It’s a challenge sometimes. But always try to hire an attorney who has broken fewer laws than you. The choices have fortunately been thinned by the Washington State Bar Association, which recently announced the latest round of disbarments. They include Joel Santos Manalang of Seattle who, as SWreported last year, was involved in laundering the profits of Ultimate Fighter and drug kingpin Robert Kesling -- cash proceeds that arrived in Manalang’s office in a shoe box and duffel bag. Another attorney, Robert M. Storwick of Mercer Island, was disbarred for misusing trust funds -- he even paid his Bar Association fees using someone else’s money. Lynn M. Abreu of Renton was disbarred in connection with two counts of theft involving $485,000 and $205,000 in escrow funds. And Thomas Juhl of Seattle was disbarred for misrepresentation and neglecting legal matters. The bar indicates he wound up well but had no follow-through:
--Mr. Juhl told the client that he filed a lawsuit on behalf of the client and served notice on the employer, filed and prevailed on a summary judgment motion against the employer, hired a private investigator to locate and freeze several of the employer's accounts, filed and prevailed on a motion to assess daily fines against the employer, and filed and prevailed on a subsequent motion to increase the daily fine against the employer. In fact, no lawsuit was filed, no judgments were obtained, and no motions were filed or granted.
--Mr. Juhl gave the client two documents that appeared to be signed, conformed copies of court orders bearing a King County Superior Court cause number. The case number on the orders does not exist, and the orders had not been entered by the court.
--Mr. Juhl told the client that he had received court approval for the sheriff to seize the employer's assets, that the sheriff's office was fined for not timely executing the seizure order, and that he collected a net recovery of $847,000 on behalf of the client. None of these statements were true.