Attorney Tom Girardi has filed more than 200 ethics complaints, according to the California Bar Association

Attorney Tom Girardi has filed more than 200 ethics complaints, according to the California Bar Association

(Reuters) – Plaintiffs’ lawyer Tom Girardi was the subject of 205 legal ethics complaints between 1982 and when he was fired in June, more than half of which accused him of misusing client funds, California bar regulators said on Thursday.

State Bar of California on the list every complaint it received against Girardi, once a prominent figure in the California and U.S. Bar Associations, including basic descriptions of the allegations against him and how each complaint was resolved.

“Girardi caused irreparable harm to hundreds of his clients, and the State Bar could have done more to protect the public. We can never allow something like this to happen again,” Ruben Duran, chairman of the State Bar’s Board of Directors, said in the letter.

Girardi’s legal career unraveled in December 2020 when his co-counsel in the 2018 Lion Air crash, Chicago prosecutors firm Edelson, accused him of stealing more than $2 million in client settlement funds.

Duran said the state bar received 69 lawsuits against Girardi on or after Dec. 18, 2020, the same day creditors filed to force him and his now-defunct law firm, Girardi Keese, into bankruptcy.

The state bar cited one of those complaints in its disqualification recommendation to the California Supreme Court, which revoked Girardi’s license in June. Sixty-four other complaints were still pending at the time and were automatically closed, Duran said.

“Once disbarred, there is no further disciplinary action the state bar can take,” Duran said. Girardi was also referred to criminal prosecutors by the Chicago federal judge overseeing the Lion Air case.

Girardi did not respond to the allegations and did not participate in the disciplinary proceedings at the State Bar. His legal and personal affairs are managed by his brother and conservator Robert. Robert Girardi did not respond to a request for comment.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Girardi’s friendly relationship with state attorneys has allowed him to maintain a clear disciplinary record despite past allegations of misconduct. Duran said in his letter that Girardi “brought to light serious failings in the state attorney’s disciplinary system.”

The state bar said it continues to investigate its handling of past complaints against Girardi. State Bar Association hired Halpern May Ybarra Gelberg, a Los Angeles-based litigation firm, handled the investigation in January.

Read more:

California bar investigates itself over ‘Real Housewives’ husband Girardi

Too little or too late, Girardi still needs to be charged, experts say

The State Bar of California revokes Tom Girardi’s law license, citing guardianship status

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David Thomas

Thomson Reuters

David Thomas reports on the business of law, including law firm strategy, recruitment, mergers and litigation. It is located in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.

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