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Cerritos City Council Candidate Frank Yokoyama Suspended By California State Bar


Cerritos City Council candidate Frank Yokoyama has been suspended by the California State Bar in a decision this past month.

Cerritos City Council candidate Frank Yokoyama has been suspended by the California State Bar in a decision this past month.

By Brian Hews
Cerritos City Council candidate Frank Aurelio Yokoyama has been suspended by the California State Bar from practicing law after he was cited for several violations, Los Cerritos Community Newspaper has learned.

Yokoyama, 44, was suspended from practicing law on January 7, 2012 by Judge Richard A. Platel of the California State Bar Court. Court documents obtained by LCCN show that Yokoyama had agreed to the suspension back on December 7, 2012.

In the Suspension Order, Yokoyama is cited by California State Bar officials for “intentionally, or by gross negligence committed as act involving moral turpitude, dishonesty and corruption in willful violation of Business and Professional Code, section 6016.”

The 12 page document was sent to LCCN on Tuesday afternoon from a former member of the Cerritos City Council who did not want to be identified. The councilmember told LCCN that “several people were sent the document” over the weekend.

In the Order, Yokoyama was required to complete 25 hours of minimum continuing education, known as MCLE, during the period of February 1, 2008 through January 31, 2011.
Yokoyama told State Bar officials that he “was in compliance with the MCLE requirements,” when in fact he had not complied with any MCLE courses within the compliance period.”

“When Respondent (Yokoyama) reported to the State Bar that he was in compliance with the MCLE requirements, (Yokoyama) knew or was grossly negligent in not knowing that he had not completed the MCLE during the compliance period as required,” Ashod Mooradian, Deputy Trial Counsel’s stated in the decision.
Yokoyama eventually took the required courses “necessary to come into compliance after being contracted by Membership Services (of the California State Bar) after an audit was conducted by state officials.

Yokoyama, who is considered one of the front runners in the upcoming Cerritos City Council election, told LCCN that in 2008 he took a course “that I believed would fufil my continuing education requirement with the California State Bar Association.”

“Last year (2012), I received a notice upon receiving this notification from the CSB. I immediately complied, completed and fully cooperated with this request,” Yokoyama said.
“As the State Bar stated in their decisions, I have practiced law for 17 years without any prior incidents and have never harmed a client,” Yokoyama told LCCN.

“I take full responsibility for my error,” he said.

“I continue to focus on running a positive campaign so we can move Cerritos forward.”


Click here to see document.

  • Floyd Farrar says:

    I seriously wonder why anyone runs for ANY public office anymore UNLESS you are squeaky clean or have serious screws loose in your head! The gotcha politics ESPECIALLY from the left is insane! And the obama owned lame scream propaganda media sniping from all sides that is TOTALLY in the tank for the liberals… That is the third leg of the chair to help you get elected. I wonder how any governing gets done, but seeing the quality and character of the people in there now I see why we have what have..

  • Joel Ilao says:


    So many negative reports have been coming out about our candidates for city Council lately… I wonder who will be next, and if we can have a squeaky clean candidate to vote into office..

  • anonymous says:

    This former councilmember better be careful. ANYONE in the legal profession would understand that what happened to Mr. Yokoyama is not a big deal. California attorneys get suspended all the time for not paying their bar fees on time or for not completing their required MCLE. As soon as the attorney pays or completes the required MCLE units, the suspension is lifted. This has happened to some of the best attorneys in California and no one thinks twice about it. Sometimes you just run out of time or forget. Again, only people in the legal profession would get this; so clearly this former councilmember is not a lawyer. This former councilmember is obviously just trying to make Mr. Yokoyama look bad which is a whole potential lawsuit in itself, publicizing information to put Mr. Yokoyama in a false light. I do not know what vendetta this former councilmember has against Mr. Yokoyama, but I hope that Cerritos residents can see past this frivolous and trivial “accusation” as it does not tarnish Mr. Yokoyama’s character in any way whatsoever. I hope that this election can stay clean until it is over. We all love Cerritos a lot and would defend it until the end, but playing dirty in a race you’re not even involved in is hitting a new low.

    • OMG says:

      So anonymous what are they suppose to do not report on this? He lied to the State Bar, so will he lie at council meetings? Take the blinders off Yokoyama supporter…

    • Concerned says:

      Actually, Yokoyama did not get suspended for not complying with his MCLE requirement. He got suspended for making a false statement to the State Bar. It must be a big deal, since the State Bar suspended him for 30 days and put him on probation for 1 year with certain conditions, including that he attend a State Bar Ethics School. Also, I am an attorney, and when you take an MCLE course, you usually receive a Certificate of Attendance, which confirms the number of MCLE credits you earned for that class. So, I don’t see how he could have been mistaken that the course he took fulfulled his MCLE requirement.

      • Concerned says:

        Correction: “fulfilled.” Also, re Anonymous, according to the court order (which is attached to the LCCN article), the suspension was not lifted. It is in place, along with his other probation conditions. He apparently also has to pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (the ethics portion of the Bar Exam) again (or at least provide proof of passage).

        • anonymous says:

          Thanks @Concerned. I did notice my mistake after I read the stip. Well, hopefully he learned his lesson.

  • anonymous says:


    That’s fine to report it, the voters have a right to know. It seems like much more will be coming out about all the candidates at this rate. But I think it is being blown out of proportion. Everyone in the legal profession has to do these MCLE units and sometimes you skip some hours or forget to add hours or what not. I’m just trying to point out that what happened to Mr. Yokoyama is a common occurrence in the legal profession. As soon as an attorney turns in the required hours, as Mr. Yokoyama states he did, then the suspension is lifted. It’s a formality.

