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Always busy: CA State Bar weighs in on attorney discipline

California lawyers comprise a singular classification.

For starters, the attorney population in California is the largest by far of any American state. And California lawyers represent clients in markedly distinct spheres (e.g., from high-tech enclaves unrivaled anywhere else on earth to supersized agricultural bastions and more).

There is this, too: The vetting process en route to authorization to practice law inside the state is unquestionably the most rigorous in the country. The California bar is notoriously difficult, with a passage rate that routinely breeds failure more often than it does success for applicants.

Indeed, would-be attorneys who do manage to clear all hurdles requisite to the practice of law in California comprise a minority. And their hard-earned professional credentials are always under continuing scrutiny and review by state officials, with adverse consequences befalling practitioners across the state who suffer reprisals for alleged misconduct.

The panoply of cited offenses that recurrently feature in bar disciplinary actions is notably broad and varied. A recent State Bar summary of misconduct hearings prominently notes the following alleged behaviors:

  • Misappropriation of client funds
  • Prior criminal convictions
  • Failure to represent a client with competence
  • Failure to comply with probationary conditions
  • Commingling client funds with personal accounts
  • Conflict of interest

Truly adverse outcomes often link to those bulleted offenses, as well as a host of others that mandate practitioners’ attendance at board hearings. Reportedly, the State Bar disbarred 21 attorneys and suspended more than 50 others within just the first three months of this year.

Career-threatening results are not preordained in every disciplinary case. Indeed, attorneys facing professional challenges can often materially mitigate – sometimes completely – the downsides by timely enlisting the help ofa proven license  defense team.

We welcome contacts to the Century Law Group and the opportunity to diligently represent California attorneys needing strong legal advocacy in a licensing matter.

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