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The State Bar has placed two San Francisco lawyers on inactive status for allegedly misappropriating $2.7 million from clients. In their announcement Friday, Bar officials said Nikolai Tehin Jr. and Pamela Stevens, who are married and practice together as Tehin & Partners, “pose a threat of harm to their clients and the public” for misappropriating $1.3 million from a settlement for more than 200 apartment tenants in Napa. The remainder of the money, the Bar said, was misappropriated from six clients, most developmentally disabled � including two children with cystic fibrosis and another with birth defects. According to the Bar, Tehin and Stevens were placed on involuntary inactive status as of Sunday. That is not a disciplinary action, but rather a regulatory procedure prior to a hearing on the merits of the underlying allegations. “It is not an actual full evidentiary hearing,” State Bar prosecutor Alan Konig said Friday. “We are proceeding on the actual discipline matter and that will be initiated with the filing of a notice of disciplinary charges, and that will be the document that ultimately leads to the determinations of culpability and discipline.” In a ruling on Thursday, the Bar said, State Bar Court Judge JoAnn Remke found that the State Bar is likely to prevail on the merits of the charges. Troubling to the judge, the Bar said, was the fact that many of the clients “were especially vulnerable and dependent on the funds, suffering from quality of life issues including developmental challenges and medical conditions related to birth.” Stevens had argued that her husband was responsible for the law firm’s client trust account and that she, as a part-time lawyer, did not believe it was her responsibility. Remke called that “a gross misstatement of her fiduciary duties and obligations.” Neither Tehin nor Stevens returned a call seeking comment.

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