Sunday, December 9, 2007

D.C. To Improve Access To Bar Discipline Information

I have it on reliable authority that the web site of the District of Columbia Bar is in the process of being updated to include reports of hearing committees in bar discipline matters. This will accomplish two important improvements. First, it will give the public much earlier access to information concerning the disposition of charges of ethical misconduct. Second, it will allow the public to evaluate the quality of the work of the hearing committees. As the hearing committee reports have always been public, this is a significant step in making the District of Columbia's disciplinary system more friendly to consumers of legal services. I will not take personal credit, although I have been pressing for this for a number of years.

Now, the next improvement I propose is the posting of Bar Counsel's charges of misconduct on the Bar's web page. This is already done in Illinois and permits an interested person know that charges have been filed and the nature of the allegations. If the attorney you wanted to hire or was handling your case had multiple charges of neglect or theft, wouldn't you want to know that? I certainly would. (Mike Frisch)

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