On Wednesday, January 18, 2023, the Supreme Court of Califonia disbarred attorney Sagi Schwartzberg for a criminal conviction of a felony involving child pornography.

The case is entitled “In the matter of Sagi Schwartzberg” and was brought by the Florida Bar with case no. S276435.

The charges cited Title 18 United States Code, Section 2252(a)(2)(a) and (b)(1) which states:

Knowingly receiving child pornography by any means and facility of interstate and foreign commerce.

The United States Code can be found here.

On August 4, 2022, the State Bar of California issued a Recommendation of Summary Disbarment against attorney Sagi Schwartzberg for the latter’s felony conviction in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. The State Bar recommended that the summary disbarment be granted and that the respondent pays $5,000 for the monetary sanctions.

In a Petition for Review filed on October 28, 2022, by attorney Sagi, the respondent requested that the Court review the Decision of the State Bar of California recommending the imposition of monetary sanctions.

The filing states:

“PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that Sagi Schwartzberg, Petitioner in Pro Se (hereinafter “Petitioner”) hereby petitions this Honorable Court to review the decision of the State Bar of California (“State Bar”) recommending the imposition of sanctions in the amount of $5,000 and award of costs in the amount of $2,910 in the under1ying State Bar disciplinary proceedings summarily disbarring Petitioner.”

Moreover, according to the Petition, the Decision to impose such sanctions and Award Cost is not supported by the weight of the Evidence. The Petition also argued that the recommended Discipline is not appropriate in light of the record as a whole.

The filing continues:

“The decision of the State Bar to impose 5,000 in sanctions and further award costs is not supported by the weight of the evidence. First, the “guideline” providing the imposition of sanctions upon disbarment provides a maximum of $5,000, presumably for the most egregious of violations. While Petitioner’s felony is a crime of moral turpitude per se, such crime did not involve the practice of law and is not likely to reduce the public’s perception of the legal profession. Unlike other licensees who cheat, steal, and rob their clients, and then get caught and disbarred, Petiti oner’s discipline does not arise from any fraud, deceit, or theft from a client or anyone else for that matter.

The filing additionally states:

“The record as a whole presents the following: Petitioner was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude per se, he admitted to such conduct and offered to surrender his 1icense because he understood the severity of his conduct (which the State Bar refused). The crime for which Petitioner was convicted does not involve the practice of Law, and Petitioner did not challenge the disbarment. Petitioner presented evidence of his severe financial hardship and his attempt to limit the cost of his disciplinary proceedings, and the State Bar submitted evidence to rebut the fact that Petitioner is essentially indigent, after meeting all of his financial obligations relating to his conviction. Additionally, the Office of Trial Counsel never sought costs in its Request”

Despite the arguments laid out in the Petition of the respondent in an attempt to counter the imposition and recommendation of Discipline against him, the court decided to deny such Petition for Review and accordingly sanction the respondent.

The Disposition states:

“The petition for review is denied. The court orders that Sagi Schwartzberg (Respondent), State Bar Number 273312, is summarily disbarred from the practice of law and that Respondent’s name is stricken from the roll of attorneys.

The respondent must comply with California Rules of Court, rule 9.20, and perform the acts specified in subdivisions (a) and (¢) of that rule within 30 and 40 calendar days, respectively, after the date this order is filed. (Athearn v. State Bar (1982) 32 Cal.3d 38, 45 [the operative date for identification of clients being represented in pending matters and others to be notified is the filing date of this order])”

As of today, Mr. Schwartzberg is listed as an attorney at Schwartzberg & Luther, APC. His info can be found on Linkedin. He attended the University of La Verne, graduating in 2010. He practices in Ontario, California. He is licensed to practice in California.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.