Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Posted by Alan Childress
The watchdog organization HALT ("An Organization of Americans for Legal Reform") is out with its new report card on bar discipline. All the states' bar discipline systems are graded for 2006 based on such factors as adequacy of discipline, promptness, openness, fairness, and lay participation.
This follows up the organization's 2002 survey and assessment. "Unfortunately, few states showed any improvement, and many states' systems actually saw their grades decline!" Only Utah, right, received an F this time around (slow, gags complainants, and imposes public discipline in less than 5% of investigated cases). But that is hardly good news for many other states. It is not as if the plethora with a D+ (including New York, Ohio, Iowa, Texas, and California) or C- (Virginia, Louisiana, Kansas, and many others) can brag to their local papers. DC and Jersey got a C+. The 'best' grades (B-) went to Colorado, Arizona, and Connecticut. [Not the same curve used at many law schools today, but fascinating nonetheless.]
There's a helpful color-coded map rating the states. Specifics on each are found by a pull-down menu, with details on all factors and their changes since 2002. Here's the comparison chart for all jurisdictions. The HALT site follows other issues and is one of the permanent resources we link at left.