Disbarred attorney sentenced to probation on felony embezzlement charge

Crime Watch

Barbara Harris

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Former attorney Barbara McDaniel Harris was sentenced to five years’ probation after pleading no contest to a felony embezzlement charge, according to court records.

Harris, who also uses “Lynn” as her middle name, was disbarred last year after the State Bar found she misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars from a former client, records show. The state Supreme Court ordered her to pay restitution of more than $370,000 to a man and woman whose money she allegedly stole.

The allegations against Harris have their origins in 2004 when a Kern County couple entered into divorce proceedings in which Harris, who practiced family law, represented the wife. During the course of the proceedings, it was ordered the family house be sold and the proceeds of the sale be placed in Harris’ client trust account for stipulated disbursements.

In 2016, the couple filed a complaint with the State Bar after Harris failed to comply with court orders to produce an accounting of the money, according to State Bar documents. The Office of Chief Trial Counsel of the State Bar held a trial July 2, 2019, and found Harris culpable of multiple allegations, including failing to maintain records of client property and moral turpitude by intentionally misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars, the filings said.

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