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Ventura County News Roundup

VENTURA : Lawyer Sentenced for Forgery of Evidence

April 30, 1993|JEFF McDONALD

An Orange County attorney who admitted falsifying evidence in a Ventura County court case was sentenced Thursday to 60 days in jail.

Robert Blair Kennedy Jr., 52, of Orange admitted forging telephone records submitted in a civil case between his former client, Hardric Labs of Massachusetts, and a Ventura optical company.

Kennedy missed a court hearing last May, and his absence prompted a default judgment against his client. But in December, Kennedy had the judgment set aside by providing the court with telephone records that appeared to support his claim that both sides had agreed to delay the hearing.

Richard Graff, president of Ventura Optical Industries, suspected that the records had been faked and took them to the district attorney's office, which determined that they had been forged, Deputy Dist. Atty. Matthew J. Hardy said.

In March, Kennedy pleaded guilty to one count of perjury and one count of falsifying evidence. He was sentenced Thursday by Ventura County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Storch.

The civil suit was heard last month, but no ruling has yet been issued, Graff said. On Thursday, Graff won $2,500 in restitution from Kennedy for damages suffered from the forgery.

"It's one more example about why people don't trust lawyers," prosecutor Hardy said.

Kennedy, a graduate of the Lincoln School of Law in Sacramento, was admitted to the State Bar in June, 1978. He was placed on interim suspension after his guilty plea, and he submitted his resignation April 19, State Bar spokeswoman Susan Scott said.

Kennedy's attorney, George Eskin, said his client was a "self-made man" swept up in personal problems.

"He suffered greatly and tendered his resignation because he doesn't want to practice law anymore," Eskin said. "It was something he couldn't handle."

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