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State Bar suspends license of Bakersfield attorney for misconduct with multiple clients

JUSTICE
Posted at 2:27 PM, Jan 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-13 19:28:46-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The State Bar has placed Bakersfield attorney Gregory Mitts on suspension after he admitted to multiple counts of failing to respond to clients and failing to perform legal services with competence, according to State Bar court documents.

In the court documents, Mitts admitted to 11 of 12 charges brought against him. Mitts suspension was effective as of Dec. 1 and he is currently unable to practice law in California.

The charges stemmed from three clients he represented. During his time representing those cases, the court said that Mitt's failed to inform client of significant developments, obey a court order and refund unearned fees.

In one instance, according to the court documents, a client claimed he paid Mitts $40,000 in advanced in attorneys fees to petition for writ of habeas corpus. Mitts failed to filed the petition in a timely manner, then failed to respond to the client's 11 written inquiries. Mitts also failed to obey a court order to explain why the untimely filed petition should not be dismissed.

In 2016, court records show Mitts was found grossly negligent in his representation of that client, according a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

In another instance, a client claimed she paid Mitts $1,000 in advanced in attorney's fees to file a petition for writ of habeas corpus. The client claimed Mitts never filed the claim, failed to inform her he was abandoning the case and failed to refund her payment.

The suspension is set to last six months. On top of his suspension, Mitts was ordered to to take and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners during his suspension

State bar records show Mitts was suspended in 2001 for failing to pay his bar dues and to take required continuing legal education courses.