If you want to practice law in California, you need to become a member of the California state bar. This organization governs legal practice and compliance with state regulations.
Bar associations investigate attorneys when they violate ethical and standards of conduct, such as revealing private information, keeping money that belongs to their clients and sexual misconduct, usually in response to a complaint. This is what you should do if you receive an investigation letter from the CA state bar.
Find out the reason for the investigation
Read the letter to learn why you are under investigation and what specific rules you allegedly violated. It may be a routine investigation.
Then, research the rules noted in the letter. You should also research rules that apply directly to your practice to clarify the rules the bar set and why.
Discuss your case with a colleague you trust
You may have a colleague or peer who has gone through the same type of investigation or someone who worked with or practices regularly in front of the state bar. In many cases, the complaint was the result of a misunderstanding or a dishonest client. However, you need to take it seriously. Review the case in question carefully with your colleague.
Contact your malpractice insurance
Next, you should contact your malpractice insurance. Some policies include defense benefits when you face a licensing board complaint.
Prepare a response
Address the client’s complaint and relevant laws. Ask for evidence and a clarification of the client’s complaint. Give a general explanation and evidence of your actions and respond to the specific allegations.
For the best results, remain calm and do not respond in fear or anxiety. Take time to do your research and gather evidence.