The Investigation Letter: Getting Help

Often, the letter from the state bar arrives without notice — two to 10 pages long, seeking details and documents on an incident long forgotten. And even if the attorney is half-expecting some contact with the State Bar, the level of detail, the insinuations and the bar's demand for a quick response often throw even the most analytic individual for a loss.

The State Bar writes hundreds of investigation letters each year. An attorney may never have had to respond to one. Advantage State Bar. The State Bar can investigate a matter as long as it wishes. An attorney has two weeks or less to respond. Advantage State Bar. The State Bar has spoken with the complainant. An attorney can only guess what information was provided. Advantage State Bar.

How should an attorney respond? First, an attorney should hire an expert. Much like performing brain surgery, responding to an investigation letter is not something an attorney should attempt to do pro se. Second, an attorney facing a quick deadline from the State Bar needs to find an expert who has a strategy guiding the response. It is not sufficient to merely send every document requested absent a tightly organized response. An expert will be able to articulate a strategy that may and often can stop the investigation cold, whether or not there is attorney liability. An expert will find mitigation. An expert will work to implement rehabilitation even before a response is filed. An expert will be able to evaluate the facts in your case with the cool, dispassionate eye a respondent attorney can never equal. Zach Wechsler is that expert.

An inquiry letter provides the best opportunity to stop a case before it begins to snowball out of control. Attorney's dollars are best spent upfront, before the costs of the prosecution, and the defense, rise precipitously.

An inquiry letter provides an attorney with the first and best opportunity to make a first impression. Therefore, the response should never be casual. Think "summary judgment." If necessary, think "plea bargain." What is not written in response now will cost significantly more time and money to add during a hearing or trial. Zach Wechsler has more than 35 years of persuasive writing skill. Responding to a letter of inquiry is the appropriate time to take advantage of that skill. Put Mr. Wechsler's experience to work for you by calling 800-621-0945. You can also reach the firm online.