State Bar Court of California

Hearing Department

STIPULATION RE FACTS, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND DISPOSITION AND ORDER APPROVING

PUBLIC REPROVAL

Case Number(s): 07-C-12961

In the Matter of: Paul C. Meidus, Bar # 230334, A Member of the State Bar of California, (Respondent).

Counsel For The State Bar: Treva R. Stewart, Bar # 239829,

Counsel for Respondent: In Pro Per, Bar #

Submitted to: Settlement Judge Ė State Bar Court Clerkís Office San Francisco.

Filed: April 10, 2008.

† <<not>> checked. PREVIOUS STIPULATION REJECTED

Note:† All information required by this form and any additional information which cannot be provided in the space provided, must be set forth in an attachment to this stipulation under specific headings, e.g., "Facts," "Dismissals," "Conclusions of Law," "Supporting Authority," etc.

A. Parties' Acknowledgments:

1.    Respondent is a member of the State Bar of California, admitted April 14, 2004.

2.    The parties agree to be bound by the factual stipulations contained herein even if conclusions of law or disposition are rejected or changed by the Supreme Court.

3.    All investigations or proceedings listed by case number in the caption of this stipulation are entirely resolved by this stipulation and are deemed consolidated. Dismissed charge(s)/count(s) are listed under "Dismissals."† The stipulation consists of 9 pages, not including the order.

4.    A statement of acts or omissions acknowledged by Respondent as cause or causes for discipline is included under "Facts."

5.    Conclusions of law, drawn from and specifically referring to the facts are also included under "Conclusions of Law".

6.    The parties must include supporting authority for the recommended level of discipline under the heading "Supporting Authority."

7.    No more than 30 days prior to the filing of this stipulation, Respondent has been advised in writing of any pending investigation/proceeding not resolved by this stipulation, except for criminal investigations.

8.    Payment of Disciplinary Costs-Respondent acknowledges the provisions of Bus. & Prof. Code ßß6086.10 & 6140.7. (Check one option only):

<<not>> checked. Costs are added to membership fee for calendar year following effective date of discipline (public reproval).

<<not>> checked. Case ineligible for costs (private reproval).

checked. Costs are to be paid in equal amounts prior to February 1 for the following membership years: 2009, 2010, 2011.† (Hardship, special circumstances or other good cause per rule 5.132, Rules of Procedure.)

<<not>> checked. Costs are waived in part as set forth in a separate attachment entitled "Partial Waiver of Costs".

<<not>> checked. Costs are entirely waived.

9.    The parties understand that:

<<not>> checked.† (a) A private reproval imposed on a respondent as a result of a stipulation approved by the Court prior to initiation of a State Bar Court proceeding is part of the respondentís official State Bar membership records, but is not disclosed in response to public inquiries and is not reported on the State Barís web page. The record of the proceeding in which such a private reproval was imposed is not available to the public except as part of the record of any subsequent proceeding in which it is introduced as evidence of a prior record of discipline under the Rules of Procedure of the State Bar.

<<not>> checked. (b) A private reproval imposed on a respondent after initiation of a State Bar Court proceeding is part of the respondentís official State Bar Membership records, is disclosed in response to public inquiries and is reported as a record of public discipline on the State Barís web page.

checked. (c) A public reproval imposed on a respondent is publicly available as part of the respondentís official State Bar membership records, is disclosed in response to public inquiries and is reported as a record of public discipline on the State Barís web page.

B.†††† Aggravating Circumstances [for definition, see Standards for Attorney Sanctions for Professional Misconduct, standard 1.2(b)]. Facts supporting aggravating circumstances are required.

<<not>> checked. (1) Prior record of discipline [see standard 1.2(f)].

<<not>> checked. (a)††† State Bar Court case # of prior case .
<<not>> checked. (b)††† Date prior discipline effective .
<<not>> checked. (c)††† Rules of Professional Conduct/ State Bar Act violations:
<<not>> checked. (d)††† Degree of prior discipline †
<<not>> checked. (e)††† If Respondent has two or more incidents of prior discipline, use space provided below or a separate attachment entitled ďPrior DisciplineĒ. .

<<not>> checked. (2) Dishonesty:† Respondent's misconduct was surrounded by or followed by bad faith, dishonesty, concealment, overreaching or other violations of the State Bar Act or Rules of Professional Conduct.†

<<not>> checked. (3) Trust Violation:† Trust funds or property were involved and Respondent refused or was unable to account to the client or person who was the object of the misconduct for improper conduct toward said funds or property.

