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Lawyer Steigerwalt Suspended a Year

The State Bar of California has suspended attorney Kerry Steigerwalt for one year, according to the Union-Tribune. He will also be on probation for two years. As detailed in my Reader columns of July 21, 2010, and June 22, 2011, Steigerwalt took over Pacific Law Center, which featured heavy advertising and fast-buck sales practices. Many of those practices continued under Steigerwalt, according to a complaint filed with the bar by an ex-employee. Many clients paid their fees upfront and didn't get legal services. Steigerwalt hired a Chicago attorney who tried to clean up many of the back problems; the attorney was not licensed to practice law in California, said the bar. The bar filed a 56-count complaint against Steigerwalt in December. Many of the charges were dropped in the disciplinary action.

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The State Bar of California has suspended attorney Kerry Steigerwalt for one year, according to the Union-Tribune. He will also be on probation for two years. As detailed in my Reader columns of July 21, 2010, and June 22, 2011, Steigerwalt took over Pacific Law Center, which featured heavy advertising and fast-buck sales practices. Many of those practices continued under Steigerwalt, according to a complaint filed with the bar by an ex-employee. Many clients paid their fees upfront and didn't get legal services. Steigerwalt hired a Chicago attorney who tried to clean up many of the back problems; the attorney was not licensed to practice law in California, said the bar. The bar filed a 56-count complaint against Steigerwalt in December. Many of the charges were dropped in the disciplinary action.

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Comments
18

I am one of Steigerwalts client and I heard he said in the KUSI News during his interview that "All Clients have been Paid Off". I HAVE NOT BEEN PAID. The last time I was at thier facilities in La Jolla, they were closing and told me I cannot get a refund because Steigerwalt has filed bankruptcy himself. Please help me or direct me on how to get paid by his law firm.

May 19, 2012

I doubt very much that all Steigerwalt's clients have been paid. He shouldn't be saying things like that. I would start with his lawyer, Arthur Margolis, If you google his name + attorney you should get his number. Find out from Margolis's office who the bankruptcy attorney was, and who was the bankruptcy trustee. Call them. Best, Don Bauder

May 19, 2012

You've been steigerwalted and you won't see a dime. Kerry will do his year and start making money and become a millionnaire again. No dough for you.

May 19, 2012

I'm afraid you are right, Burwell. Best, Don Bauder

May 19, 2012

Sad to say B is 100% correct. I doubt he will get new clients, who would trust him with $$$$$$, no one after this. And he shouldn't be trusted, Pacific Law Center was a HUGE scam, along the lines of infamous San Diego civil Personal Injury attorney Sam Spital.

Nov. 18, 2012

sick stuff and little or no recourse 4 those mistreated..it's a crying shame

May 19, 2012

The victims were often low-income people, vulnerable to TV advertising and fast-buck sales pitches. Sad. Best, Don Bauder

May 19, 2012

And that is why this clown should LOSE his law license and go to jail.... He PREYED on the poor and the weak, those least able to defend themselves.

May 22, 2012

But he only loses his law license for a year.. Best, Don Bauder

May 22, 2012

NEVER hire ANY law firm that advertises like PLC did, Or Sam Spital, or Larry H Parker.......

May 21, 2012

It wasn't just the heavy advertising that raised red flags. The potential customer got a sales job from a non-lawyer (used car salesman, often) the minute he/she walked in the door. The firm wanted upfront payments and made bold promises that, of course, weren't kept. PLC had such practices when Kerry Steigerwalt took it over. He must have known -- or should have known -- that PLC's founders had smelly reputations. He knew exactly what kind of a racket he was buying into. Best, Don Bauder

May 21, 2012

Don, you are of course correct-ALL of the issues listed by you point to a scam.

BUT the #1 RED FLAG is non stop constant TV advertising. It costs a fortune and the only way it can be covered is to short change the clients. That is how and why Sam Spital was put out of business (Spital was the #2 TV Advertising lawyer in America before he was sued for malpractice).

May 22, 2012

Well, flip a coin. Which was the most noxious practice? The heavy advertising or the fast-buck sales pitch to potential clients. Best, Don Bauder

May 22, 2012

Isn't Spital still practicing? I know that he still was a couple of years ago. I remember reading an article a few yrs ago about his filing of an application for a permanent disability retirement from San Diego County for some kind of injury he claimed to have suffered while he was working in the probation dept. Something about a fall while at work or something like that. At that time he was still practicing. I recall that he filed BK after the malpractice lawsuit, but that he paid off all of his creditors. We used to see his tv ads when we were down in SD. “Let Sam Do It!”. My favorite was the " client" in the wheel chair who, as it turns out, was actually a friend of his wife. Whatever happened with the lawyer who represented the former client who sued Spital. i remember that he and a couple of judges were convicted in a corruption case; I think the actual charges were racketeering and mail fraud. And then one of the judge, the one who wanted to serve the last part of his sentence at his ocean front home in Hawaii, sued the state a few yrs ago because they cut his pension. Ahh, you just gotta love the San Diego legal system and all of it's players!! LOL

Nov. 19, 2012

Spital may still have a law license but he has for most purposes gone out of business...yes he was working as a probation officer after he lost the malpractice lawsuit from Pat Frega and tried and denied a disability pensions, Frega was later disbarred and went to work for Bill Lerach as a "law clerk" at Milberg Weiss, and then Lerach was disbarred. The judges were no better, G Dennis Adams, Malkus and I forgot the last one......so funny!

Nov. 19, 2012

Frega also went to prison. He was given 41 months, but later had the sentence reduced by a year by enrolling in and completing a substance abuse treatment program. He actually wasn't disbarred. He had his license suspended and then resigned from the bar a couple of weeks after his appeal was denied . The other judge was Micheal Greer. He got probation in exchange for his testimony against the others, if I remember correctly.

Nov. 19, 2012

When you resign with charges pending it has the same legal effect of being disbarred................really no different than a nolo contendere plea in criminal court, is it a guilty plea? no. but it has the same effect.

Nov. 20, 2012

Ust take Steigerwalt to mandatory fee arbitration through the county bar association When you get a ruling in your favor if he does not pay it back his license will be suspended until he does (he will be involuntarily inactive)

Nov. 18, 2012

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