Bonnie Russell On: Dumanis’ continued reluctance to prosecute inactive attorney P. Gregory...
Bonnie Dumanis’ continued reluctance to prosecute inactive attorney Patricia Gregory remains a mystery to those aware of Dumanis’ preference for being handed evidence by crime victims. This makes Dumanis’ latest refusal to prosecute an open and shut case against an about to be disbarred attorney, more than a little strange.
But first, a brief history on internet crime
A decade ago, then San Francisco columnist Reynolds Holding, wrote The State Bar should Crack Down on California Lawyers” in a column featuring one of California’s worst attorneys, Ron Lais. The column stated State Bar response to client complaints was sluggish at best, considering the bar had ten years worth of complaints regarding the Ron Lais "performed." Eventually though, the State Bar forced Lais’ resignation, until he paid his now former clients restitution.
Lais promptly filed bankruptcy, which immediately discharged the State Bar’s restitution order. Lais then promptly incorporated Child Custody Legal Network and continued offering legal services online as an International Child Custody Consultant, (and sued me four times for warning potential victims not to use him). The Orange County DA charged Lais with double-digit felony counts regarding the Unauthorized Practice of Law online, and Lais went to prison for a while. (He's now out and touting himself as an International Law Professor on Twitter.)
But Lais got me thinking as the problem of non-attorneys or former attorneys practicing on-line has increased. Most recently in San Diego. But at least there is some good news.
The first being the State Bar is now acting a little quicker, and the second being an easy solution to prevent the public from being duped online by former attorneys with a cash and moral problem. More on that later, as the original problem remains.
San Diego’s blind eye to unscrupulous, former attorneys
San Diego North County family law attorney Patricia Gregory is now listed on the State Bar site Ordered Inactive – Not Eligible to Practice Law.”
The back story is Gregory had dipped her hands into the trust account of her client, Luwain Ng, to the tune of 80k. Gregory later admitted the money was gone and made arrangements to repay Ng.
Plans went awry. Nine months later Ng had still not been paid in full. Eventually Ng complains to the State Bar. This prompts Gregory to fire a snarky email to Ng in which Gregory advises she will discontinue interest payments, before ading as if she was somehow a victim,
“If you wanted to punish me you have succeeded. I am destroyed. You have a $20,000.00, a ridiculously low legal bill and my obligation to pay $80,000.00. I have nothing. Seems a bit unfair, no? But you did get your revenge. Hope it was sweet.”
Gregory’s website remains active, announcing: CARLSBAD DIVORCE ATTORNEY representing clients in divorce, custody, support, and domestic violence cases in San Diego County.
The solution to protect the public from those who practice law on-line who shouldn’t, was well received by the State Bar president after it popped into my head last week. He suggested I mention it to a State Bar prosecutor, who also seemed to like it. (The prosecutor's email after our conversation indicated he forwarded my suggestion to the intake office.)
As it now stands, since Patricia Gregory refuses to remove her website from the Internet in spite of the State Bar’s repeated requests, Gregory is likely going to face additional charges.
(Interestingly, Gregory's legal website remains in full working order - including the claim: “She currently teaches graduate level courses in Business Law and Ethics”). However, a second problem slipped to the forefront.
The second problem being District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis' tolerance for white-collar crime
In spite of a request from Patricia Gregory’s former client to charge Gregory, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis refuses to prosecute. Or say why she won't. This is puzzling as the case is very straight-forward. Gregory admitted to her 80k raid on Ng's account; and Ng provided much in the way of proof along with her request DA Dumanis charge her.
Sound of crickets chirping.
Calls to the DAs office remain unreturned.
The silence of San Diego's District Attorney is problematic as Bonnie Dumanis has spent an enormous amount of tax payer dollars in an unsuccessful effort to have her perceived stalker tried and convicted for writing what Dumanis considered a threatening letter. This would be months after declining to prosecute Diana Gonzalez’ husband, after he kidnapped and raped Gonzalez. After which Diana was found butchered to death in a college bathroom. (Diana’s husband promptly disappeared).
Additionally, after Dumanis’ alleged stalker was acquitted in Riverside County, Bonnie Dumanis received 24/7 law enforcement security for herself. She then spent time and energy maneuvering to have the guy prosecuted in federal court at additional taxpayer expense.
The jury deadlocked.
Unfortunately the public receives no such service from San Diego’s current DA and mayoral candidate for a relatively easy-to-prove, white collar crime.
As a preventive measure, until Dumanis brings charges against Patricia Gregory, or her site goes dark, Gregory will be listed on the "Do Not Hire” portion of Familylawcourts.com.
Meanwhile I just received an invitation to join Bonnie for a day at the races on August 28. I wonder if I should bet on whether Bonnie answers my questions if I go.