Defense for your disciplinary cases
Many attorneys believe that State Bar Defense begins when a lawyer or law firm receives notice of an investigation due to a complaint, the attorney’s criminal conduct, or court sanctions over $1000.00. In reality, an attorney should consider State Bar Defense to begin at any point where a client or former client begins to express their dissatisfaction with either the representation or the outcome of the representation. Even in circumstances where a client received an excellent outcome, the client may be dissatisfied with their settlement or sentencing and see the State Bar Discipline system as leverage to obtain a greater percentage of the settlement or receive a refund on fees. Like any other legal practice, a corporate attorney should not mount their own criminal defense similarly, a California bar license does not provide an attorney with the necessary skill sets to represent themselves before the State Bar of California.
When to hire counsel?
The California State Bar Discipline process often starts with a complaint from a current or former client. A State Bar attorney will evaluate the complaint and determine if the underlying facts present potential ethics violations. Once a State Bar attorney has decided that the complaint has merit, an inquiry letter is sent to the attorney advising them of the complaint and asking the attorney to respond to the allegations. Though a State Bar inquiry letter may appear non-threatening in tone, State Bar Inquiry letters are the beginning of a disciplinary matter. The best time to reach out to ethics counsel is at the inquiry letter stage because this is the best opportunity an attorney has to respond and close the State Bar’s Disciplinary Investigation. The State Bar’s discipline inquiry does not appear on the attorney's public record, which is why it is best to hire ethics counsel upon receipt of an inquiry letter. The inquiry stage often lasts between a few weeks upwards to six months, if not longer. If the State Bar does not close the disciplinary investigation, then the State Bar will file a notice with the intent to file charges, which also presents an opportunity to settle the discipline matter. The final stage is the filing of disciplinary charges, which will appear on the attorney’s public records. GLS provides you with zealous defense in disciplinary inquiries.