<<not>> checked. (4) Harm:† Respondent's misconduct harmed significantly a client, the public or the administration of justice.

<<not>> checked. (5) Indifference:† Respondent demonstrated indifference toward rectification of or atonement for the consequences of his or her misconduct.

<<not>> checked. (6) Lack of Cooperation:† Respondent displayed a lack of candor and cooperation to victims of his/her misconduct or to the State Bar during disciplinary investigation or proceedings.†

<<not>> checked. (7) Multiple/Pattern of Misconduct:† Respondent's current misconduct evidences multiple acts of wrongdoing or demonstrates a pattern of misconduct.

checked. (8)††††††††††† No aggravating circumstances are involved.
Additional aggravating circumstances: .

C. Mitigating Circumstances [see standard 1.2(e)]. Facts supporting mitigating circumstances are required.

<<not>> checked. (1) No Prior Discipline:† Respondent has no prior record of discipline over many years of practice coupled with present misconduct which is not deemed serious.

<<not>> checked. (2) No Harm:† Respondent did not harm the client or person who was the object of the misconduct.†

checked. (3)††††††††††† Candor/Cooperation:† Respondent displayed spontaneous candor and cooperation with the victims of his/her misconduct and to the State Bar during disciplinary investigation and proceedings.†

<<not>> checked. (4) Remorse:† Respondent promptly took objective steps spontaneously demonstrating remorse and recognition of the wrongdoing, which steps were designed to timely atone for any consequences of his/her misconduct.†

<<not>> checked. (5) Restitution:† Respondent paid $ on in restitution to †without the threat or force of disciplinary, civil or criminal proceedings.

<<not>> checked. (6) Delay:† These disciplinary proceedings were excessively delayed.† The delay is not attributable to Respondent and the delay prejudiced him/her.

<<not>> checked. (7) Good Faith:† Respondent acted in good faith.

<<not>> checked. (8) Emotional/Physical Difficulties:† At the time of the stipulated act or acts of professional misconduct Respondent suffered extreme emotional difficulties or physical disabilities which expert testimony would establish was directly responsible for the misconduct.† The difficulties or disabilities were not the product of any illegal conduct by the member, such as illegal drug or substance abuse, and Respondent no longer suffers from such difficulties or disabilities.

checked. (9)††††††††††† Severe Financial Stress:† At the time of the misconduct, Respondent suffered from severe financial stress which resulted from circumstances not reasonably foreseeable or which were beyond his/her control and which were directly responsible for the misconduct.

checked. (10) †††††††† Family Problems:† At the time of the misconduct, Respondent suffered extreme difficulties in his/her personal life which were other than emotional or physical in nature.

checked. (11) †††††††† Good Character:† Respondent's good character is attested to by a wide range of references in the legal and general communities who are aware of the full extent of his/her misconduct.

<<not>> checked. (12) Rehabilitation:† Considerable time has passed since the acts of professional misconduct occurred followed by convincing proof of subsequent rehabilitation.

<<not>> checked. (13) No mitigating circumstances are involved.
Additional mitigating circumstances:†

D. Discipline:

<<not>> checked. (1)† Private reproval (check applicable conditions, if any, below):

<<not>> checked. (a) Approved by the Court prior to initiation of the State Bar Court proceedings (no public disclosure).
<<not>> checked. (b)Approved by the Court after initiation of the State Bar Court proceedings (public disclosure).

or

checked. (2)††††††††††††††† Public reproval (Check applicable conditions, if any below)

E. Additional Conditions of Reproval:

checked. (1)††††††††††† Respondent must comply with the conditions attached to the reproval for a period of one year.

checked. (2)††††††††††† During the condition period attached to the reproval, Respondent must comply with the provisions of the State Bar Act and Rules of Professional Conduct.

checked. (3)††††††††††† Within ten (10) days of any change, Respondent must report to the Membership Records Office of the State Bar and to the Office of Probation of the State Bar of California ("Office of Probation"), all changes of information, including current office address and telephone number, or other address for State Bar purposes, as prescribed by section 6002.1 of the Business and Professions Code.

checked. (4)††††††††††† Within thirty (30) days from the effective date of discipline, Respondent must contact the Office of Probation and schedule a meeting with Respondent's assigned probation deputy to discuss these terms and conditions of probation. Upon the direction of the Office of Probation, Respondent must meet with the probation deputy either in-person or by telephone. During the period of probation, Respondent must promptly meet with the probation deputy as directed and upon request.

checked. (5)††††††††††† Respondent must submit written quarterly reports to the Office of Probation on each January 10, April 10, July 10, and October 10 of the period of probation. Under penalty of perjury, Respondent must state whether Respondent has complied with the State Bar Act, the Rules of Professional Conduct, and all conditions of probation during the preceding calendar quarter. Respondent must also state whether there are any proceedings pending against him or her in the State Bar Court and if so, the case number and current status of that proceeding. If the first report would cover less than 30 days, that report must be submitted on the next quarter date, and cover the extended period.
In addition to all quarterly reports, a final report, containing the same information, is due no earlier than twenty (20) days before the last day of the period of probation and no later than the last day of the condition period.

