Attorney Misconduct, Legal Ethics, Small Law Firms, Solo Practitioners

‘Legal Baller’ Hit With Ethics Complaint — He Hits Back Baller-Style

America’s favorite “Multi-Dimensional Trial Attorney” and “modern-day incarnation of the Ancient Roman Orators” is back, and this time he’s defending his own honor. So, as they say, this time it’s personal.

For those who don’t remember Legal Baller, a.k.a. LB, a.k.a. Raymundo Pacello, Jr., he’s the San Diego jack of all trades attorney who first came to our attention after placing a Craigslist ad for “[y]oung attractive hip females” to work as his assistants. Some would call this discriminatory, but he’s got a baller image to maintain.

A year later he sought a Law Clerk to join the practice, and our own Natasha Lydon took the opportunity to do a thorough profile on the man we know as the Baller, including a look at his poetry and bodybuilding past.

Now we have copies of filings in a disciplinary proceeding against the Legal Baller, and his baller response (along with some sad news)….

Oh who am I kidding, you all know who Legal Baller is. And he openly acknowledges the ATL notoriety:

Late last year, Legal Baller got smacked with a Notice of Disciplinary Charges arising from his representation of one Esther Edwards. In a nutshell, the complaint alleges that after securing a big settlement for his client, Legal Baller did not use the funds to pay down liens, did not distribute the funds to his client, used some of those funds for his personal use, and forged a name on a check.

That sounds bad, but you’ve not read Legal Baller’s response, which — while ridiculously phrased befitting a modern-day Roman orator — actually makes some compelling points. Mostly about the curious position of the actual complainant, attorney James V. Parziale, who Legal Baller asserts not only filed this complaint to gain an advantage in other litigation, but also — as we’ll read in a bit — created most of the conditions of the complaint himself:

Perplexingly, and moreover, that is exactly the conduct that the complainant James V. Parziale violated and provides the predicate for me having to answer to a “Per Se Unethical” action by another member of the Bar. And everso profoundly, this IS not the first and only unethical complaint that the good Mssr. Parziale filed against the undersigned in an attempt to gain a civil advantage as a second time violation of the aforementioned rule of professional integrity. See Complaint No. 13-0-011035 which was summarily dismissed the very venerable institution governing this rather matter too attached hereto as Exhibit 1. That case involved a dispute over costs reimbursement regarding the David Milner matter that was pending in a civil action AT THE TIME THE COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST ME. T’would verily appear totally in flagrante delicto in every sense of its Latin heritage.

Did I mention “all emphasis in original”? Because yeah. Also this whole document is like a fun tour down Archaic Language Avenue.

I close, for my part, on this topic with the salient fact in this matter that appears grievously overlooked-for reasons unbeknownst to the undersigned-the trust funds to pay said liens were indeed “frozen” secondary to an unsubstantiated fraud claim by none other than JAMES V. PARZIALE. Attached as Exhibit 5 is a true and correct copy of the e-mail communications between Graham Duck, Branch Manager for US Bank and the undersigned showing that Mssr. Parziale was, indeed, at work to try and extort funds from the undersigned to pay his unfounded claims for attorney’s fees on a case he did practically nothing on. Consequently, it was legally impossible for me to perform the accused tasks due to the tortious, and dare I say, criminal conduct of Mssr. Parziale. And, on that, I conclude this section of response.

Nice closer. Indeed, freezing the assets would seem to put Legal Baller in a bind when it comes to promptly disbursing the assets. When it comes to drawing personal funds off the trust account, the Baller also blames Parziale because the only checks Baller could identify as allegedly “personal” were funds drawn to get a TRO against Parziale and get the trust account unfrozen (and maybe a de minimis starter check).

There’s no further action on Legal Baller’s California Bar Member report. Not to prejudge the case, but despite his unorthodox style, Legal Baller’s ethics have not been besmirched by the courts. Parziale, on the other hand, has had his license suspended.

But there was also some sad news in the filing:

I am currently in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and am trying to maintain the partnership practice Mr. Cao and I conceived many years ago. I have no disciplinary history and no criminal convictions for any crime of moral turpitude. I endeavor to believe that the Good Members of the State Bar see that the Complainant had it out for me ever since I left contract employment and has used economic duress, disciplinary threats, and criminal extortion to cripple me personally and professionally.

Bankruptcy? Oh no! Here’s hoping this isn’t the end of our intrepid hero. In his honor, let’s finish this article in a manner he would appreciate.

On that, I conclude this article.

The full Notice of Disciplinary Charges and Legal Baller’s complete response are available on the next pages….

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