JOHN BALENTS ASSOCIATION
SYDNEY KEITH ERICSON
Attorney Sydney Keyth Ericson was ordered Not Eligible To Practice Law
on Janaury 23, 2009 and again on January 31, 2010 and Disbarred on August 15, 2012 according to the
California Bar Association website. The website also gives detailed information
Mr. Ericson's previous discipline as ordered by the State Bar Court.
SYDNEY KEYTH ERICSON, 70, of Brea was disbarred Aug. 15, 2012, and was ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.
The State Bar sought Ericson’s disbarment after he did not respond to disciplinary charges filed against him in 2011, which led to his default. He was notified that his failure to participate in the proceedings would result in disbarment.
He did not comply with rule 9.20, as ordered in 2010, by failing to submit a required declaration and he failed to comply with probation conditions attached to a 2008 disciplinary order. In that case, he obtained an interest adverse to his client’s property. Ericson’s default was entered in the 2010 discipline in which he was charged with failures to communicate with his client, release the client’s file or account for client fees. When he failed to comply with the 2010 probation conditions, he was suspended in 2011.
March 31, 2011
SYDNEY KEYTH ERICSON [#50457], 69, of Brea was suspended for three years, stayed, actually suspended for one year and until the State Bar Court terminates the suspension and he was ordered to comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. If the actual suspension exceeds two years, he must prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect March 31, 2011.
In a default proceeding, the State Bar Court found that Ericson failed to comply with probation conditions attached to a 2008 disciplinary order: He did not file one quarterly probation report or attend ethics school. The discipline was imposed after Ericson acquired a pecuniary interest adverse to his client without full written disclosure of the terms of the transaction.
He also was suspended in 2010 for failing to communicate, account for client funds or release a client file.
October 28, 2010
SYDNEY KEYTH ERICSON [#50457], 68, of Brea was suspended for two years, stayed, actually suspended for 90 days and until the State Bar Court grants a motion to terminate the suspension and he was ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. If the suspension exceeds two years, he must prove his rehabilitation. The order took effect Oct. 28, 2010.
In a default proceeding, the bar court found that Ericson committed three acts of misconduct in a divorce case. After he filed a petition for his client, the parties entered into a written stipulation regarding custody, child support and visitation. The proceedings were not complete at that point.
Some time later, the client attempted to reconcile with her husband and asked Ericson to place her case on hold. She later indicated she wished to proceed, but Ericson did not return her calls or complete the divorce. The woman hired a new lawyer, but was unable to get her file or a refund of her advance $5,000 fee.
Ericson failed to respond to his client’s reasonable status inquiries, release her file or account for client funds.
He also was disciplined in 2008 for having a financial interest in a client’s property.
January 23, 2009
SYDNEY KEYTH ERICSON [#50457], 67, of Brea was suspended for two years, stayed, placed on three years of probation with a 30-day actual suspension and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Jan. 23, 2009.
Ericson stipulated that he acquired an interest adverse to his client without obtaining her written consent to the terms of the transaction or advising her to seek independent legal advice.
An elderly woman hired Ericson and another lawyer in 2004 to seek late spousal support and pension and annuity benefits that were part of a 1978 divorce. She agreed to a 40 percent contingency fee. She paid the other attorney $5,000 and Ericson acknowledged he received $2,000 from the other lawyer.
Ericson negotiated a settlement that included an up-front cash payment of $164,000, a $200,000 promissory note and $42,000 interest on the note. She had to wait either three years or until her ex-husband died to receive any money from the promissory note. On the way home from the settlement negotiation, the client agreed verbally to give Ericson the entire $164,000 as his attorney fees. Ericson did not obtain the client’s written consent to his proposal, nor did he advise her to seek independent legal counsel.
After depositing the $164,000 in his client trust account, Ericson advised the client that he had spent $4,090 in costs and she owed a balance of $2,494 that he planned to subtract from the promissory note payoff. He gave $26,910 to the other lawyer as his portion of the attorney fee and later wrote a check for $10,000 to the client and the other lawyer to cover fees associated with an order the other lawyer filed for the client.
A short time later, the client demanded that Ericson return her 60 percent share of the $164,000. He has not done so.
In mitigation, Ericson cooperated with the bar’s investigation.
The connection to Attorney John Balent you ask? According to Public Records, there are many. Let's start with the paragraph above where we bold printed and underlined the words "another attorney" as that other attorney is none other than John Balent. When reading over the State Bar Court's ruling on the matter, it is amazing how Mr. Balent, an already discipline attorney, escaped further discipline after he collected about $40,000 from his elderly client who was in her late 70's when she hired John Balent.
Please read for yourself as to how Sydney Ericson was suspended and John Balent managed to collect about $40,000. You can read the State Bar Court's 13 page ruling by Clicking Here. It appears as though John Balent was not part of the action because the elderly woman may have failed to file a complaint against both attorney's.
As it turns out John Balent and Sydney Ericson have worked together before what they represented the elderly woman noted above. They have both been named as defendents in Malpractice/Negligence suits according to the Orange County Superior Court
The two Malpractice cases number are:
Case Number 630492 (Malpractice Legal)
Case Number 703584 (Negligence)
In the Malpractice case one of the defendents is listed as "Ericson Law Offices INC" and this website assumes that means Mr. Ericson was a defendent, but perhaps it's possible that John Balent once worked for the Ericson Law Office INC?
If you are a client or potential client of Mr. Balent you may want to ask yourself if
you want an attorney who has been sued on mulitiple occasions for matters such as Legal Malpractice & Negligence and has connections to Disbarred Attorneys?
But that's just what we know about Family Law Attorney John Balent's association with Disbarred Attorney Sydney Keyth Ericson. This website suspects that John Balent learned some of his Public Records Reputation by learning from Senior attorney Ericson. This website also suspects there is a much larger connection between Mr. Balent and Mr. Ericson that is yet to be uncovered.
And just for fun here is a copy of Mr. Ericson's old Yellow Page Advertising....What a Kidder he was?