<<not>> checked. (6) Respondent must be assigned a probation monitor. Respondent must promptly review the terms and conditions of probation with the probation monitor to establish a manner and schedule of compliance. During the period of probation, Respondent must furnish such reports as may be requested, in addition to the quarterly reports required to be submitted to the Office of Probation. Respondent must cooperate fully with the monitor.

checked. (7)††††††††††† Subject to assertion of applicable privileges, Respondent must answer fully, promptly and truthfully any inquiries of the Office of Probation and any probation monitor assigned under these conditions which are directed to Respondent personally or in writing relating to whether Respondent is complying or has complied with the probation conditions.

checked. (8)††††††††††† Within one (1) year of the effective date of the discipline herein, Respondent must provide to the Office of Probation satisfactory proof of attendance at a session of the State Bar Ethics School, and passage of the test given at the end of that session.

<<not>> checked. No Ethics School recommended.† Reason: .

checked. (9)††††††††††† Respondent must comply with all conditions of probation imposed in the underlying criminal matter and must so declare under penalty of perjury in conjunction with any quarterly report to be filed with the Office of Probation.

<<not>> checked. (10) Respondent must provide proof of passage of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination ("MPRE"), administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners, to the Office of Probation within one year of the effective date of the reproval.†

checked. No MPRE recommended.† Reason: Respondentís conduct did not involve violation of any rules of Professional Responsibility..

<<not>> checked. (11) The following conditions are attached hereto and incorporated:††††

<<not>> checked. Substance Abuse Conditions.

<<not>> checked. Law Office Management Conditions.

<<not>> checked. Medical Conditions.

<<not>> checked. Financial Conditions.

F. Other Conditions Negotiated by the Parties:

 

Attachment language (if any):.


ATTACHMENT TO

STIPULATION RE FACTS, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND DISPOSITION

 

IN THE MATTER OF: PAUL MEIDUS, State Bar No. 230334

STATE BAR COURT CASE NUMBER: 07-C-12961

 

FACTS AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW.

 

Facts

 

1. On December 26, 2006, respondent and his then fiancť, Shelly Houston ("Houston") were living together,

 

2. On December 26, 2006, respondent and Houston were involved in an argument in the kitchen of their home concerning household finances.

 

3. Respondent yelled at Houston and used profanity.

 

4. As respondent was leaving the kitchen, he kicked a plastic chair in the direction of Houston. After respondent kicked the chair, Houston came into contact with the chair. Houston fell onto the floor as a result of coming into contact with the chair.

 

5. After Houston arose from the floor, respondent placed his arms around her. Houstonís mobility was restricted by respondent placing his arms around her.

 

6. Houston objected to respondent placing his arms around her.

 

7. Respondent continued to place his arms around Houston after she objected to him doing so.

 

8. Respondent subsequently removed his arms from Houston. Houston left the house and contacted the local police department.

 

9. Houston sustained a one-inch laceration to her left lower leg.

 

10. Respondent was arrested on December 28, 2006. He was jailed from December 28, 2006 until January 2, 2007, at which time he was released on his own recognizance.

 

11. On January 2, 2007, the Shasta County District Attorney charged respondent with (1) Corporal Injury to Person Cohabitating With,. in violation of Penal Code Section 273.5(A), a felony, (2) Criminal Threats, in violation of Penal Code Section 422, a felony and (3) False Imprisonment By Violence, in violation of Penal Code Section 236, a felony.

12. The matter proceeded to jury trial on July 11, 2007.

 

13. On July 13, 2007 the jury convicted respondent of Assault, in violation of Penal Code Section 240, a misdemeanor and False Imprisonment Without Violence, in violation of Penal Code Section 236, a misdemeanor.

 

14. Respondent received a suspended sentence, three years informal probation, a $650 fine, and a ten year firearm restriction. He is also required to attend a 52-week anger management class.

