Four Orange County attorneys were recently suspended by the State Bar of California.
Guy Frank Michael Candelaria, 51, of Fountain Valley, had his law license suspended in July for 30 days and he faces a one-year suspension for taking an advance fee in a mortgage loan modification, which is illegal. He also failed to provide the required disclosure and an accounting after the clients terminated him. During Candelaria’s probation he must take and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination, attend the State Bar Ethics School and make $19,700 restitution to his loan-mod clients.
Adam J. Luetto, 38, of Fullerton, has his license suspended in July for two years and he faces a three-year suspension after shoplifting. The labor law lawyer pleaded guilty to misdemeanor petty theft for leaving a store in 2014 without paying for goods valued at $127.69. He was sentenced to 120 days in jail. But that was but one of four petty theft incidents blamed on Luetto by the state bar, which adds he was also found to be in possession of burglary tools, including a lock pick set. Luetto’s defense was he suffered from untreated depression, generalized anxiety, bipolar type-2 disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. He experienced difficulties in his marriage, lost his job and self-medicated with alcohol and opioid drugs. Luetto adds that he successfully completed an inpatient substance abuse treatment program.
Alejandro Portales, 61, of Santa Ana, has his law license suspended in July for 30 days and faces a two-year suspension for mishandling settlement funds for clients in a real estate dispute. The business law specialist failed to keep his clients reasonably informed of significant developments in the matter, including his receipt of the settlement monies, the state bar says.
Clifford Nelson Schuster, 53, of Anaheim, has his license suspended in July for falsely reporting under penalty of perjury that he had complied with State Bar Minimum Continuing Legal Education requirements. The State Bar Court previously found the general practice lawyer had failed to comply with several conditions of his probation. Now there is a recommendation before the California Supreme Court to revoke Schuster’s probation and that he be suspended from practicing law for a year.