On Wednesday, June 14, 2023, the Supreme Court of California suspended attorney Alison M. Madden for engaging in professional misconduct.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Alison M. Madden,” and was bought by the State Bar with case no. S278466.
On July 22, 2021, the respondent received a notice of disciplinary charges, alleging four counts of misconduct, which include failure to obey court orders, failure to comply with laws, failure to withdraw while representing a client after being suspended from the practice of law, and misappropriation of funds.
The notice of disciplinary charges states:
“Respondent disobeyed or violated an order of the court requiring the respondent to do or forbear an act connected with or in the course of respondent’s profession, which respondent knew was final and binding and which respondent ought in good faith to do or forbear, in willful violation of Business and Professions Code section 6103, by failing to comply with a court order issued on or about July 5, 2019, requiring the respondent to comply with California Rules of Court, rule 9.20, and perform the acts specified in subdivisions (a) and (c) of that rule within 30 and 40 days, respectively, after the effective date of her suspension; and by failing to comply with a court order issued on or about August 29, 2019, which ordered respondent be placed on interim suspension effective December 1, 2019, in State Bar Court case no. SBC-19-C-30278.”
The notice of disciplinary charges continues:
“Respondent held herself out as entitled to practice law and actually practiced law when respondent knew, or was grossly negligent in not knowing, respondent was not an active member of the State Bar, in Stancil v. Superior Court (Redwood City), California Supreme Court, case no. S253783 (“Stancil matter”), and thereby committed an act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty or corruption in willful violation of Business and Professions Code.”
The respondent filed a response to the State Bar Court Hearing Department’s charges against her. She disputed the allegations, claiming that she complied with the court orders and was not in violation. She argued that the court did not include any Rule 9.20 order in the interim suspension order issued on August 29, 2019, and therefore, she cannot be in violation of a non-existent order.
Additionally, she alleged that the charges were baseless and groundless, and the Office of Chief Trial Counsel should have dismissed them after a settlement conference in a prior matter. She further emphasized that the charges put her at risk of perjury due to ambiguous forms, and she only filed them after the previous matter was dismissed. She considered the entire set of pleadings a mess and believed it to be sanctionable.
In a verified petition for review, The State Bar Court recommended that the respondent be suspended for the abovementioned misconduct.
The recommendation states:
“We recommend that Alison M. Madden, State Bar Number 172846, be suspended from the practice of law for three years, that execution of that suspension be stayed, and that she be placed.”
In lieu of the alleged facts and the recommended sanction, the Supreme Court of California decided to suspend the respondent from the practice of law.
The Disposition states:
“Alison M. Madden is suspended from the practice of law for a minimum of the first three years of her probation (with credit given for the periods of interim suspension which commenced July 29, 2019, through August 29, 2019, and December I, 2019, ending March 24, 2022), and Alison M. Madden will remain suspended until providing proof to the State Bar Court of rehabilitation, fitness to practice, and present learning and ability in the general law.”
Ms. Madden is licensed in California.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.