Allow Attorney Duren To Practice Law Until Results Of March 2015, Exam Become Available
This petition had 146 supporters
GOOD CAUSE does exist to extend the time for Attorney Duren to take the MPRE. That GOOD CAUSE is clearly the 13 clients which he presently represents; at least 5 of these cases are pro bono, which means that he represents them in their legal matters without pay. Those clients will not be able to retain (pay) a new lawyer.
Attorney Duren began his legal career as a Legal Assistant for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. He remained employed there over 13 years providing legal assistance to low-income individuals. In 1989, he passed the Bar Exam and the MPRE successfully the first time. As an attorney, he has contributed free time to the State Bar as a volunteer Arbitrator, a volunteer Mediator/Arbitrator for the Los Angeles Superior Court, and a member of the United States District Court's volunteer Pilot Prison Mediation Panel.
In 23 plus years of practicing law, People's Attorney B. Kwaku Duren has one sustained client complaint. That complaint comes from a former client he represented in a civil matter in which he attempted to set aside a bank foreclosure of residential property. Attorney Duren admittedly but, inadvertently, failed in timely filing responses to motions to dismiss which were filed by two banks and the client's civil case was dismissed. Duren states that he explained the extreme difficulties of litigation against banks following foreclosure as applicable laws were designed to insure that homeowners seeking to set aside an alleged wrongful bank foreclosure would face numerous "legal hurdles".
Attorney Duren regrets the procedural mistakes which he has admittedly made in this matter. He also regrets agreeing to and not challenging the level of discipline imposed – that level of discipline includes paying restitution to the former client, 30 days actual suspension, and passing the Multi-State Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE). Upon taking the August 2014 MPRE, he unfortunately did not obtain a "passing score" (in California the required passing score is 86 – this is the highest required score in the United States); the next earliest date to take this exam is March of 2015.
Attorney Duren recently filed a motion to extend the time to take the MPRE - which is allowed under the State Bar Rules. The State Bar Review Department denied the motion, finding that NO "Good Cause" to do so existed. An Order suspending his license to practice law - effective November 17, 2014 has been issued.
We, the undersigned are requesting that Attorney Duren is allowed to practice law Until Results Of March 2015 Exam Become Available. We are aware that GOOD CAUSE does exist: (1) His pro bono clients are not able to retain (pay) another attorney. (2) This is his only livelihood of 23 plus years.
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