Supreme Court of California Justia
Citation 48 Cal.3d 970
In re Otto

In re Otto (1989) 48 Cal.3d 970 , 258 Cal.Rptr. 383; 772 P.2d 558

[No. S007308. Supreme Court of California. May 24, 1989.]

In re THOMAS ARMSTRONG OTTO, Jr., on Suspension

(Opinion by The Court.)


Thomas Armstrong Otto, Jr., in pro. per., for Petitioner.

Diane C. Yu, Truitt A. Richey, Jr., Richard J. Zanassi and Donald R. Steedman for Respondent.



Thomas Armstrong Otto, Jr., admitted to practice in 1974, was convicted of two felonies: assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury (Pen. Code, § 245, subd. (a)), and infliction of corporal punishment on a cohabitant of the opposite sex resulting in a traumatic condition. (Pen. Code, § 273.5.) The trial court reduced both counts to misdemeanors and placed him on probation with certain conditions, including that he serve 90 days in jail. He has since successfully completed his probation.

We referred the matter to the State Bar for a hearing, report, and recommendation on the question whether the facts and circumstances surrounding the commission of the offenses involved moral turpitude or other misconduct warranting discipline and, if so found, what discipline should be imposed. The State Bar's report has now been filed, the review department concluding that Otto's acts did not involve moral turpitude but did constitute other misconduct warranting discipline. It recommends that Otto be suspended for two years, that execution of that suspension be stayed, and that he be placed on probation for two years on conditions including six months' actual suspension.

[1] This court, after reviewing the entire record and considering all the facts and circumstances, fn. 1 has concluded that Otto's conduct constituted [48 Cal.3d 972] misconduct warranting discipline and that he should be disciplined in accordance with the State Bar's recommendation.

It is therefore ordered that Thomas Armstrong Otto, Jr., be suspended from the practice of law in the State of California for a period of two years, that execution of that suspension is stayed, and that he be placed on probation for two years upon all the conditions, including six months' actual suspension, which are set forth in the resolution adopted by the State Bar Court in this matter on June 28, 1988. It is further ordered that Otto take and pass the Professional Responsibility Examination within one year of the effective date of this order (see Segretti v. State Bar (1976) 15 Cal.3d 878, 891 [126 Cal.Rptr. 793, 544 P.2d 929]). This order is effective upon finality of this opinion.

­FN 1. Petitioner's reply brief, received by this court on March 3, 1989, is untimely and his motion for relief from default is denied. (See Cal. Rules of Court, rule 45(e).) Petitioner's request for oral argument is also denied. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 951(d).)


Opinion Information
Date:Citation:Docket Number:Category:Status:
Wed, 05/24/198948 Cal.3d 970S007308State Bar - Disciplinecase closed

1Otto, Thomas A. (Petitioner)
2State Bar Of California (Non-Title Respondent)
Represented by Richard J. Zanassi
State Bar Examiner'S Office
555 Franklin Street
San Francisco, CA

3State Bar Of California (Non-Title Respondent)
Represented by Donald R. Steedman
State Bar Examiner'S Office
555 Franklin Street
San Francisco, CA

May 24 1989Opinion: Recommended discipline imposed

Sep 26 1988Objections to the report & recommendation filed
By Petitioner Thomas Otto (Tct w/Record)
Sep 26 1988Letter sent to:
Thomas Otto requesting filing fee
Oct 19 1988Filed:
Application for Waiver of Court Fees and costs. (Granted.)
Oct 26 1988Letter sent to:
Mr. Otto Advising that Court would Accept Supple- Ment to Objections to Report & Recommendation by 11-21-88.
Nov 30 1988Application for Extension of Time filed
To file Objections To Report & Recommendation
Dec 8 1988Order filed:
Time Ext to 12-22-88 to Otto for filing Supple Obj to Report/Rec of State Bar.
Jan 4 1989Filed:
Supplement to Objections to Report (Perm - Late)
Jan 20 1989Response to Petition filed by State Bar
Brief in support of Report and Recommendation of the State Bar
Mar 3 1989Received document entitled:
Replication brief by Resp to State Bar's brief (brief Is Late, Application for Relief Recd and submitted to Ct for Approval)
May 24 1989Opinion filed: Recommended discipline imposed
By/Court: Susp 2 Yrs Stayed Prob 2 Yrs + 6 Mos. Actual Susp; Pass Pre w/in 1 Yr Effectv finality (See Segretti V St/Bar(1976)15 Cal.3d 878, 891.)
Sep 6 1990- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sep 7 1990Filed document entitled:
Letter of Non-Compliance--Failure to Take/Pass Pre
Sep 12 1990Probation modified
Suspended For Failure to Take/Pass Pre.
Oct 4 1990Mail returned (unable to forward)
Addressed to Petitioner [State Bar has Ident. Add]