In Re Discipline of Sanai states it is unwise to keep filing frivolous motions when you have been previously sanctioned. And don’t represent your mother.
By Christina A. Meserve and Charles E. Szurszewski, Family lawyers
Fredric Sanai was admitted to practice in 2002. That same year, his parents were divorced in Snohomish County. Just two years after his admission to the Bar, the WSBA initiated disciplinary proceedings against Sanai based upon his representation of his mother in post-decree dissolution proceedings. The disciplinary proceedings dragged on for six years.
The hearing examiner, the WSBA Disciplinary Board, and the Washington Supreme Court all unanimously concluded that Fredric Sanai should be disbarred. All of Sanai’s misconduct occurred in conjunction with the representation of his mother and in the various lawsuits filed by him and his family members against persons involved in the dissolution case, including his father’s attorney, judges, and others.
Despite court orders which disqualified him from representing his mother, Sanai continued to file multiple lis pendens notices against property disposed of in the decree. He filed federal court actions, partition actions, new lawsuits in King County and California, and multiple motions in the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. He even brought a lawsuit in federal court against the Supreme Court Commissioner as well as other judicial officers. Ultimately, Sanai and his family members had been sanctioned in excess of $273,000, and the sanctions just kept coming.
There is not that much to be learned from the Supreme Court’s opinion, other than it is unwise to continue to file frivolous motions when you have been previously sanctioned. And don’t represent your mother.
Christina A. Meserve and Charles E. Szurszewski practice family law in Olympia, Washington with the law firm of Connolly Tacon & Meserve.
District court’s finding that attorney committed extrinsic fraud when responding to his wife’s discovery in his own protracted marital dissolution proceeding.