The Supreme Court of California issued an order on June 29, 2023, suspending attorney John Joseph Hyland IV from practicing law for one year, with the suspension stayed, and placing him on probation for one year.
The case is entitled “In the matter of John Joseph Hyland IV”, and was bought by the State Bar with case no. S279772.
Attoryen Hyland IV acknowledged breaching the rules of professional conduct and statutory regulations in a case concerning a medical lien involving a client. He postponed the payment to High Desert Medical Office despite having received settlement funds in 2016, resulting in a filed complaint. Furthermore, he mixed his personal funds with those of the client in their client trust account and conducted multiple personal transactions and withdrawals from the same account.
The stipulation of facts states:
“In a client matter, the respondent signed a medical lien with High Desert Medical Office on March 17, 2016. In that matter, the respondent eventually obtained a $20,000 settlement and, on May 19, 2016, deposited that $20,000 settlement check into the respondent’s client trust account at Bank of America, account no. ending in x0082 (“CTA”). On May 19, 2016, the client cashed the respondent’s CTA check no. 9007 for the client’s portion of the settlement funds. Beginning in 2017, High Desert Medical Office began requesting that the respondent pay its lien.”
The stipulation of facts continues:
“On September 1, 2022, the State Bar received a complaint from High Desert Medical Office, explaining they had learned in August 2022 that the settlement funds had been disbursed. On October 4, 2022, State Bar Investigator Sarita Pouzanoff sent the respondent a letter of inquiry regarding the medical lien issue. On October 7, 2022, the respondent sent the State Bar a copy of a letter he sent to the High Desert Medical Office, which enclosed a $3,500 check pursuant to an agreement with that office to fully resolve the lien.”
The stipulation of facts further states:
“On five occasions between November 1, 2018, and August 24, 2022, the respondent deposited personal funds into his CTA in the total amount of $9,962. On 30 occasions between May 24, 2016, and October 31, 2018, the respondent made personal payments or withdrawals of cash for personal purposes from funds held in his CTA, in the total amount of $145,638.27. On 76 occasions between November 1, 2018, and October 24, 2022, the respondent made personal payments or withdrawals of cash for personal purposes from funds held in his CTA, in the total amount of $487,018.67.”
Given the severity of the misconduct, the evaluation of aggravating and mitigating factors, adherence to the standards, and analysis of relevant case law, it was deemed necessary and appropriate to impose a one-year stayed suspension against Hyland IV. According to the hearing department, this disciplinary action is essential to safeguard the interests of the public, uphold the integrity of the courts, and maintain the high standards expected of legal professionals, thus preserving public trust in the legal profession.
The Supreme Court reviewed the stipulations and ordered the following:
The court orders that John Joseph Hyland IV (Respondent), State Bar Number 155201, is suspended from the practice of law in California for one year, execution of that period of suspension is stayed, and Respondent is placed on probation for one year subject to the following conditions:
1. Respondent must comply with the other conditions of probation recommended by the Hearing Department of the State Bar Court in its Order Approving Stipulation filed on March 23, 2023; and
2. At the expiration of the period of probation, if Respondent has complied with the terms of probation, the period of stayed suspension will be satisfied and that suspension will be terminated.”
Mr. Hyland IV practices in attended the California Western School of Law, graduating in 1991. He practices in Fontana, California. He is licensed in California. His info can be found on martindale.com.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.