Gay attorney, ex-supe's aide, faces disbarment

  • by Seth Hemmelgarn
  • Wednesday October 26, 2011
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A former San Francisco supervisor's aide is facing disbarment from the State Bar of California after pleading guilty to grand theft in 2010.

Kerrington Osborne, who's 49 and openly gay, worked for ex-Supervisor Michael Yaki more than 10 years ago. He was admitted to the California State Bar in 1990.

A complaint filed in Riverside County Superior Court in 2009 indicates that Osborne was charged with a felony for at least trying to forge a check from Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert on February 11 that year. He also was charged with entering a bank in the Southern California City "with intent to commit theft and a felony" the same day.

 In November 2010, records show, Osborne pleaded guilty to misdemeanor grand theft over $400. The first two charges were dropped, and his sentence included three years probation, documents provided to the Bay Area Reporter show.

Records indicate Osborne now lives in Redlands, in Southern California. The state bar's website shows that he's currently not eligible to practice law. He couldn't be reached for comment.

Jean Cha, deputy trial counsel for the state bar, said that after Osborne's conviction in Riverside County, the court automatically notified the state bar.

In February 2011, bar court documents show, Osborne was suspended from practicing law, effective March 9, pending final disposition of the bar proceeding. He was also ordered to comply with a court rule related to notifying clients and judges of suspension. The court document referred to grand theft as "a crime involving moral turpitude."

Tim Byer, deputy trial counsel for the state bar, said if an attorney is suspended from practice for 90 days or more, they have to notify all their clients and any judge before whom they have matters. Then, they have to file a document with the state bar court saying they've done that.

"I don't know if he's complied with the notice to the clients or courts because he didn't give notice to us that he did it," Byer said. He said all his case against Osborne concerns is his failure to comply with the court rule (9.20).

After Byer handled the case, it was forwarded to Cha for prosecution.

Osborne never responded to the February court order. In July, the court entered his default and "deemed the facts alleged in the notice of disciplinary charges admitted," according to court documents.

Cha said the organization has to wait until January 25, 2012 to request disbarment. Then, she plans to make a motion with the state bar court to request they disbar him. 

A state bar court recommendation for Osborne's disbarment would then go to the state Supreme Court. That court is the only body that can disbar attorneys, she said.

Osborne and Yaki didn't respond to messages seeking comment sent via Facebook.

A man who answered the phone at a number listed for Osborne said that he was Osborne's brother. The man, who wouldn't give his name, said that he hadn't spoken to Osborne in a couple years and didn't know how to reach him.