Jay Allen Sanford 9:05 p.m., May 25
Disbarred attorney not required to appear in court
Michael Theodore Pines “waives” his appearance for hearings
A former attorney who is notorious in San Diego County for his multiple arrests and unusual statements in court, apparently is no longer required to appear in court for his own cases.
Michael Theodore Pines was formally disbarred in November, 2012. A statement on the State Bar’s website states: “This member is prohibited from practicing law in California by order of the California Supreme Court.” The 60-year-old former real-estate-attorney has been listed as “Not eligible to practice law” since May 1, 2011.
Michael T. Pines was last in court on November 26, 2012, when he was due to be sentenced for at least three different superior court cases, in which he had made plea deals. Pines could have been sentenced to 4 years and 8 months for offenses he admitted in plea deals, according to court documents, but Superior Court Judge K. Michael Kirkman “stayed” a sentence of 2 years, and granted formal probation to the defendant on November 26, 2012.
Prior to that court appearance, Pines was a “failure to appear” on September 26 and again October 9. Authorities captured him in Mexico as a fugitive on October 19, 2012, according to the prosecutor most familiar with these cases, James Romo.
Pines has admitted making a written extortion threat as a felony, and practicing law while suspended from the State bar, and trespass. Prosecutor James Romo said that Michael T. Pines continued to advertise his services as an attorney, even while he was a fugitive.
In past years, Pines had law offices in Carlsbad and positioned himself as a champion of persons in danger of losing their homes. When he was in court, he often spoke of conspiracies involving banks and people in power, and California Superior Court judges have questioned his mental competency.
At his last court date, on January 8, Pines did not appear in court, instead he “waived” his appearance. His retained attorney Raymundo Pacello Jr. has been making court appearances for Pines. Pacello Jr., who describes himself as “LEGAL BALLER” on his business card, is expected to appear again on behalf of Pines on February 21; this date is described as a “restitution hearing.”
There appears to be another, long-suffering attorney in San Diego County named Michael Pines who is trying to practice personal injury law out of his La Jolla offices.