On Thursday, July 27, 2023, the Supreme Court of California handed down a one-year suspension to attorney Robert Adair Graham Jr. The execution of the suspension period, however, has been stayed, and Graham has been placed on probation for one year.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Robert Adair Graham Jr.,” and was brought by the California State Bar with case no. S279944.

The Charges cited California Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3(a), 1.4(a)(3), 1.16(d), 1.16(e)(1), and 8.4(d) California former Rules of Professional Conduct, rule 3-110(A); and Business and Professions Code section 6068(m).

Robert Adair Graham Jr. was served with a notice of disciplinary charges by the State Bar Court Hearing Department in Los Angeles. The case pertained to purportedly unprofessional behavior that resulted in corrective measures being taken. Graham faced accusations of infringing upon California’s Business and Professions Code and multiple Rules of Professional Conduct. These specific charges stemmed from his handling of various legal cases, in which it was alleged that his conduct fell short of ethical standards. Notably, the Supreme Court of Oregon took disciplinary action against Graham for professional misconduct in that jurisdiction. The decree from Oregon, dated June 2, 2022, underscored Graham’s actions that were judged to contravene the rules and laws of that foreign jurisdiction. The allegations encompassed cases like the representation of Sandra Diesel in a breach of contract dispute, as well as the representation of Andrew Harrison in a similar breach of contract matter. These cases outlined instances of poor communication, failure to execute crucial tasks, and a lapse in adequately representing the clients.

In his official reply, Graham Jr. articulated his viewpoint by challenging each accusation outlined in the State Bar Complaint. Additionally, he brought forward the existence of mitigating circumstances that he believed merited careful consideration when evaluating his responsibility for the matter and the potential for subsequent penalties. In his formal reply, Graham Jr. actively pursued specific outcomes through his legal representation. These requests encompassed the complete dismissal of the complaint lodged against him. Furthermore, he sought reimbursement for the expenses he accrued in addressing the allegations and responding to the complaint. Finally, he remained receptive to the court’s assessment of any other fitting remedies that might be deemed appropriate given the particulars of the case.

The stipulation of facts revealed the mitigating factors surrounding the disciplinary case. It outlined Graham Jr.’s acknowledgment of responsibility following a one-year suspension from practicing law in Oregon. Factors that worked in Graham Jr.’s favor came to light. His nearly four-decade-long history of practicing law without any prior disciplinary issues was underscored. Expert testimony emphasized the attorney’s severe emotional struggles during the relevant period. Furthermore, Graham Jr. demonstrated admirable character through his pro bono work and contributions to the community.

Despite these mitigating circumstances, the stipulation referenced the Standards for Attorney Sanctions for Professional Misconduct as it outlined a suitable disciplinary path. Taking into account the seriousness of the misconduct, the suggested recommendation proposed a one-year suspension, which would be held in abeyance, along with a year of probation.

The stipulation of facts underwent a meticulous review process by the Supreme Court of California, which ultimately resulted in its acceptance.

The Disposition states:

“The court orders that Robert Adair Graham Jr. (Respondent), State Bar Number 76588, 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 April 13, 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. Graham Jr. attended the Whittier College School of Law. He practices in Medford, Oregon. He is licensed in Oregon and California with license no. 76588. His info can be found on lawyersjustia.com.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.