Lawyers must be held accountable

December 19, 2017

In response to letter Hold Lawyers Accountable! Dec. 5:

As an active member of Citizens for Criminal Justice, I have seen far too many instances of bar associations failing to discipline attorneys for truly egregious conduct. Whether this is attributable to the "buddy buddy" context of their operation, or to the fact that they do not want to acknowledge such problems, I do not know. But I do know that many clients are being harmed all over America, and change is needed!

I suggest that in every state there should be an Independent Attorney Review Board, which is made up of non-lawyers, trained in the canons of ethics and empowered to discipline attorneys, including disbarring them, to review claims against lawyers! You don't need to be a lawyer to realize that a criminal attorney who never even told his client that he had a right to appeal really screwed up!

Yet I have seen these complaints to the bar met with the "we find that your complaint has no merit" form letter. It is nothing less than outrageous!

Furthermore, I suggest that a public record should be kept, showing every complaint against any lawyer, and the disposition of it. Why not provide such transparency?

People place their trust in lawyers for the most serious matters, and when that trust is abused or betrayed, folks should know!

Mina Lofland
member, Citizens for Criminal Justice

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