On Friday, January 5, 2024, the Supreme Court of California issued a final order suspending attorney Daniel Lee Cornelious Jr. from practicing law for two years, but stayed the suspension and placed him on probation for two years with conditions.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Daniel Lee Cornelious, Jr.,” with case no. S281964.

Cornelious had been accused of violating his professional duties in his representation of a single client. In September 2020, the Office of Chief Trial Counsel filed a Notice of Disciplinary Charges against Cornelious alleging one count of failing to act with reasonable diligence, one count of failing to obey a court order, and one count of failing to report judicial sanctions.

Cornelious admitted to culpability for the three counts of misconduct. The parties entered into a stipulation agreeing on the factual findings and legal conclusions in the case. In November 2020, at Cornelious’ request, the matter was referred to the State Bar Court’s Alternative Discipline Program for evaluation of his eligibility.

As part of the ADP, Cornelious agreed to participate in the State Bar’s Lawyer Assistance Program and provided evidence of a nexus between his substance abuse issues and the misconduct. He successfully completed one year in the LAP program. In June 2021, Cornelious was formally accepted into the ADP.

On August 14, 2023, the Hearing Department of the State Bar Court issued a decision recommending that Cornelious be suspended for two years, but that the suspension be stayed, and he be placed on probation for two years with certain conditions. These included an actual suspension of 15 months, compliance with his LAP monitoring plan, monthly drug and alcohol testing, attendance at substance abuse recovery meetings, and passing the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination.

In its January 5 order, the Supreme Court adopted the recommended discipline from the Hearing Department. Cornelious is suspended for two years, but the suspension is stayed and he is placed on two years probation with the recommended conditions. He must provide proof to the State Bar’s Office of Probation that he passed the ethics exam. Costs were also awarded to the State Bar.

The Disposition states:

“The court orders that Daniel Lee Cornelious, Jr. (Respondent), State Bar Number 285836, is suspended from the practice of law in California for two years, execution of that period of suspension is stayed, and Respondent is placed on probation for two years subject to the following conditions,”

According to avvo.com, Mr. Cornelious  Jr. is an attorney in Cerritos, California. He attended the Howard University School of Law. He acquired his law license in California in 2012.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.