ethics complaints

What You Need to Know About Attorney Discipline

Each state has its own way of handling attorney discipline, and it is imperative you learn how your state takes in complaints, investigates and prosecutes cases, and issues sanctions.

Shillelagh-Brandishing Potty Mouth Loses Law License

While Gmail’s new “Undo” feature can save you from an all-too-hasty click, it cannot save you from your own stupidity. On January 7, the Louisiana Hearing Committee recommended one fiery lawyer’s permanent disbarment after determining he “had to be admonished for brandishing about his shillelagh, his action clearly inappropriate for a disciplinary proceeding.” The lawyer had been […]

“First Amendment Badass” Under Fire

Marc Randazza is an outspoken, high-profile, and very polarizing First Amendment lawyer. If you know him you probably love him or hate him. Not many people fall in between. He’s done some high-profile First Amendment work, and he’s sued people for downloading porn illegally. Today, he probably earned more haters from this article by Joe Mullin in Ars […]

If You’re Going to Harass the Court On Social Media, Tell the Truth

You already know that social media use can be a confusing minefield for attorneys, and making the right decision can involve weighing a complex matrix of factors. Should you friend the opposing side’s witnesses as you are prepping for a jury trial in the hopes you get a peek at their postings? (Probably not). Should […]

Wisconsin Ethics Complaints are Getting Out of Control Due to Investigators’ “Timidity”

"The timidity of investigators probing allegations of wrongdoing against lawyers has helped create an 'unsustainable' case backlog at Wisconsin’s Office of Lawyer Regulation, according to a newly released study."

Can Depressed Lawyers Escape Discipline by Invoking the ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act protects people with disabilities — including mental illness — from discrimination. So can a lawyer with a disability invoke the ADA when ethics regulators impose discipline for behavior that stems directly from the disability?

Minimize the Risk of an Ethics Complaint

Some ethics complaints stem from the substantive practice of law — failing to research and argue well, failing to notify the court of an authority against your client, or other issues. Many ethics complaints, however, are at heart administrative failures. They include things like failing to communicate with clients, failing to meet deadlines, and failing […]

Responding to an Ethics Complaint: A How-To Guide

Every year, ethics boards receive thousands of complaints. The California State Bar alone received over 16,000 ethics complaints in 2011, a number that represents about 7% of California’s active lawyers. At some point in your legal career, one of those complaints could be against you. Here’s how to handle an ethics complaint, if you wind […]