On Wednesday, December 28, 2022, the Supreme Court of California suspended Los Angeles attorney Edward Mark Chavez for failure to properly communicate with clients. The case is entitled “In the matter of Edward Mark Chavez” with case no. SBC-21-O-30026.

The charges cited Rules of Professional Conduct 3-110(A), 3-700(A)(2), Business and Professions Code section 6068, subdivision (M), and 6103.

The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here

On July 26, 2022, it was stated that the respondent, Edward Mark Chavez, allegedly, while representing a client pursuing a civil action seeking relief in an employment matter failed to appear for four court events, including the trial of his client’s case. Moreover, he also failed to communicate to his client significant developments that occurred in the case. He also violated two court orders assessing sanctions during the discovery phase. 

The filing states:

“On January 11, 2021, OCTC filed in our Court, its five-count Notice of Disciplinary Charges (NDC), alleging that, in count one, Chavez breached former rule 3-110(A), Rules of Professional Conduct, by willfully failing to act competently between 2015 and 2017, as to five instances in his attorney-client relationship with Ms. Katya Espinoza. These included failing to appear at three superior court conferences or hearings in her civil case, failure to appear at the trial in her case, and failure to file an opposition to the opposing party’s motion to quash service of summons.”

The filing continues:

“Chavez represented Espinoza at her April 8, 2016 deposition. Thereafter, Chavez took no steps to represent her further in this action, nor did he file a substitution of attorney form or move the court to be relieved as Espinoza’s counsel.

Chavez testified he regretted not ensuring that he followed through either with Espinoza filing a substitution of counsel or Chavez filing a motion to withdraw as counsel. At this time in his practice, Chavez was more trusting of clients fulfilling their promises. In hindsight, he termed his failure to ensure that Espinoza would follow through to effect a change of counsel and document it as a “rookie mistake.” For his failure to appear at some of the court’s events at which he was absent, and his failure to make timely payment of sanctions orders, Chavez stated that they fell off his “radar screen” or that he assumed that one or two of the court events would not require appearances because they would be considered at a later court date.”

The respondent and the State Bar’s Office of Chief Trial Counsel disagreed on the degree of discipline to recommend. However, the hearing judge concluded that in this case, the mitigating circumstances only slightly outweighed the aggravating ones, including Chavez’s prior one-year actual suspension and probation imposed in 2011. Moreover, the judge determined that the Standards for Attorney Sanctions for Professional Misconduct called for progressive discipline and recommended a stayed suspension, which included 15 months of actual suspension. Thus, an Order is issued by the court suspending the respondent for 15 months. 

The Disposition states:

“The court orders that Edward Mark Chavez (Respondent), State Bar Number 146133, is suspended from the practice of law in California for two years, execution of that period of suspension stays, 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 15 months of probation, 
    2. The respondent must also comply with the other conditions of probation recommended by the Review Department of the State Bar Court in its Opinion lived on July 26, 2022; and 
    3. At the expiration of the period of probation, if the  Respondent has complied with all conditions of probation, the period of stayed suspension will be satisfied and that suspension will be terminated.”

As of today, Mr. Chavez is listed on the website of the law firm EMC LAW as a practicing attorney. His info can be found on Linkedin. He attended the University of Michigan Law School, graduating in 1989. Chavez practices in Los Angeles, California. He is licensed in California.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.