“An attorney has a constant and perpetual rendezvous with ethics.” McClure v. Donovan (1947) 82 Cal.App.2d 664, 666
This destination can seem like The Twilight Zone whenyou are caught in an ethical dilemma or are facing a State Bar complaint. Acquiring a law degree and a law license is a lot of hard work. Most lawyers study professional responsibility in school and all must pass the professional responsibility examination to practice. But what the McClure court is telling us is that this is not enough. Even if we don’t realize it, legal ethics permeates everything that we do in the course of our profession and even in our personal life.
Over 28 Years Experience Exclusively Devoted to Legal Ethics and State Bar Matters
I have over 28 years of experience with legal ethics and the discipline system, including 12 years working at the State Bar in the discipline system. I have helped hundreds of California attorneys and bar applicants since I left the State Bar in 2001. My practice is exclusively legal ethics and State Bar matters.
Legal Ethics Advice and Counsel
I help attorneys stay out of trouble with the State Bar by providing experienced counsel on legal ethics and the law of lawyering. The consequences of even minor discipline can be serious. Ethical issues that might not be a matter of discipline can be costly, such as a disqualification motion, a fee dispute or malpractice claim. I provide advice on legal ethics, risk management and best practices intended to help lawyers both meet and exceed all regulatory requirements and minimize risk. I assist lawyers with advertising content, fee agreements, conflict disclosures and consents and drafting other documents related to legal ethics.
State Bar Discipline Defense
I help attorneys deal with an alien, unsympathetic and sometimes unfair State Bar discipline system. The goal is to get the best possible treatment and the best possible result. The discipline system is sui generis and has its own rules, both written ( e.g. the State Bar Rules of Procedure) and unwritten. Representing yourself in the discipline process is extremely difficult. Full-service representation at the investigation stage isn’ t always necessary but consultation with experienced defense counsel is recommended whenever there is a State Bar complaint or other inquiry.
State Bar Admissions
I help bar applicants who are facing issues with the Committee of Bar Examiners effectively state their case for admission. The Committee’s moral character process is opaque and difficult to understand for the uninitiated. It takes its role as gatekeeper to the profession very seriously and may view criminal convictions or academic discipline as serious barriers to admission. I assist applicants in completing the extensive moral character application, responding to inquiries from the State Bar Office of Admissions, preparing applicants for informal conferences with the Committee of Bar Examiners and seeking review of admissions decisions in State Bar Court.
That signpost up ahead? That’s where I live. Call me at (619) 696-0526.