Riverside California attorney Elisa Ann Castro suspended for failing to pass exam

View More Categories

It may appear petty - failing to pass exam. The issue is a matter of competence. Attorney Castro has demonstrated some issues of concern and was required to "pass an exam." She has REFUSED to be tested. FIne, that is a choice and the result is the suspension of her license to practice law until she can prove her competence.

Riverside California attorney Elisa Ann Castro suspended for failing to pass exam

Riverside attorney Elisa Ann Castro was suspended by the State Bar Court of California on Jan. 30, in response to her alleged failure to take or pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) as part of the terms of a 2015 suspension. 

According to the suspension, Castro was charged with misconduct in two matters, the first of which began in April 2013. The attorney was hired to represent a woman in her divorce and custody proceedings which she performed services. The client made partial payments for a total of $3,500 between April 2013 and January 2014 when the client terminated Castro's employment. The client requested for the fees to be returned, but the attorney allegedly was unable to provide her with an accounting. The state bar charged Castro with failing to render an accounting and failing to respond to the state bar’s inquiry.

In the second matter, Castro was hired in February 2014 to represent a woman in a family law matter. For her services, Castro was paid $1,000 to take over the woman’s case, although it was later discovered that Castro had never officially substituted into the matter. In addition, Castro allegedly did not provide a response to a proposed settlement agreement. In March 2014, the client terminated Castro’s employment and requested her fees be returned, though the attorney never responded.

In addition to the two misconduct charges, the State Bar found that Castro violated Business and Professions Code 6068(i) when she did not respond to inquiry letters regard two additional complaints.

As a result of the misconduct charges, Castro was suspended for 90 days and ordered to take the MPRE by a predetermined deadline. When the attorney failed to adhere to this requirement, the State Bar Court placed her on another suspension until she could provide them with proof of passage of the exam.

Castro is a graduate of the University of Southern California and obtained her law degree from the Loyola University Law School. She was admitted to the California State Bar in 1994. She has one prior instance of discipline, a five-year probation in 2008 in lieu of a stayed suspension for either abandoning her clients or not providing adequate work according to the news release on her bar membership profile. 

Source: Northern California Report

Attorney Search

Elisa Ann Castro - #171814

Current Status:  Not eligible to practice law (Not Entitled)

See below for more details.

Profile Information

The following information is from the official records of The State Bar of California.

Bar Number: 171814    
Address: Law Office of Elisa A Castro
4063 Brockton Ave
Riverside, CA 92501
Phone Number: (951) 369-7808
Fax Number: Not Available
Email: Lawofficesofelisacastro@yahoo.com 
County: Riverside Undergraduate School: Univ of Southern Calif; Los Angeles CA
District: District 4    
Sections: None Law School: Loyola Law School; Los Angeles CA

Status History

Effective Date Status Change
Present Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA
1/30/2017 Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA  
2/13/2016 Active  
11/15/2015 Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA  
9/7/1994 Admitted to The State Bar of California

Explanation of member status

Actions Affecting Eligibility to Practice Law in California

Disciplinary and Related Actions

Effective Date Description Case Number Resulting Status
9/11/2017 Notice of Disc Charges Filed in SBCt 17-O-00754  
1/30/2017 Suspended, failed to pass Prof.Resp.Exam 14-O-02079 Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA 
11/15/2015 Discipline w/actual suspension 14-O-02079 Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA 
9/7/2008 Discipline, probation; no actual susp. 02-O-10521  

Overview of the attorney discipline system.

Administrative Actions
Effective Date Description Case Number Resulting Status
9/1/2017 Suspended, failed to pay Bar membr. fees   Not Eligible To Practice Law in CA 

Copies of official attorney discipline records are available upon request.

Explanation of common actions

State Bar Court Cases

NOTE: The State Bar Court began posting public discipline documents online in 2005. The format and pagination of documents posted on this site may vary from the originals in the case file as a result of their translation from the original format into Word and PDF. Copies of additional related documents in a case are available upon request. Only opinions designated for publication in the State Bar Court Reporter may be cited or relied on as precedent in State Bar Court proceedings. For further information about a case that is displayed here, please refer to the State Bar Court's online docket, which can be found at: http://apps.statebarcourt.ca.gov/dockets.aspx

DISCLAIMER: Any posted Notice of Disciplinary Charges, Conviction Transmittal or other initiating document, contains only allegations of professional misconduct. The attorney is presumed to be innocent of any misconduct warranting discipline until the charges have been proven.

