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California State Bar Admits They Committed ‘Serious Failures’ With Tom Girardi’s Alleged Crimes: Details

Tom Girardi's Legal Woes: California State Bar Admits to 'Serious Failures' by Not Disbarring Him

Tom Girardi’s legal woes continue to make headlines. The California State Bar emphasized the severity of the former attorney’s alleged crimes while acknowledging the mistakes made by not disbarring him sooner after he allegedly embezzled millions of dollars from clients over multiple decades.

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In a lengthy, 50-page open letter from the State Bar of California, published on Thursday, November 3, the agency stated: “The handling of the Girardi matters brought to light serious failures in the State Bar’s attorney discipline system, failures that have contributed to a lack of confidence in the State Bar’s ability to carry out our core responsibility of protecting the public. There is no excuse being offered here; Girardi caused irreparable harm to hundreds of his clients, and the State Bar could have done more to protect the public. We can never allow something like this to happen again.”

Specifically, the letter noted, “Over the past 40 years, the State Bar opened 205 disciplinary matters about Girardi. Of the 205 matters, approximately 120 involved allegations relating to client trust account violations. The remaining disciplinary matters involved various allegations ranging from failure to communicate with clients to failure to perform, as well as misrepresentations to courts and clients, among others.”

Though the 83-year-old cofounder of law firm Girardi & Keese, who now has Alzheimer’s and has been under conservatorship since July 2021, made headlines for his widely-publicized legal troubles beginning in 2020 — during which he was accused of embezzling $2 million from plane crash victims he represented in 2018 — the L.A. Times reports that he had been accused of misappropriating funds, abandoning clients and more ethical breaches beginning decades earlier.

The Colorado native was ultimately disbarred by the state Supreme Court in July after being suspended from practicing law in March 2021. His personal life — including his marriage to Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne — began crumbling one year earlier, when the Bravo personality, 51, filed for divorce in November 2020 after 20 years of marriage. One month later, she was named alongside her estranged husband in a fraud lawsuit alleging that they stole settlement money from the plane crash victims Girardi represented.

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In August, Erika — who has long maintained her innocence and repeatedly claimed on RHOBH that she never had any knowledge of Girardi’s alleged crimes — was cleared of any wrongdoings in one case by a judge in August, with Judge Richard Fruin stating in court documents obtained by Us Weekly that the “XX$PENSIVE” singer “had no actual knowledge” of the disbarred attorney’s misappropriation of funds.

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Two months earlier, however, Judge Barry Russell ruled that “settlement funds from the trust account created for a class action handled by Thomas’ firm Girardi & Keese were used to pay for” Erika’s famous $750,000 earrings, which were a gift from her then-husband. While the judge noted that the reality star wasn’t “aware the earrings were stolen property,” she was ordered to return them.

The diamond jewels are currently up for auction with John Moran Auctioneers. The bidding will begin on December 7.

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