006TERRENCE JAMES SHANNON [#94750], 52, of Dana Point was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with a two-year actual suspension, and he was ordered to take the MPRE, comply with rule 955 and make restitution. The order took effect Feb. 24, 2006.A State Bar Court hearing judge found that Shannon committed 16 acts of misconduct in four client matters, including committing an act of moral turpitude, engaging in the unauthorized practice of law in another jurisdiction and failing to respond to reasonable client inquiries, forward client files, refund unearned fees promptly or cooperate with the bars investigation. Shannon appealed, but the review department increased the recommended discipline.One client was forced to sue Shannon to recover unearned fees and then had to wait more than a year after obtaining a judgment against Shannon. Another had a $30,000 judgment entered against her and a lien placed on her property. Two others had to hire new lawyers to recover their funds. The court found that Shannon made numerous misrepresentations to both clients and to bar investigators.Shannon did some work in a marital dissolution matter, but when he did not respond to numerous phone calls, the client hired a new lawyer. The client won a $5,000 judgment in small claims court, and when Shannon appealed, he presented a retainer agreement and a billing statement the client said hed never seen. The court ordered a reduced judgment that Shannon paid only after intervention by the sheriff.In another matter, he represented the defendant in a slip and fall case in Nevada in which an arbitrator awarded $30,000 to the plaintiff. Shannon sought a trial and asked a Nevada attorney to associate with him so he could appear in court there. It was the other lawyers understanding that he would simply assist, but that Shannon would handle the case. The client also believed Shannon was responsible for the case.When little work was done, a discovery commissioner recommended a $30,000 judgment against Shannons client. Final judgment was entered in that amount and the Nevada lawyer became alarmed and said action should be taken immediately to set aside the judgment. Shannon took no action.At the same time, the client was trying to refinance a loan on a building she owned in Nevada and learned a lien was placed on it. When she finally reached Shannon, he denied he was ever her lawyer. He never took any action to protect the clients interests and she complained to the State Bar.A Las Vegas couple, incorrectly believing that Shannon was licensed to practice in Nevada, hired him to prepare a living trust. When the husband passed away, the wife called Shannon a dozen times to try to obtain the trust documents from him. He promised more than once to send the documents, but never did. A new lawyer unsuccessfully sought to get the documents and a refund of the couples $1,200 fee.Another client hired Shannon to handle a foreclosure matter involving a property in Seal Beach. After two years, the client signed a power of attorney giving his son the power to act on his behalf with respect to real estate and other transactions. The son hired an attorney who attempted to contact Shannon to determine what work had been done. She asked for all documents pertaining to the property, an accounting and a refund of the fee the original client paid, but Shannon never responded.