Effective Date Case Number Description
1/30/2017 14-O-2079 MPRE Suspension Order [PDF]
12/16/2015 14-O-2079 Order re Costs [PDF]
11/15/2015 14-O-2079 Stipulation [PDF]
5/28/2009 06-O-13303 Order [PDF]
9/7/2008 02-O-10522 Stipulation [PDF] [HTML]
Pending 17-O-754 Initiating Document [PDF]

California Bar Journal Discipline Summaries

Summaries from the California Bar Journal are based on discipline orders but are not the official records. Not all discipline actions have associated CBJ summaries. Copies of official attorney discipline records are available upon request.

November 15, 2015

ELISA ANN CASTRO [#171814], 58, of Riverside, was suspended from the practice of law for 90 days and ordered to take the MPRE and comply with rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. She was also placed on two years’ probation and faces a two-year suspension if she does not comply with the terms of her disciplinary probation. The order took effect Nov. 15, 2015.

In one matter, Castro did not promptly render an accounting to a client she’d represented in a divorce proceeding. In another matter, she failed to substitute into a client’s matter, inform the client she had not done so, promptly provide an accounting of advanced fees after she was fired or perform any services of value.

In addition, Castro failed to cooperate with a State Bar disciplinary investigation by not responding to letters from a State Bar investigator. In mitigation, 11 people testified as to her good character and she entered into a pretrial stipulation.

She had one prior record of discipline, a 2008 suspension for improperly withdrawing from representation of clients and failing to perform, provide prompt accounting of fees, promptly refund unearned fees or cooperate in the investigation of the matters.

September 7, 2008

ELISA ANN CASTRO [#171814], 51, of Riverside was suspended for one year, stayed, placed on five years of probation and was ordered to take the MPRE within one year. The order took effect Sept. 7, 2008.

Castro stipulated to 18 counts of misconduct in 12 consolidated cases. In most, she either abandoned her clients or did not do the required work and she frequently failed to refund unearned fees.

One client hired Castro, after seeing her advertisement, to file a restraining order. The client had already completed the documents and filed them, but wanted Castro to accompany her to court. Although Castro scheduled an appointment with the client and told her to bring $500, she did not show up for the appointment. Castro’s secretary told the client to leave the money and promised that Castro would appear in court two days later for a scheduled hearing.

In fact, she sent another lawyer, who realized the case was more complicated than he thought and received a continuance. Castro then told the client to set up another appointment and to bring more money. Despite six attempts, the client could not schedule an appointment before the hearing and she appeared on her own in court. Her repeated requests for a refund of her fee were not answered.

Another self-represented client hired Castro after the court increased his child support obligation, paying her $2,000 to seek a modification of the order. Castro’s motion for an order to show cause was denied because the court found no change in her client’s circumstances. The client paid another $3,000 for Castro to appeal, but the court sent her a notice of default for failing to file designations with the appeal. It warned the case would be dismissed if the designations were not filed within 15 days.

Castro’s paralegal called the client the day the filing was due, said Castro could not handle the matter and recommended he contact another lawyer. Although the client hired someone else, the appeal was dismissed because the designations were not filed on time.

Another client fired Castro after waiting for a year for her to seek an expungement of his criminal conviction and a default judgment was entered against another when Castro took no action on his divorce for six months. Her paralegal missed two appointments with a client who hired Castro to handle a guardianship, the papers were never filed and no one followed up on the case for almost a year — when the client complained to the State Bar. Castro did not appear at three hearings on a child support matter and the client won a $2,500 award in fee arbitration. Another client won $846 through fee arbitration and yet another won a small claims judgment against Castro. She was sanctioned $780 by another court for not appearing in a divorce case; her client hired a new lawyer.

In total, she stipulated that she failed to perform legal services competently seven times, refund unearned fees seven times, account for client funds twice, cooperate with the bar’s investigation of two matters or take steps to avoid prejudice to her client.

In mitigation, Castro had no prior discipline record and she participates in the Lawyer Assistance Program.