Tempe, AZ 85283-4909
|14 July 2001||Resigned (20 years, 10 months ago)|
|14 May 2001||Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA (21 years ago)|
|16 September 1998||Active (23 years, 8 months ago)|
|12 August 1998||Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA (23 years, 9 months ago)|
|5 January 1972||Admitted to The State Bar of California (50 years, 4 months ago)|
August 12, 1998
JEFFREY ALLAN MATZ [#51123], 56, of Los Angeles was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on probation for six years with an actual 30-day suspension, and was ordered to make restitution and to pass the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Aug. 12, 1998.In 1995, Matz represented a client in her divorce proceedings in both superior court and the California Court of Appeal. In a document he submitted to the superior court, he stated that he had handled approximately 16 cases before the Court of Appeal and two cases before the Supreme Court.When he was notified by the Court of Appeal that it was considering sanctioning him for an infraction of rules, Matz sent a letter to the court stating that the matter in question was "only the second appeal I have prosecuted in my 25 years of practice . . . ." In fact, he had worked on 16 appeals handled by appellate attorneys in his firm.He stipulated that he misled the court.He was later sanctioned $5,000 by the appellate court for a rules infraction, filing an inadequate appellant's appendix, causing the court an unnecessary expenditure of time and effort, and for his attempted deception. He did not notify the bar of the sanction order.In another matter, he substituted in as counsel in a personal injury case in which the previous attorney, in his fee agreement, was given a lien against any recovery for his fees and costs. The case settled for $500,000, and Matz received a net fee of $111,000.He did not notify the previous attorney of the settlement, nor did he retain any funds for him in trust.When the other lawyer learned of the settlement, he sued Matz and obtained a default judgment of more than $116,000. (Matz' attorney substituted out of the case and Matz did not show up for an arbitration hearing.)The judgment is unpaid.In a medical malpractice and wrongful death case in which he represented two clients, Matz knew that the state Department of Health Services (DHS) claimed a lien for services provided to his clients. He incorrectly believed the lien was not valid.The case settled for $150,000, but Matz did not notify DHS, pay any funds it was owed, maintain the funds in his trust account, or inform his client's guardian that DHS had asserted a lien.In mitigation, Matz has no prior record of discipline and in two of the cases, he incorrectly believed the liens did not have to be paid. He did not report the sanctions by the court of appeal to the bar, believing he was not required to do so because the court reported them.