Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Censure by the California State Bar not likely

Bobby Daniels facing State Bar ethics complaint
ESCONDIDO: Councilman's son was media tipster on Barron DUI
North County Times - The Californian
January 3, 2011

Bobby Daniels, son of former City Councilman Dick Daniels, confirmed Monday that he's the anonymous tipster who alerted the media last fall that council candidate Richard Barron was arrested for driving under the influence.

Barron's allies say the revelation supports his claims that he was a victim of "dirty politics." But Bobby Daniels said he tipped the media because "it was pertinent" information for voters, not because he was trying to help his father or his father's political allies.

Barron, who eventually pleaded guilty to minor traffic infractions but not to driving under the influence, finished last in a seven-candidate race for council. Dick Daniels lost the mayor's race to Sam Abed.

Meanwhile, a Barron political supporter has filed an ethics complaint with the State Bar of California against Bobby Daniels, a 33-year-old attorney who practices civil and family law for Skaja, Daniels, Lister & Permito of Escondido.

...While calling his actions regrettable, Daniels said he was confident he would avoid discipline or censure by the state bar. He said his confidence was based on the type of behavior that typically gets disciplined, and the fact that Prazeau was never his client nor his adversary in court.

"This will fall on deaf ears," Daniels said of Prazeau's complaint.

A spokeswoman for the state bar said "it's not uncommon for someone to be disciplined for moral turpitude," but she declined to comment on the specifics of the Daniels case.

Diane Karpman, who writes an ethics column for the state bar's journal, said it seemed "highly unlikely" that Daniels would be disciplined.

She said it was crucial to note that Daniels' questionable behavior did not occur in any professional capacity. She said ethics complaints against attorneys typically come from their clients, judges or other attorneys, and that they focus on behavior that takes place in the line of duty.

However, Karpman said, the complaint could have more weight because it was connected to electoral politics. She said the ethics code aims to ensure that attorneys are "upstanding" citizens, which wouldn't include trying to unethically sway an election...

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