Vol. 80, No. 11, November 2007
Keith Sellen director, Office of Lawyer Regulation
According to its fiscal year 2007 annual report, during the year the Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) reduced the number of pending matters at year end (619) compared to the end of last year (817) and decreased the overall average processing time from 201 days last year to 163 days this year.
"The system is adequately resourced to keep pace with new matters," says Keith Sellen, OLR director. "As a result, the system should continue to improve its timeliness."
The report provides an overview of the lawyer regulation system's organization and composition, explains how matters are resolved, and compares current and past years' data on the disposition of grievance matters. In addition to the year-end results noted, other highlights for the period July 1, 2006 - June 30, 2007, include:
- Central Intake received 1,896 inquiries and grievances (165 fewer than last year):
8% resolved minor disputes or withdrawn grievances
8% diverted to alternative programs
16% forwarded for formal investigation
68% closed, insufficient information to allege ethical misconduct
- 58 attorneys received a public disciplinary sanction, representing 0.3 % of the 22,637 State Bar members
- Most common allegations made in grievances: lack of diligence (23%), lack of communication with client (14%), improper advocacy (11%)
- Practice areas producing the most grievances: criminal law (33%), family law (20%)
- 96 overdrafts on client trust accounts and fiduciary accounts reported, an increase of 15.6 % from last year
The assessment for fiscal year 2008 is set at $144 (for full active licensed lawyers) up from $129 in 2007.
View the complete 2006 - 07 report and accompanying appendices.