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Warrant Issued for Disbarred Lawyer

A one-time Ventura lawyer who made headlines for a series of bizarre incidents, including a conviction for taking LSD on the job, is now wanted by authorities on suspicion of practicing law without a license.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Douglas Andrew Palaschak, 43, who has been disbarred from practicing law in the state, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said Friday.

Warrants are generally issued when a defendant fails to appear for a court hearing.

Palaschak’s warrant says that prosecutors determined during an investigation that he was practicing law after having been disbarred. Details about where he was practicing and the nature of the disbarment were not available Saturday.

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Palaschak’s last known home address was in Port Hueneme.

This is not the first time Palaschak has been accused of illegally practicing law.

In August 1993, he was arrested at a Camarillo motel room after investigators from the Ventura County district attorney’s office found him accepting money from a client for preparing a bankruptcy petition.

At the time, Palaschak’s license had been suspended after his 1992 misdemeanor conviction for possessing LSD. Palaschak said then that he thought he could still practice law in federal court because his license had been suspended by the state office.

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On May 9, 1991, Palaschak and his then 18-year-old secretary had been arrested on suspicion of using LSD. At the time, Palaschak told reporters he had ingested the hallucinogen at his office to “provide a better social environment.”

Palaschak successfully appealed his conviction, but the state Supreme Court reinstated it in 1995. State bar officials said after the reinstatement that they were seeking to disbar Palaschak.

Before his 1991 arrest and subsequent disbarment, the state bar had suspended Palaschak for traffic violations that put him in jail for eight months and had charged him with practicing law without a license during that suspension.

The bar had also taken Palaschak before a judge on charges of moral turpitude for asking female job applicants to sign contracts that would allow him to make sexual advances. A judge found the contracts did not warrant bar discipline.

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