Facing accusations of misconduct in California is a serious situation considering it could jeopardize your career. The outcome of an investigation could determine whether or not you retain the right to practice law.
Knowing what an investigation into misconduct allegations looks like can give you an idea of how to prepare to defend your rights.
Prior to the investigation itself, officials will gather evidence and facts regarding your case. According to The United States Department of Justice, the initial step, called intake, involves an assessment to decide whether or not an investigation is both legal and necessary. This requires officials to determine the credibility of the sources who complained about your conduct.
After intaking all appropriate information, officials will proceed with an inquiry. This is the step whereby officials will gather evidence that supports allegations of misconduct. As in the intake process, an analysis will follow to determine the necessity of further action.
During the investigation portion, officials will analyze evidence and gather statements from witnesses. They may also interview you to get your side of the story as well. At the conclusion of the investigation, a report will summarize the allegations against you and recommendations for appropriate consequences.
You have the right to defend yourself, your actions, your license and your career. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, you may choose to file an appeal. Regardless of the outcome, you may lose credibility and suffer damage to your reputation. If the allegations of misconduct against you lack credibility, you may choose to take legal action for defamation and other damages as part of your effort to recover your name.