Friday, August 1, 2008
The California Bar Journal reports that the Bar's Board of Governors has voted in favor of the posting of disciplinary charges against bar members. The answer of the accused to the charges also will be available on line:
After an exhaustive debate, the board of governors voted 18-4 last month to post on the State Bar Web site disciplinary charges filed against California lawyers. The board turned back an attempt to postpone any action pending further study and rejected opposition to online postings by the majority of those who contacted the bar about the proposal.
The postings, which will be placed on a lawyer’s profile page, will be phased in, beginning with any lawyer newly charged, and will eventually include notices for every California lawyer with a pending disciplinary proceeding — about 700 bar members. The lawyer’s answer to the charges also will be posted.
There are at least two benefits to the posting of charges, which occurs in only Illinois so far as I am aware. First, it provides more information to the public (and potential clients) about ethical issues concerning the accused lawyer. Second, it provides that information at an earlier stage of the proceedings. (Mike Frisch)