On Friday, January 5, 2024, the Supreme Court of California suspended attorney Ronda Nadine Baldwin-Kennedy from the practice of law for the first 90 days of a one-year probationary period. Baldwin-Kennedy’s suspension stems from multiple acts of misconduct in her representation of four different clients.

The case is entitled “Ronda Nadine Baldwin-Kennedy,’ with case no. S282557.

A stipulation signed by Baldwin-Kennedy and the Deputy Trial Counsel detailed how she failed to properly handle personal injury cases, including not obtaining informed consent regarding a potential conflict of interest, failing to diligently pursue court approval of a settlement, and not maintaining adequate funds in her client trust account.

The stipulation described how in 2016, Baldwin-Kennedy represented both the driver of a vehicle, Wanda Richardson-Payton, and one of the passengers in the vehicle, Richardson-Payton’s disabled son E.S, without obtaining written consent about the potential conflict. She also failed to timely obtain court approval of a $5,376 settlement for Richardson-Payton’s disabled son and did not inform her clients when the case was dismissed by the court.

In the second matter, Baldwin-Kennedy settled a personal injury claim for $9,750 on behalf of client Adan Valdez Ramirez but did not pay the $2,500 Medicaid lien on his case until March 2021. During this time period, her client trust account balance fell below the amount owed on multiple occasions due to accounting errors.

The final case involved Baldwin-Kennedy filing a complaint in 2020 on behalf of Sophia Lorraine Maxwell regarding a dog bite but failing to advise her client that she could not properly serve the defendant or that a motion for alternative service was needed. She also did not inform Maxwell when the court issued an order to show cause regarding possible dismissal for lack of service.

In the stipulation, Baldwin-Kennedy admitted to three counts of misconduct related to the lack of consent regarding conflicts, failure to diligently pursue cases, lack of client communication, and trust account violations. Aggravating the discipline is that the misconduct involved multiple clients and one vulnerable client. In mitigation, Baldwin-Kennedy had no prior record, entered into the stipulation, and provided character references.

In the suspension order, the California Supreme Court adopted the stipulated facts and disciplinary recommendation to suspend Baldwin-Kennedy for one year with the suspension stayed and one year of probation. This outcome was consistent with prior attorney discipline cases involving similar multiple rule violations related to client funds and representation.

The suspension order imposes conditions to protect the public and maintain high ethics standards for California attorneys. Baldwin-Kennedy will not be able to practice law or represent clients during the first 90 days of her probation. Compliance with probation over the full term will allow her to avoid serving the entire one-year stayed suspension.

According to Avvo, Baldwin-Kennedy is a business attorney in Agoura Hills, California. She acquired her law license in California in 2015. 

A copy of the original filing can be found here.