The State Bar of California has filed additional charges against Los Angeles divorce lawyer Marvin Mitchelson, accusing him of misappropriating clients’ trust funds, charging unconscionable fees and failing to return unearned fees.
The Bar’s office of trial counsel filed documents this week asserting that Mitchelson mishandled seven cases, making misrepresentations to clients about services he would provide.
The Bar said Mitchelson charged advance fees ranging up to $25,000 for filing a divorce and delegated work to associates that he promised clients he would do himself.
The Bar also alleged that Mitchelson had improper business relationships with clients that “were unfair and unreasonable” when he specified in retainer agreements that he would receive a percentage of the property clients were awarded in their divorce settlements.
Mitchelson, who has denied any wrongdoing, was accused last June of mishandling clients’ funds in four other cases.
A hearing to resolve the allegations is expected to be held early next year. If proven, the charges could lead to his disbarment.