STATE BAR RELEASES ANNUAL DISCIPLINE REPORT

Contact: Laura Ernde 

415-538-2283  

laura.ernde@calbar.ca.gov

San Francisco, April 30, 2013 – The State Bar of California released its Annual Discipline report today showing improvement in the time required to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate complaints against attorneys.

Some highlights of the report:

  • The median length of time it took to complete an investigation that led to a prosecution dropped from 234 days in 2010 to 129 days in 2012.
  • The median length of time between the completion of an investigation and the filing of a Notice of Disciplinary Charges fell from 206 days in 2010 to 58 days in 2012.
  • The median length of time between the completion of an investigation and the filing of a Stipulation to Discipline fell from 337 days in 2010 to 72 days in 2012. In a stipulation, the attorney agrees to be disciplined.
  • The median total time from the receipt of a complaint to the filing of either a Notice of Disciplinary Charges or a Stipulation to Discipline was 235 days, down from 414 days in 2010.
  • In all, 90 lawyers were disbarred and 169 were suspended in 2012.

State Bar President Patrick M. Kelly attributed the advances to a new “vertical” prosecution model where a single attorney is assigned responsibility for each complaint, from investigation to trial. The elimination of backlogs throughout the discipline system also improved productivity, he said.

Kelly gave credit to Chief Trial Counsel Jayne Kim, who was named the bar’s top prosecutor in August 2011.

“I commend our chief trial counsel for the great progress that has occurred in our discipline system under her leadership towards meeting our mission of public protection,” Kelly said. “Ms. Kim has shown true leadership in her short tenure.”

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The State Bar of California is an administrative arm of the California Supreme Court, serving the public and seeking to improve the justice system for more than 80 years. All lawyers practicing law in California must be members of the State Bar. By April 2013, membership reached 242,000.