May 9, 2022
The State Bar of California and the Bankruptcy Trustee for the estate of Girardi Keese today filed a proposed stipulation agreement in federal court, which, if approved, will enable the State Bar to access critical records from the Trustee related to the State Bar’s ongoing investigation of its past handling of complaints against former licensee Thomas V. Girardi.
The stipulation was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California, Los Angeles Division. It would enable the State Bar to subpoena certain records, including financial records and communications, from Girardi Keese Bankruptcy Trustee Elissa D. Miller. The State Bar has agreed to incur agreed-upon costs for the work involved in that search. This will enable the Trustee to comply with the subpoena without incurring further debt to the estate.
The State Bar announced in January 2022 that it had undertaken an independent investigation to determine if the handling of any past discipline complaints against Girardi was affected by his connections to or influence at the State Bar. The investigation is being conducted by Halpern May Ybarra Gelberg LLP.
“While details of this investigation must remain confidential to give it the greatest chance for success, this stipulation is a public record that demonstrates the State Bar’s progress, continuing effort, and resolve in pursuing this investigation thoroughly and completely,” said Ruben Duran, Chair of the State Bar Board of Trustees.
On March 2, 2022, the State Bar Court’s decision and order recommending Girardi’s disbarment was transmitted to the California Supreme Court. Girardi was charged with numerous violations of the State Bar Act and Rules of Professional Conduct in three separate matters, including several acts of moral turpitude. He did not file a response to the notice of disciplinary charges, and his default was entered on August 6, 2021.