Upstanding citizens place their trust in an attorney when they need help with delicate situations. If you are subject to disciplinary board proceedings by the State Bar, potential clients might not view you as a trustworthy confidante.
When you receive a letter of investigation stating that there is an open case against you, your immediate concern is to build a strong State Bar defense. Neglecting to clear your name can result in a major hit to your reputation that will likely affect your practice as well.
Disciplinary information is public knowledge
Instances of attorney discipline by the State Bar of California are publicly viewable on the attorney’s official profile and are also available from the bar upon request. Clients and colleagues who do their research before reaching out are likely to think twice upon discovering a morally ambiguous history behind their lawyer of choice.
The implications of known disciplinary action
The State Bar investigates attorneys suspected of criminal offenses and ethical violations, among other potentially immoral acts. This means that the public perception of you may change to be that of someone who is careless or unjust. Your legal practice could suffer as people begin to believe that you will not treat their case with proper respect and attentiveness.
Disciplinary action does not always result in disbarment. Even so, a suspension or censure will still reflect poorly upon you as a lawyer. Defending yourself from a wrongful disciplinary case is the best way to ensure that your livelihood can continue unhindered.