On Friday, September 15, 2023, the Supreme Court of California disbarred attorney Joseph Francis Keenan due to his failure to file a timely response to the Notice of Disciplinary Charges.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Joseph Francis Keenan,” with case no. S281033.
According to the petition for disbarment, Keenan was served with the Notice of Disciplinary Charges on October 28, 2022, via certified mail. However, he failed to file a response within the required 20 days, and on December 16, 2022, the State Bar filed a motion for entry of default. The motion was accompanied by a declaration of reasonable diligence, stating that the State Bar had tried to reach Keenan on numerous occasions via email, phone, and mail, but he failed to respond.
On December 29, 2022, the State Bar filed a supplemental declaration providing additional information relating to the motion for default. This declaration established that Keenan had received actual notice of the pending disciplinary case, the default motion, and the January 9, 2023, status conference. It also confirmed that Keenan’s membership records email address was his current email address.
Despite being served with the motion for entry of default, Keenan had failed to file a response within 10 days, and on January 4, 2023, the Court entered his default. The order entering default had advised Keenan of the effects of default, including deeming the statement of facts and circumstances surrounding the conviction admitted, prohibiting participation unless the default was set aside, and recommending disbarment without further hearing or proceeding.
Keenan has not taken any action to challenge or overturn the default judgment against him. As a result, the State Bar petitioned the State Bar Court for an order recommending Keenan’s disbarment after default pursuant to rule 5.85 of the Rules of Procedure of the State Bar of California. The State Bar also requested that the Court grant such other and further relief as it deemed just and proper.
The State Bar’s petition was based on rule 5.85 of the Rules of Procedure, which stated that a member who failed to file a timely response to a notice of disciplinary charges shall be deemed to have admitted the facts alleged in the notice, and the Court shall enter an order recommending disbarment without further hearing or proceeding.
According to avvo.com, Mr. Keenan practiced as an attorney in Pleasanton, California prior to his disbarment. He attended the University of San Francisco School of Law. He acquired his law license in California in 1996.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.