State Bar Suspends WeHo Lawyer for Violating Probation

A West Hollywood lawyer will have his license suspended for failure to meet conditions of the probation to which he was sentenced for a previous offense.

The lawyer, Samuel Robert Spira, 52, lists his office address as 8265 W. Sunset Blvd., Suite 205, in West Hollywood.

Samuel Robert Spira

According to a story in the Northern California Record, a website that covers the Northern California judicial system, Spira was put on probation a year ago when he lied about whether he’d taken a required continuing legal education exam.

“Spira did not contact and meet with his probation deputy or file quarterly compliance reports with the state bar’s probation office as required under the conditions of his probation, according to the order handed down May 19,” the NorCal Record reported.

“The nature of the respondent’s probation violations are serious and reflect a total disregard by him for this disciplinary process or his need to comply with his professional obligations,” said the state bar order. “This conclusion is buttressed by his disregard and failure to participate in this resulting disciplinary proceeding.”

Spira was found in May of last year to have lied to the state bar in claiming he had completed 25 hours of continuing legal education. His one-year suspension was stayed and he was placed on probation for a year.

The state bar website says Spira was admitted to the California bar in March 1995. It lists Spira’s areas of practice as real estate, business and corporate law and entertainment and sports law.

  1. @Jonathan Simmons: I too, as a client have experienced both ends of the spectrum in being represented on various issues. Initially selecting an attorney from a veritable minefield, then avoiding the potential chicanery once represented is yet another challenge. As the daughter of an astute attorney I have learned to select based on the moral, ethical compass and work ethic plus a heavy dose of gut feeling. My long time dependable general practice attorney had retired practice due to ill health.

    Last week, I interviewed a “top Century City attorney” recommended by a colleague. Here’s how it went:

    Initial email referencing referral, including one paragraph synopsis, to partner went unanswered.

    Phone call to firm was met by unprofessional distracted receptionist who queried me despite 8 or 10 interruptions.

    Info passed on to see “which attorney might be available to return my call”

    Phone message from firm attorney by end of day requested I call back. Reviewed the bio of Madame Attorney who has seemingly no expertise in the specific areas in question.

    Conversation w attorney seemed overly casual” feet on the desk and talking on speaker phone” scenario. Virtually overlooked current auto injury insurance matter and missed the point of a serious premises liability involving both the state and a private event insurer. She quickly dismissed all based on a possible question of statute which was incorrect. Requested a referral to another attorney she suggested as a possibility and greed to a follow up call yea or nay.

    Received garbled message from receptionist #2 passed on by Madame Attorney. Phone conversation with receptionist #1 whereby I expressed my displeasure at lack of most basis business and legal etiquette.

    Followed up with a formal letter emailed to Madame Attorney with copy to senior partner describing the troubling encounter. Deduced the only reason my initial call got a response was that she was fishing for the deep pockets of the state and would address the auto case as tag along easy money. Minutes into the conversation I decided even if the case was accepted I would not choose to be represented by attorney and firm as they failed to comport with my basic standards. Failed every test from reception to Madame Attorney to Senior Partner with whom I have yet to received contact despite personal referral.

    One never gets a second chance to make a first impression.

    Several interviews lined up next week.

  2. My opinion is not meant with hostility, but rather the true nature of what passes legitimate “Continuing Education” per the State Bar of California, who Grants all lawyers who have met the prerequisites, THEIR PROFESSIONAL LICENCE AS A “LAWYER”. It can be seen as merely a kind of “work permit” as it is illegal for anyone to practice law (or say get and find a job) but the enormous power of knowledge combined with a paying client ignorant of what is truly legal or not … A lawyer can tell/charge/explain their own malfeasance to a client as “Well the law requires you pay …, or The case was valid but your failure to tell me it happened “x” numbers ago, it was impossible to win … Because the law says in black and white …)

    I say this from living the experience, and continually was surprised every time an even more absurd “class” was in my inbox, and the extravagant places, cost to match, lack min hours in description, but countless “colleges” had taken these kind of classes, and when I asked how much if Bali’s glorious daytime did you miss, stuck in a banquet hall with a boring lecture, everyone gave a wink ‘don’t tell’ as they said all they had to do was sign the sign in sheet and leave. Most claimed every lawyer there for education did the same, and some believed no lecture was actually given.

    One may think I’m bashing a profession. Perhaps, but it is from having lived in that world myself, and how easy it can be for even the most moral of people to sway from Right to Wrong behavior.

    I think if it sounds like bashing, that’s great, people with no experience with finding and dealing with a lawyer SHOULD BE SCARED. I know what is said in private in house partner’s meetings about generating more revenue and way to do it.

    I stopped practicing and let my license expire because of the moral bottomless crevasse I was unknowing creeping closer to each time I was asked to do something suspect but blithly accepted assurances it was all above board work.

    I was a very good lawyer. But my moral berometer has been stuck far from any possible wrong, immoral, illegal or skeevy activities that could bring harm to another.

    public example: Bethany Frankel of Real Housewives of NY, and the cover of Esquire for her near billion dollar valued booze company she created and grew in just a few years …

    She is continuing way past 4 years in her attempt to get a divorce, and has on camera breakdowns about “will it ever end” … If I ran into her, I would point out the historic length of her divorce is from being one of the wealthy women in America. The lawyers on both sides have no incentive to bring her divorce to an end, and an ENORMOUS Financial Incentive (with each firms senior partners pressing their attorney doing the work NOT TO BE IN SUCH A HURRY TO END HER DIVORCE TRAUMA (so long as the checks for attorneys fee keep coming every month, and Don’t Bounce).

    But nobody can see the big picture of the situation they are in because they have so much personal emotional investment in the case.

    I’ve sat in meeting with similar kinds of pressure directed on younger attorney doing all the real work for the major large firms.

    Maybe Bethany will read this, at the same moment a strong cold breeze pops up, distracting her gnarled emotions about her divorce, and see “The Forest From The Trees” or is that saying vice versa. I dunno 🙂

    1. People are free to criticize what they see as the behavior or practices of a certain profession but may not post attacks on a particular person.

  3. SURPRISING I’m sure he, like most lawyers, hate the requirements for continued education, but the State Bar of California is usually very lax and class held on “MAJOR NEW CHANGES TO TAX LAW” held at The Ritz Carlton (or the like) IN HAWAII for 6 days, and has an hour in the hotel’s banquet hall for a little over an hour, usually passes as “continuing education”.

    Lawyers are supposed to know how to lie, and get away with it …. That’s their job. 🙂

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