California Bar Journal
CBJ - September 2012 #05.
Brian Oxman disbarred and his wife suspended for client trust account violations
The California LawyerSeptember 2012Brian Oxman disbarred and his wife suspended for client trust account violationsHigh-profile attorney RICKEY BRIAN OXMAN [#72172], who once represented pop icon Michael Jackson in his child molestation trial, was disbarred July 27. His wife and law partner, MAUREEN PATRICIA JAROSCAK [#117677], was suspended for 18 months, beginning Aug. 11.
A State Bar Court review panel found that the pair, whose law firm is in Santa Fe Springs, commingled funds in their client trust account and used the account to evade creditors. Separately, it found that Oxman failed to report a judicial sanction to the bar, as required, and Jaroscak breached her fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of a trust. Using the client trust account to shield their personal assets from creditors was dishonest and amounts to moral turpitude, a three-judge review panel found.
The panel increased a hearing judge's recommendation that Oxman be suspended for two years, instead recommending his disbarment due in large part to two prior disciplines on his record. "Oxman's three disciplinary proceedings show a disturbing disregard for the administration of justice, including misrepresentations to courts and a failure to cooperate in discipline proceedings," wrote Judge JoAnn Remke. "We find the totality of the circumstances warrants Oxman's disbarment to protect the public, the courts and the legal profession."
Oxman's appeal to the state Supreme Court was denied. Oxman, 60, has made frequent television appearances as a legal expert and recently represented the 1-800-GET-THIN surgery marketing company and its affiliated Lap Band surgery centers.
Charges of mismanaging their law firm's client trust account stemmed from the couple's numerous deposits and withdrawals of personal funds over six months in 2008. At the time, they faced significant financial obligations, including five liens totaling more than $51,000 filed against them by the Franchise Tax Board for unpaid taxes, penalties, interest and collection fees for tax years 2005, 2006 and 2007. They also owed almost $25,000 to their lawyer for previous discipline matters.
With funds from her mother, Jaroscak opened an account that she said she...