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#1 Dec 16, 2009
CRAIG M. HUNT [#48040], 69, of San Francisco was disbarred Nov. 4, 2007, and was ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.
The State Bar Court review department increased the discipline recommended by a hearing judge who found that Hunt practiced law five times while suspended, did not meet probation requirements and committed acts of moral turpitude by filing a probation report and a declaration that included misrepresentations.
The hearing judge recommended a three-year actual suspension and four years of probation, but the review department found Hunt should be disbarred.
He was suspended in 2002 for taking a loan from a client without advising him to seek independent counsel. He was ordered to make restitution and to comply with rule 9.20 by submitting a declaration to the bar court that he notified his clients and other pertinent parties of his suspension.
While suspended, he appeared in five proceedings, filed various pleadings and asked for two time extensions on the grounds that he was a sole practitioner with competing professional and family demands. He never advised the court or opposing parties that he was suspended.
When he filed a late declaration of compliance with rule 9.20, it falsely stated that he had no clients when in fact he had five pending cases. He also submitted quarterly probation reports in which he said he had not practiced law during the quarter.
Hunt had argued that he was entitled to appear pro per in one matter, even while suspended, because he was the owner of the economic interests of the entities involved. The review department rejected his position because it said he was not the sole owner and, in one matter, he still held himself out as the attorney of record.
The court found that Hunt committed acts of moral turpitude by submitting false probation reports.
Hunt also was privately reproved in 1992 for entering into a business transaction with a client without advising the client to seek independent legal advice.
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