H.B. lawyer running for Assembly is recommended for 30-day suspension in misconduct case

The State Bar Court of California is recommending a 30-day suspension for a Huntington Beach-based attorney who is a candidate for California’s 72nd Assembly District in next week’s election.

In an Oct. 19 ruling in Los Angeles, Judge Yvette Roland found Lenore Albert-Sheridan, a consumer-advocate lawyer, culpable on three counts of misconduct for failing to cooperate with a disciplinary investigation and failing to obey a court order to pay $7,258 in sanctions. A three-day trial was held in July.

Albert-Sheridan, a Democrat, is running against Republican incumbent Travis Allen for the Assembly seat that represents Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Seal Beach and Westminster.

In an interview Tuesday, Albert-Sheridan disputed Roland’s ruling, saying: “I was not found to have done anything criminal or that I had been dishonest or had bad character.

“I think there were a lot of due-process violations in the proceedings, and I am not going to back down.”

The State Bar Court recommended a 30-day suspension and a year’s probation.

The California Supreme Court will determine whether to uphold the recommendation, Laura Ernde, the State Bar’s managing director of communications, wrote in an email.

The State Bar investigates claims of attorney misconduct. Depending on its determination, formal allegations are filed with the independent State Bar Court by the bar’s prosecutors with the Office of Chief Trial Counsel.

The State Bar Court hears the allegations and has the power to recommend that the state Supreme Court suspend or disbar attorneys ruled to have committed acts of professional misconduct or been convicted of serious crimes.

For lesser offenses, the State Bar Court may issue a public or private rebuke.

The allegations against Albert-Sheridan stem from three cases, including one from 2015 in which Tim and Jodi Sisson filed a complaint against her with the State Bar, court records state.

Court records did not describe the motivation for the Sissons’ complaint, and Ernde declined to provide details.

The Sissons’ relationship to Albert-Sheridan also was unclear.

An investigator assigned to the case sent letters on July 7, 2015, seeking Albert-Sheridan’s response within 14 days to allegations by the Sissons, according to court records. The investigator did not receive a response in that time, records state.

Roland said in her ruling that Albert-Sheridan emailed an Office of Chief Trial Counsel employee on Aug. 4, 2015, seeking a copy of the complaint and asking specific questions.

Albert-Sheridan said she responded to the investigator’s letters and contended that if her responses were inadequate, the Office of Chief Trial Counsel should have notified her.

Twitter: @AldertonBryce