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Kerry Steigerwalt, who once ran the most heavily advertised law firm in San Diego, has been reinstated by the State Bar of California. As of Oct. 6, he is eligible to practice law again, according to Bar records. His address is listed as Steigerwalt Law Firm, 5030 Camino De La Siesta. (See my Steigerwalt columns July 21, 2010 and June 22, 2011.)

Steigerwalt, who was a darling of local mainstream media, took over Pacific Law Center, which relied on heavy advertising and fast-buck practices. That firm had been founded in the 1990s by a convicted felon who was not a lawyer. The practices continued under Steigerwalt, according a complaint filed by an ex-employee. Clients paid up-front fees but didn't get service. Steigerwalt hired a Chicago lawyer to clean up the mess, but he couldn't do it. The bar filed charges and Steigerwalt agreed to a one-year suspension last year.

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Comments

Visduh Oct. 9, 2013 @ 4:59 p.m.

Oddly enough, his name is probably still an asset to his practice because the low information and brain dead folks who would call him for legal assistance at least remember it. What they don't remember is his wretched record of defending guilty-as-sin killers, rarely prevailing at trial, or the PLC and its history. He should go far, far away and get a job as a therapist or some such thing.

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Scott Marks Oct. 9, 2013 @ 7:36 p.m.

How about a job as a political analyst for one of the local stations? His coverage of the Westerfield trial was first rate.

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Don Bauder Oct. 9, 2013 @ 7:42 p.m.

Scott Marks: I can't comment on that because I did not see his coverage of Westerfield on TV. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 9, 2013 @ 7:35 p.m.

Visduh: I hope you are not right -- that Steigerwalt's name is an asset because people don't remember what he did. But I fear you are right. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Oct. 9, 2013 @ 11:13 p.m.

Many observers assumed the State Bar would audit Pacific Legal Center's books to find out where the money went, and determine whether there was chicanery. Apparently, there will be no audit to explain where the money went. Steigerwalt claimed he sold his rental properties and used the money to make his clients whole. I understand that many clients are still short. All in all, I think the State Bar really screwed up. Meting out a 1 year suspension as punishment is truly laughable in relation to the charges.

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Don Bauder Oct. 10, 2013 @ 7:04 a.m.

Burwell: As one who followed this story, I agree that a one-year suspension was really light. That law firm was a fleecing machine. It did heavy advertising. People came in with their problems, and fast-buck salesmen, who weren't lawyers, talked to them first and got the commitments to pay. But the people didn't get legal services, and Steigerwalt's efforts to ameliorate the situation didn't work. Best, Don Bauder

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