  • 49ers Fan says:

    I am sick and tired of all the crap this paper puts out. They don’t even report on what’s happening in Cerritos anymore. Who cares about the LA mayor race? None of us can vote so in that election so why do we have to read about it every week? A warning to the publisher: your paper is quickly becoming a laughing stock around town. I don’t want to read ridiculous ads like carol Chen works for china and abc member Kang cheated on his wife. It’s like this is the national enquirer for Cerritos now. Stop tooting your own horn about a Pulitzer you will never win. All you did was pay $50 to enter yourself. All you care about is scandal and not the real news. So frank missed taking a class or thought he did and made a mistake. I see mistakes in this paper all the time. There is a huge one in this week’s edition. I’ll bet your not even smart enough to find it. LOL!!!

    • Dear Mr. 49ers fan:
      Thanks for writing in.

      We are quite aware of the mistake, things happen.
      Our paper does reach just Cerritos, we are very well read in LA.. online, with over 70,000 visitors per month from all over LA
      We report on the facts and let our readers make an informed choice, like your letter.
      We have everyone telling us (Chuck Henry NBC, Colleen Williams, NBC, many newspaper reporters, numerous radio show hosts) we have a very good chance at winning. Jackie Lacey and retired DA Steve Cooley wrote personal letters urging the Pulitzer Board to give us the award.The case is much bigger than the Bell Scandal and the Times won for that.
      This just happened to be a big scandal week, with LM Mayor and Public Works director resigning, Unions coming in and asking us to run the Carol Chen ad, Kang and Park. I cannot refuse their advertising, discrimination.
      Thanks for reading the paper, have a great weekend!

  • McMahon, J. says:

    Open Letter: Frank Yokoyama/ Council Candidate.
    By: Jim McMahon, 37 Yr Resident.

    Old saying in the world of contracts: “TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE”.

    If these BAR ethics and licensing charges are over a (4) yr time span, why did it take so long to codify, as you know this window has expiration? My opine, if this is how you react to life, maybe PUBLIC SERVANT is not for career portfolio! Upset that our seated council and many in the past, have a tract record of rolling over incomplete issues over and over:

    1. Overnight Parking Ordinance to Public Vote.
    2. Putting Term Limits to public vote to stop council after 8 yr Term.
    3. Combing the CCC election with the national election vote, in order to save $160K from General Fund, which could RX aid Public Works.
    4. CCPA sublease to vendor maintain.
    5. Council and Trustee Districts to public vote.
    6. Allow Island communities to vote on Cerritos Utilities.
    7. Public Vote to Terminate Lifelong Council Medical insurance policy to grave.
    8. Protocol Manual in the making for the past 4 yrs and still no resolution….

    Your parents are life long 90703 Realtors and you were raised in the Granada Park HOA Tract. My big concern, since you are a licensed attorney-at-law, home grown product and bedchamber from Whitney HS, why were you never present for any of the Joint Venture Hearings and debates? Explain your lack of involvement in the UNITED HOA, & the litigation UNITED HOA, CECY GROOM, GRACE HU tried to stop the viral intensity of the Joint Venture and La Cuesta Villa. Your parents & you, remained ghosts!!!!

    There are many emails and photos of you and Pulido hanging out to the wee hrs at local bars and taverns, so why could this rest and relaxation period, be used more constructively, for mends of your BAR licensing requirements?

    Since your home environment and Whitney HS are so so close to the proposed OVERLAY PROJECT, in North Cerritos, how come you never attended hearings or involved in the ground floor hearings & negotiations?

    Why does your bar Lic have no phone number or email, web site, as wondering if this is product of 1970’s and you are not up to speed.

    City is tired of the councilperson Pulido, as he has to abstain from least 50% of the CCC decisions, because of conflict of interest with his career……. I see some major conflict of interest on your part, as your law background, ongoing relationship w/ Mark Pulido and your presence of Whitney HS, your youth as product of realtor parents; could all be major conflict of interest, for the betterment of all of Cerritos.

    • Closed racial binder……
    • Closed binder to blonds, redheads and the Caucasian race…..
    • Endorsements: 33% from Whitney HS

    …………..hmmmm, you have asked some great QA; while as a commissioner, but over and over again, Im hearing the same old crap, WHITNEY HS THIS, WHITNEY HS THAT, PHILPINO THIS/ THAT……….what about the other (4) High Schools and all of the other races in the city???? Hope this is cleaned up during the many February Forums… and attend the LCCN debates.

    1. Europe.
    2. South America.
    3. Canada.
    4. Africa.
    5. Russia.
    6. Australia.
    7. Alternative lifestyles.
    8. Handicap –vs- special needs residents.
    9. Mid Eastern.
    10. India

    //jm ; 2/1/13

  • Jay Gray says:

    It seems what is being over looked here is that Mr. Yokoyama is a sitting commissioner on the Cerritos Planning Commission — Appointed by Mark Pulido.
    1) Was/Is Council Member Mark Pulido aware of what was going on?
    2) Will Pulido overlook this as he seems to have overlooked fabricated documents at the ABC District, as reported in this paper.
    3)Will the City Council admonish Commissioner Mr. Yokoyama for his actions/in-actions, which reflect poorly on the City of Cerritos?
    4) Is Cerritos becoming another city of Bell?

  • George Chalagonian says:

    Moral turpitude is a serious matter not matter how lawyers and journalists try to twist the semantics of it or make light of it. Mr. Yokoyama needs to provide the voters with a letter of full disclosure concerning this matter.