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IN RE: JUNG.*
This proceeding was instituted by the State Bar to revoke the license of the respondent Charles Joe Jung to practice law in all the courts of this state on the ground that it was obtained through misrepresentation and concealment in that respondent made false answers to several material questions in his sworn application for admission to practice. Respondent was thereupon directed to show cause before this court why the order admitting him to practice law should not be revoked. Thereafter he demurred and answered and the matter was referred to a referee to receive evidence, make findings and file a report. Both sides have filed exceptions to the referee's findings and report and the matter now comes before us on the evidence adduced before the referee and the briefs of the parties.
It appears that in June, 1936, the respondent filed with the committee of bar examiners his sworn application in writing to take the examination for admission to the bar of this state. Subsequently, he passed the examination and, upon motion of the committee, was admitted to the paractice of the law by this court on October 21, 1936. In its petition herein to revoke the order so admitting him to practice, the State Bar alleges that respondent by making false answers to certain questions in his sworn application for admission misrepresented certain matters and concealed certain facts material to a proper determination of his moral character.
Specifically, it is charged that in answering question 14 relative to his previous business or occupation, respondent said that he had been employed as an interpreter in the United States immigration service and then, as reason for the termination of the employment, stated: ‘(4) (Non-civil service, Political Appointment) Position discontinued in March, 1933.’ In question 16 respondent was asked: ‘Have you ever been reprimanded, censured, or otherwise disciplined as an attorney or member of any profession or organization, or holder of any office, or have any charges ever been made or filed or proceedings instituted against you?’ Respondent's answer thereto was ‘No.’ In reply to question 17 as to whether he had ‘ever been charged with fraud, either formally or informally’, respondent likewise answered ‘No.’
In effect, it is the State Bar's theory that respondent's answers to said three questions were false in that he deliberately withheld information relative to his dismissal ‘with prejudice’ by the immigration department following an investigation of a complaint received by that department having to do with asserted misconduce on his part as an interpreter. A reading of the transcript herein discloses that on November 28, 1932, the central immigration office in Washington requested the San Francisco office, where respondent was employed, to investigate a complaint from the Florida office apparently charging respondent with having taken money to effect the entry of an alien Chinese. Accoringly, an investigation was first made at Jacksonville, Florida, the source of the complaint and the location of the informer. When that investigation was completed to the satisfaction of the officer in charge, respondent was directed by said officer to report at the Angel Island station. The officer testified in this proceeding that he thereupon informed respondent that ‘he was charged with certain derelictions and malfeasance in office’, that respondent was given ‘specifications of the elements of malfeasance with which he was charged’; that respondent was then sworn and under oath made a statement denying the charges against him, stating, in substance, that ‘from what had transpired it was his understanding he was under charges by a certain individual for taking money in order to effect the admission of an alien Chinese. He disclaimed all knowledge concerning the matter; disclaimed all activities in connection therewith; referred to his previous record and asserted that the charges were not true, and said that from the evidence, so far as he knew, there was no cause why he should be discharged from his position. He stated that the statements which he had made were all under oath, and that he fully understood the position which existed at that time. This statement that Mr. Jung understood his answers were made under oath was in addition to his being sworn. He was sworn before the statement was commenced. That was the material part of his comment.’
The record also discloses that less than three months after the commencement of this investigation, respondent was informed by letter from the local office and by a second letter from the department of labor in Washington of the termination of his employment, the latter letter stating that ‘upon the recommendation of the Commissioner-General of Immigration, your services as Chinese interpreter * * * have been discontinued with prejudice * * *.’
Because of restrictions of a confidential character which surround the records of the immigration department and preclude them from public scrutiny, they are not now before us. However, usfficient may be gleaned from the testimony herein of respondent's former superiors in the department, and from respondent's own testimony, to indicate that he was, in fact, informed against for assertedly taking money to effect the entry of an alien Chinese, that an investigation of the complaint followed and that he was within three months thereafter dismissed from the service ‘with prejudice’. In this proceeding, it is not our function to determine the regularity, propriety or sufficiency of the proof addressed to the complaint made against respondent with the department of immigration. It is our sole problem to here determine the propriety of respondent's conduct in failing to disclose the above mentioned matter in his sworn application for admission to practice. We find nothing in the record to support respondent's attempted explanation of his silence with respect thereto other than his own statement that he believed his ‘non-civil service, political appointment’ as interpreter had been ‘ciscontinued’. In elaboration thereof he testified in this proceeding that he received the two letters of dismissal after the death of the person or superior officer by whom he was appointed and that he ‘thought that when the boss go out as political appointee I go out with him. That is why I think they did away with my position.’ This attempted explanation loses sight of the fact that it was after the death of his superior officer that respondent was questioned about and made a denial of the complaint then under investigation. His explanation taxes credulity and finds support only in his own statements.
Contrary to the referee's finding herein, we cannot agree that the testimony of the two immigration officials, called herein as witnesses by The State Bar, is inconclusive and unsatisfactory. True, as stated their production of department records for examination was prohibited under advice of an assistant United States District Attorney, but it clearly and positively appears from their testimony that a complaint was made as to respondent's conduct as interpreter, that an investigation was had, that respondent was fully informed as to the matter and permitted to make a statement thereon and was thereafter and within three months dismissed from the service ‘with prejudice’. Nor can we accept the finding of the referee that respondent did not know the exact meaning of the words ‘with prejudice’ employed in connection with his dismissal. Certainly, it is not unreasonable to conclude that respondent might well have been expected to find explanation or meaning for his dismissal ‘with prejudice’ in the investigation that preceded such dismissal by less than three months. His answer herein concedes as much for he alleges ‘that respondent suspected * * * that there was some connection between the complaint and the abolishing of his job’.
On the record before us, and contrary to the referee's finding, we find and conclude that the charges of falsity, concealment and bad faith on the part of respondent in connection with the filing of his application for admission to practice, are fully sustained and warrant a revocation of the license heretofore issued to him. Other particulars wherein we differ with the referee, need not be mentioned.
Respondent's motions to strike the testimony given herein by the two immigration officials and to dismiss this proceeding, lack merit and are, and each is, denied.
It is ordered that the license heretofore issued to Charles Joe Jung to practice law in all the courts of this state be revoked and that his name be stricken from the roll of attorneys.
I am in accord with the findings and recommendations of the referee, B. Grant Taylor, appointed by this court, that the above entitled proceedings should be dismissed.
WASTE, Chief Justice.
We concur: SEAWELL, J.; SHENK, J.; EDMONDS, J.
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Docket No: S. F. 15835.
Decided: July 05, 1938
Court: Supreme Court of California.
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