Marin Teen Files State Bar Complaint Against Court Appointed Lawyer 

Misconduct Allegations Against Sandra Acevedo include Fraud, Perjury and Conspiring to Cover Up Child Abuser, Neglect and Endangerment                     

 In what may be the first case of its kind, 18-year-old college honor student, Alanna Krause, formerly of San Geronimo, has filed a complaint with the California State Bar against attorney Sandra M. Acevedo, the lawyer appointed by then Marin Family Court Commissioner, Sylvia Shapiro-Pritchard, to represent her best interests during her parents’ divorce.

The complaint against Ms. Acevedo (State Bar # 129188), the court appointed attorney for the Minor Child in 1993-1994 in Marin County Superior Court case FL 4889, alleges that Ms. Sandra M. Acevedo conspired with Alanna’s father, Marshall Krause, his girlfriend, Lana Clark, LCSW, and others to:

1)     commit fraud and illegally obtain money

2)     delay, hinder and prevent evidence, testimony and prosecution

3)     commit and suborn perjury

4)   commit child abuse, neglect and endangerment 

In 1994, Ms. Acevedo was appointed by Commissioner Sylvia K. Shapiro-Pritchard to represent Alanna’s “best interests” in Marin County California Superior Court case FL 4889 – the divorce/custody case of her parents, Marshall W. Krause v. Lauren Krause.   Instead of representing her best interests, Alanna alleges that Ms. Acevedo knowingly and willfully colluded with her father, a nationally renowned attorney and past president of the Marin Bar Association, and his girlfriend, Lana Clark, to cover up Mr. Krause’s child abuse of her.

Throughout Family Court FL 4889 proceedings, Alanna, who has spoken nationally to conventions and conferences on the issue of Child Abuse, repeatedly told Ms. Acevedo about her father’s abuse and mistreatment of her and asked Ms. Acevedo directly to make these facts known to the court.

 Records submitted to the State Bar show that Ms. Acevedo had extensive contact with Alanna teachers and doctors and attended Alanna’s meetings with Child Protective Services. Though Alanna told her teachers and CPS about her father’s abuse, apparently Ms. Acevedo misled them into believing that Alanna’s abuse was being handled by the court, when, in fact, Alanna alleges that Acevedo acted to keep the truth and the issue out of court.

Alanna claims that Ms. Acevedo threatened her mother and her when they tried to bring the truth to the court’s attention themselves. Acevedo supposedly repeatedly attempted to convince Alanna to stop trying to communicate these important facts about her father to the court. Alanna claims that Acevedo ignored medical records of Alanna’s injuries and  perjured herself in declarations to the court.

Furthermore, Alanna alleges that Ms. Acevedo maintained intimate constant contact with her father’s girlfriend, Lana Clark, and intruded Clark’s fabrications and false opinions into the case, which heralded Mr. Krause, blamed Alanna’s mother, and undermined and destroyed Alanna’s credibility, despite the fact that she was a child with no motive other than her own safety. (Services for which Clark received approx. $15,000).

Ms. Acevedo billed nearly $17,000 for her services. Though the court clearly stated it did not have jurisdiction to legally assign Alanna’s mother’s family support to legal fees, Ms. Acevedo took payment from her mother’s family support anyway.

If Ms. Acevedo had done her job, Alanna alleges, the abuse would have been investigated, facts would have been brought into evidence, court rulings might have accorded with evidence, justice might have been done and she might not have had to endure years of her father’s abuse in his full custody. Because Ms. Acevedo willfully did not act in her best interests, Alanna claims to have  suffered years of abuse, neglect and endangerment.

In September, 1997, at the age of thirteen, Alanna ran away from her father and Marin to Los Angeles where she sought and obtained protection, adequate legal representation and justice in Los Angeles Juvenile Court. In the hand of a capable attorney, the court was made aware of the abuse from the first hearing and chose to protect her from her father, in contrast to the results of Acevedo’s representation.

After several months of investigation, on January 12, 1998, the LA Department of Child and Family Services Investigation Report was adopted by Los Angeles Juvenile Court. On this day her father, Marshall Krause pled “No Contest” to WIC Section 300; subdivisions a) & b). The charges that he was a current and future danger to Alanna were sustained. Alanna was then made a Ward of the Court. Her Juvenile Court case stayed open for almost 18 months to protect her from the actions of the Marin Court and it’s appointees for as long as possible. In August 1999 she was placed in my mother’s full custody, where she always wanted to be.

Her attached editorial, “Letting Children Speak For themselves- Youth in Court Need Attorneys Who Represent their Interests Fairly, Strongly” published statewide in the Daily Journal in July, 2000, describes Ms. Acevedo’s failure to represent her best interests and the effect that failure had on events. Click.

Alanna sent numerous documents and supporting evidence of Ms. Acevedo’s alleged professional misconduct. She asked that the  complaint should be cross referenced with the current State Bar investigation of her father, Marshall W. Krause, Esq. in State Bar case # 98-0-01507, which is being handled by Mr. Jeff Dal-Cerro, Assistant to the Chief Trial Counsel, and Ms. Lisa Edwards, CA State Bar Investigator. Click. 

Alanna believes there is sufficient clear and convincing evidence for State Bar disciplinary action against Ms. Acevedo.  Among the documentation submitted to the State Bar are copies of KCAL TV’s three part investigation Crimes of Custody which aired in LA in November 2000 which features Alanna and her mother; Alanna’s  editorial, “Letting Children Speak for Themselves-Youth in Court Need Attorneys Who Represent Their Interests Fairly, Strongly, published in the SF and LA Daily Journal in July 2000; Pertinent sections of  Findings on Judge Michael Dufficy, Commissioner Sylvia Shapiro & Court Appointees in Marin County’s Superior Court in California” by Karin Winner, published by The Justice Seekers, Inc. in February 2000; LA Children’s Social Worker’s Judicial Review Report and LA Juvenile Court rulings; A complete history of the several Krause v. Krause cases in Marin, Ventura and LA County courts with “Attachments” of supporting evidentiary documents as well as Ms. Acevedo’s itemized bills revealing the extent of her involvement and influence in Alanna’s case.