The State Bar is required to dismiss, settle, or file charges on every
complaint within 6 months after that complaint walks in the door, Bus.
& Prof. C. section 6094.5. The tenor and the timing of your response
matter as much as the merits of the complaint you are responding to. While
most complaints ultimately close without any disciplinary action taken
against the accused attorney, State Bar complaints in general are getting
harder to resolve.
In 2015 the State of California conducted an audit of the State Bar’s
performance. The verdict? The California State Bar’s prosecutor’s
office is settling discipline cases as an expedient, at the expense of
getting more lawyers disbarred.
“To reduce its backlog, the State Bar allowed some attorneys whom
it otherwise might have disciplined more severely—or even disbarred—to
continue practicing law, at significant risk to the public.”
Report of the California State Auditor, Report 2015-030 (June 2015)
The obvious response to the Audit is for the State Bar to prosecute more
lawyers and settle fewer of those cases. Now more than ever it is important
to hire experienced State Bar defense counsel to handle your State Bar
matter at the earliest possible moment. Most deadlines become more rigid,
and shorter, the farther along the process you go.
I can help. I am an experienced State Bar defense attorney in Sausalito,