On Friday, February 24, 2023, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California ruled on the disciplinary charges against Santa Ana attorney Roberto Abel Maciel in relation to the latter’s felony convictions.

The case is styled “In the Matter of Roberto Abel Maciel’ and was brought by the Office of Chief Trial Counsel, under case nos. SBC-20-c-30021 and SBC-20-0-30049 (Consolidated).

According to court documents, Maciel was convicted on November 13, 2019 of one count of vandalism causing damage of $400 or more, and one count of assault with a deadly weapon before the Superior Court of California in Riverside.

In a July 7, 2022, status report filed before the Court, the State Bar of California Office of Chief Trial Counsel reported that Maciel recently pleaded down to a PC245(a)(4) with a PC 12022(A) enhancement and was sentenced to five years in prison, eligible for parole in two years and that he has since been released, as of the date of the status report.

Maciel admitted in his response that he has been convicted of the above-cited felonies, and sustained that said offenses do not constitute a crime involving moral turpitude warranting disbarment.

Maciel’s Response states:

“I have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder and I was undergoing a manic episode at the time of the commission of these offenses. The actions which lead to my conviction were a response to a fear of harm. I believed my life was in danger at the time of the commission of the above-referenced offenses.”

Maciel requested the Court to take his mental health into account in deciding what should be the consequences of his offenses.

In light of the foregoing facts and admissions, the Court ruled against Maciel and entered an order suspending the latter with conditions.

The disposition reads:

“The court orders that Roberto Abel Maciel (Respondent), State Bar Number 282892, 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:

  1. Respondent is suspended from the practice of law for the first six months of probation (with credit given for the period of interim suspension which commenced on March 30, 2020);
  2. 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 October 31, 2022; and
  3. At the expiration of the period of probation, if Respondent has complied with all conditions of probation, the period of stayed suspension will be satisfied and that suspension will be terminated.”

Maciel was also ordered to pay monetary sanctions to the State Bar of California Client Security Fund in the amount of $1,500.

Mr. Roberto Abel Maciel earned his Juris Doctorate from the Whittier Law School. He practiced in Santa Ana before the suspension and has been licensed in California, license no. 282892. His info can be found on LinkedIn

A copy of the original filing can be found here.