San Jose, Calif., solo M. Van Smith was stunned three years ago when California State Bar prosecutors sought to suspend him for loaning a client $1,000 so she wouldn’t be evicted from her apartment.

So he felt vindicated six months ago when a panel of State Bar Court judges let him go with an admonishment — a warning basically — after finding that even though Smith committed a technical violation by entering into an improper business transaction with a client, he simply was doing a good deed.

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