The California State Bar announced Thursday that it has received 205 complaints about prominent lawyer Tom Girardi in the last 40 years, acknowledging in a letter to the public that the agency’s handling of them “brought to light serious failures in the State Bar’s attorney discipline system.”
“There is no excuse being offered here; 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,” wrote Ruben Duran, chair of the bar’s Board of Trustees.
The letter includes a summary of each complaint and its disposition, with 136 complaints received between Aug. 10, 1982, and Dec. 17, 2020. Another 69 were received after a petition was filed on Dec. 18, 2020, to force Girardi’s law firm Girardi Keese into bankruptcy.
Of the 205 complaints, 120 alleged violations involving client trust accounts. Those accounts are where lawyers keep client money, and they’re subject to strict regulations that the court-appointed trustee for