On Friday, September 15, 2023, the Supreme Court of California issued a final disciplinary order against Daniel Brett Smith, disbarring him from practicing law in the state. Smith is required to comply with California Rules of Court, rule 9.20, and pay monetary sanctions of $5,000 to the State Bar of California Client Security Fund.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Daniel Brett Smith,” with case no. S280968.
The State Bar of California has filed a petition for disbarment against attorney Smith, citing his failure to file a timely response to a notice of hearing on conviction. The notice was mailed to Smith’s address on file with the State Bar on October 7, 2022, and he was advised of the effects of default, including inactive enrollment and potential disbarment.
Smith failed to file an answer to the notice within the required 20 days, and on December 1, 2022, the State Bar filed a motion for entry of default. The motion was accompanied by a declaration of reasonable diligence and was served on Smith by mail and email. Despite this, Smith did not file a response to the motion within the required 10 days, and on December 22, 2022, the Court entered his default.
The petition states:
“The order entering default advised the respondent of the effects of the entry of default. As stated in the order entering default, the respondent was enrolled on inactive status and the facts contained in the Statement of Facts and Circumstances Surrounding the Conviction were deemed admitted in accordance with rule 5.82, Rules of Procedure.”
The order entering default advised Smith of the effects of default, including deeming the facts alleged in the statement of facts and circumstances surrounding the conviction admitted and prohibiting his participation in the case unless the default was set aside. Smith was also informed that if he failed to move to set aside the default, the Court would recommend disbarment without further hearing or proceeding.
To date, Smith has not filed a motion to set aside or vacate the default. As a result, the State Bar has filed a petition requesting the Court to recommend disbarment, supported by the declaration of trial counsel Eleecia Barksdale. Barksdale’s declaration addresses the factors required by rule 5.85 of the Rules of Procedure, including Smith’s lack of contact with the State Bar since the default was entered, his pending disciplinary matters, his prior disciplinary record, and his failure to pay client security fees.
Based on the aforementioned conduct, the Supreme Court of California approved the petition and disbarred attorney Smith.
The Disposition states:
“The court orders that Daniel Brett Smith (Respondent), State Bar Number 205928, is disbarred from the practice of law in California and that Respondent’s name is stricken from the roll of attorneys.”
According to LinkedIn, Mr. Smith was a principal at Daniel B. Smith, Attorney and Counselor At Law. He attended the Pepperdine University School of Law.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.