Why Hasn’t California Disbarred Richard H. Lubetzky?

7 02 2023

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

This dishonest lawyer should not have been admitted to practice law in California.  There were sound reasons why its State Bar fought his admission.  His integrity and “moral character” were at issue.  Also, he failed the California bar exam twelve times; and he harassed “former friends and others.”[2]  However, a relative paid almost $100,000 at the time in attorney’s fees, and prevailed.

Having been admitted, he proceeded to suborn perjury in testimony before the State Bar, which should have resulted in his immediate disbarment.[3].  He was representing another lawyer who was disbarred in the process, and whose California real estate broker’s license was revoked.[4]  

Indeed, the State Bar Court noted that “she was charged with ’26 counts of professional misconduct for her involvement in a scheme to defraud distressed homeowners, including at least 13 of her clients’—and with ‘pocketing about $177,000 between August 2009 and November 2010 without having to provide any legal services.’”[5] 



© 2023, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  See, e.g., Timothy D. Naegele Resume-21-8-6  and https://naegeleknol.wordpress.com/accomplishments/   He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service).  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/articles/ and https://naegeleknol.wordpress.com/articles/), and studied photography with Ansel Adams.  He can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See, e.g., https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1990-07-25-vw-1012-story.html (“Bar One : Should Richard Lubetzky Practice Law or Is He Morally Unfit?  It’s a Tangled Tale in the State Supreme Court”—”The California State Bar asserts that Lubetzky . . . is morally unfit to practice law. . . .  [H]e took the California bar exam 13 times, finally passing in June, 1987”)

[3]  See Declaration of Timothy D. Naegele, dated October 4, 2012, a fully executed copy of which was provided to the Office of Chief Trial Counsel, Enforcement, State Bar of California.  Paragraphs 2 and 3 of that declaration state as follows:

2. On the day of my deposition at the San Francisco offices of the State Bar of California (hereinafter “State Bar”), June 27, 2012—in connection with the disbarment proceedings relating to his client, Sharon Lynn Lapin (State Bar #165919) (hereinafter “Lapin”)—Richard H. Lubetzky (hereinafter “Lubetzky”) made it abundantly clear during “coffee breaks” that I was not helping Lapin or him enough in my testimony as an expert witness. He told me this in the men’s room, in the hallway, and during our break for lunch. Later that day, after my deposition concluded, I accompanied Lubetzky from our hotel to the BART station in San Francisco so he could catch a train to the San Francisco Airport and a flight back to Los Angeles. During our walk, he stated again—this time emphatically—that he wanted me to lie at trial before the State Bar Court; and I responded that I never lie. It was clear then that as far as he was concerned, my continuing involvement hinged on lying at trial, which I refused to do.

3. By way of retaliation, he filed allegations against me with State Bar, out of sheer vindictiveness. If the State Bar were to undertake an assessment of his legal career, I believe one would find that he has done this on previous occasions, and there is a pattern of similar actions on his part. This time, however, his attempt to suborn perjury rises to a new level of criminal wrongdoing, which the State Bar will have to assess in terms of potential disciplinary actions against him.

[4]  See State of California, Bureau of Real Estate, License ID 01281487

[5]  The author has been highly critical of the State Bar in the past.  However, its actions against both Lubetzky and Lapin were justified; and its actions now to disbar Lubetzky are long overdue.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/the-state-bar-of-california-is-lawless-and-a-travesty-and-should-be-abolished/  (“The State Bar Of California Is Lawless And A Travesty, And Should Be Abolished”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2021/08/12/california-is-a-mess-and-its-state-bar-remains-the-most-odious-trade-association-in-america/ (“California Is A Mess, And Its State Bar Remains The Most Odious Trade Association In America”), n. 13(1); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/the-american-legal-system-is-broken-can-it-be-fixed/ (“The American Legal System Is Broken: Can It Be Fixed?”)

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