September/October 2019

Ethics

DIY Disciplinary Defense

Lucian T. Pera

It’s a terrible feeling.

You find in your morning mail a letter from your state’s lawyer disciplinary agency. More than a little nervous, you open it to find that someone—maybe a disgruntled former client or opposing counsel—has filed a bar complaint saying you engaged in misconduct.

We're Only Human

You won’t realize it as you first hold the letter, but this is one moment when we are reminded that we’re human because the next few seconds bring a flood of emotions. Emotions we can almost always suppress in our daily practice. Shock. Dejection. Anger. Outrage.

What to do?

That’s our topic here: How a lawyer should respond to a bar complaint and the initial investigation that follows.

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