 

15. Respondent did not appeal his conviction.

 

16. Respondent self reported his conviction by letter faxed to the State Bar on July 25, 2007.

 

17. Respondent has promptly responded to inquiries and requests for information from the State Bar since reporting his conviction.

 

18. At the time of this incident, respondent was experiencing personal and financial stress.

 

19. Respondentís brother passed away unexpectedly in October 2006.

 

20. Respondent and Houston had ongoing relationship problems. Further, respondent was experiencing financial stress related to the recent purchase of the home in which he, Houston and her son resided. Also, unbeknownst to respondent, Houston had been utilizing his ATM and credit cards and overdrawing his bank account in the several months preceding this incident.

 

21. Respondent has received numerous references attesting to his good character from members of the legal and general community who are fully aware of the circumstances of his conviction.

 

Conclusions of Law

 

As evidenced by his conviction for violation of Penal Code Sections 236 and 240, respondent is culpable of committing a crime that did not involve moral turpitude, but did involve other misconduct warranting discipline.

 

Standard 3.4 states that conviction of a crime not involving moral turpitude but involving misconduct warranting discipline shall result in discipline appropriate to the nature and extent of the misconduct.

 

Although respondentís misconduct is less severe than that in In re Otto (1989) 48 Cal.3d 970, (convictions of felony assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and infliction of corporal punishment on a cohabitant of the opposite sex resulting in a traumatic condition, reduced by the trial court to misdemeanors) and In the Matter of Stewart (Rev. Dept. 1994) 3 Cal.State Bar Ct. Rptr. 52 (misdemeanor battery on a police officer), it is sufficiently severe to warrant discipline.

 

STATE BAR ETHICS SCHOOL.

 

Because respondent has agreed to attend State Bar Ethics School as part of this stipulation, respondent may receive Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit upon the satisfactory completion of State Bar Ethics School.


SIGNATURE OF THE PARTIES

Case Number(s): 07-C-012961

In the Matter of: Paul C. Meidus

 

By their signatures below, the parties and their counsel, as applicable, signify their agreement with each of the recitation and each of the terms and conditions of this Stipulation Re Facts, Conclusions of Law and Disposition.

 

Signed by:

 

Respondent: Paul C. Meidus

Date: April 4, 2008

 

Respondentís Counsel:

Date:

 

Deputy Trial Counsel: Treva R. Stewart

Date: April 7, 2008


REPROVAL ORDER

Case Number(s): 07-C-012961

In the Matter of: Paul C. Meidus

Finding the stipulation to be fair to the parties and that it adequately protects the public, IT IS ORDERED that the requested dismissal of counts/charges, if any, is GRANTED without prejudice, and:

 

checked. The stipulated facts and disposition are APPROVED AND THE REPROVAL IMPOSED.

<<not>> checked. The stipulated facts and disposition are APPROVED AS MODIFIED as set forth below, and the REPROVAL IMPOSED.

checked. All court dates in the Hearing Department are vacated.

The parties are bound by the stipulation as approved unless: 1) a motion to withdraw or modify the stipulation, filed within 15 days after service of this order, is granted; or 2) this court modifies or further modifies the approved stipulation; or 3) Respondent is not accepted for participation in the Program or does not sign the Program Contract. (See rule 135(b) and 802(b), Rules of Procedure.)

Signed by:

Judge of the State Bar Court: Pat McElroy

Date: April 10, 2008


CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

[Rules Proc. of State Bar; Rule 5.27(B); Code Civ. Proc., ß 1013a(4)]

 

I am a Case Administrator of the State Bar Court of California. I am over the age of eighteen and not a party to the within proceeding. Pursuant to standard court practice, in the City and County of San Francisco, on April 10, 2008, I deposited a true copy of the following document(s):

 

STIPULATION RE FACTS, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND DISPOSITION AND ORDER APPROVING

 

in a sealed envelope for collection and mailing on that date as follows:

 

checked. by first-class mail, with postage thereon fully prepaid, through the United States Postal Service at San Frnacisco, California, addressed as follows:

 

PAUL C. MEIDUS

HALKIDES MORGAN & KELLEY

833 MISTLETOE LN

REDDINGS, CA 96002

 

checked. by interoffice mail through a facility regularly maintained by the State Bar of California addressed as follows:

 

TREVA R. STEWART, Enforcement, San Francisco

 

I hereby certify that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed in San Francisco, California, on April 10, 2008.

 

Signed by:

Bernadette C.O. Molina

Case Administrator

State Bar Court