WHEN DISCIPLINARY COUNSEL COMES TO CALL
Few things cause greater anxiety and stress for the practitioner than receiving a notification that Disciplinary Counsel has begun an investigation.
The adage that the shoemaker’s children go barefoot frequently applies. An attorney who is more than capable and competent to handle his or her clients’ matters can be paralyzed when faced in a Disciplinary Counsel inquiry. The fact is that most disciplinary cases involve either solo practitioners or small firms.
GUIDANCE AND UNDERSTANDING THROUGH A COMPLEX LEGAL SITUATION
When Disciplinary Counsel files formal charges against an attorney, a process is started that can be grueling, time intensive, and emotionally draining, and expensive. Once Disciplinary Counsel files formal charges against an attorney, the Board on Professional Responsibility will refer the matter to a Hearing Committee made up of two attorneys and one layperson. The hearing committee will conduct an evidentiary hearing.
BE READY FOR THE NEXT STEP.
Following the hearing, both sides will file post-hearing briefs. The Hearing Committee will issue proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendation as to sanction. Both the attorney and Disciplinary Counsel can note exceptions to the Hearing Committee Report.
When that happens, each side will have to file a brief in support of the exceptions to the Board on Professional Responsibility and engage in oral argument before the Board. The Board will issue its own Proposed Findings of Fact, Conclusions of law, and Recommendation as to Sanction. Each side will have an opportunity to note an appeal of the Board’s Report to the District of Colombia Court of Appeals, and to engage in oral argument before the Court of Appeals.
Thus, an attorney who finds himself or herself enmeshed in the disciplinary system is faced with a substantial amount of litigation, brief preparation, and oral argument. The costs of legal representation in this process can easily amount to $40,000 – $50,000, an amount that many solo and small practitioners are unable to bear.
ABRAHAM BLITZER OFFERS AN ALTERNATIVE: CONSULTATION
Consultation is an alternative for the solo/small practitioner faced with the steep costs of the disciplinary system. Mr. Blitzer is able to provide the perspective needed to his clients and can guide them through this increasingly complex field of law.
Mr. Blitzer makes his experience and expertise available for consultation to those enmeshed in the disciplinary system at a fraction of the cost of full-fledged representation. Mr. Blitzer can review your case and listen to any legal concerns you may have, answer questions that arise, and determine the best strategy for your situation.