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Is California attorney punishment impartially doled out?

It is unquestionably the case that attorneys operating in every sphere and locale across California conduct themselves ethically and with unstinting focus on their clients’ best interests.

After all, the profession they practice is a calling, not just a job. Garnering the credentials required to secure licensure is an attainment achieved only after years of stress, study, fund outflows and testing mandates.

Consequently, lawyers are uniformly not casual or indifferent concerning their important duties. An authoritative legal source addressing attorney representation before The State Bar of California duly stresses that. It states that, “Lawyers dedicate their careers to protecting the rights of others.”

Unfortunately, client representation doesn’t always go well. Some attorneys seeking to act in good faith nonetheless come under regulatory scrutiny, facing the potential for disciplinary reprisals that threaten their hard-earned licenses.

And, candidly, some others do knowingly act in less than a professional manner.

Whatever the case, any California attorney targeted by state legal officials in a probe focused on alleged wrongdoing logically looks for fair treatment from bar examiners in a disciplinary hearing.

Is that always forthcoming?

One long-time California attorney/mediator penning an opinion piece for the publication Above the Law emphatically argues that it isn’t. Contributor Jill Switzer points to a considerable amount of both anecdotal and empirical evidence underscoring that practitioners in comparatively small law firms or with solo practices are often treated more harshly than their big-law peers.

And, as she notes, findings reveal “disproportionate discipline imposed in particular on Black male attorneys.”

Bar officials are looking into that and other alleged inequalities in imposed attorney discipline.  In fact, they have already commissioned multiple studies on the matter.

We will keep readers duly informed of any material developments that occur. In the meantime, it certainly bears noting that any California lawyer facing potential disciplinary sanctions needs a strong ally to make his or her case. A proven and results-oriented license-defense legal team can take the lead on that, diligently striving to secure the best interests of every valued and diverse client.

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