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Filing Complaints Against Attorneys
Allowing a genuinely unethical attorney to practice harms everyone, including the Justice system itself. If you have proof that an attorney violated his or her ethical obligations, consider filing a formal complaint. Be aware that in general, your proof must be conclusive. State Disciplinary Counsel are reluctant to discipline attorneys, even with clear and convincing proof against them. When sanctions are imposed, they may be of inconsequential proportions. After several complaints, though, the likelihood is much greater that more serious sanctions will be imposed. One additional suggestion is the use of affidavits; we have heard of positive results obtained by sending the complaints as sworn affidavits of the attorney's conduct and activities. You can also send any witness commentary as sworn affidavits along with the complaint to bolster the credibility of the complaint.
Accordingly, we recommend that "Atty" should be disbarred to protect the public, the courts, and the legal profession.
California Rules of Court, rule 9.20,1 - Failing to perform competently in client matters, commingled funds clients trust account.
AGGRAVATION AND MITIGATION
Example of Discipline:
Moral Turpitude – Dishonesty (§ 6106)
Failure to Cooperate with State Bar Investigation (§ 6068, subd. (i))
[Detail the nature of the complaint. Be succinct and factual, do not enagage in any sarcasm or remarks of a personal nature. Offer to provide documentation or other proof upon request. You should also cite or paste in a copy of the specific guidelines that have been violated, or you can include it below.]
Date of Violation:___________________
Date Violation Discovered if different from above:________________
Other Relevant Information:
[Detail any other relevant information or event(s) here. This is a good place to cite or paste in a copy of the specific guidelines that have been violated, or you can include it above. Delete this section if your complaint is fully explained in the section above.]
I am sure the [name of governing body] will find this issue worthy of investigation, and I look forward to hearing from you as to the disposition of this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require additional information or have any questions.
AFFIDAVIT OF _________________________
The undersigned, being duly sworn, deposes and says:
1. I am over the age of 18, and believe in the obligations of an oath.
2. My full name is _____________________________.
3. I reside at ___________________________________________________ [include city and country].
4. My date of birth is _________________________, and my place of birth is ______________________ [include city and country].
5. My relationship to _______________________ (you and your husband), is as follows: _______________________________ and have known him/her for __________ years).
6. I have first-hand information and personal knowledge of the bona fides of the marriage of ________________________ (you and your husband), as follows: Your text/hand writing
Remove text in red.
Keep it to one page, just the basic facts.
7. I hereby testify that the relationship of _______________________, is authentic, and that their marriage is bona fide.
I affirm under the penalties for perjury that the above-listed facts are true to the best of my knowledge.
Oberholzer v. Commission on Judicial Performance (1999) 20 Cal.4th 371, the California Supreme Court held: “[A] judge who commits legal error which, in addition, clearly and convincingly reflects bad faith, bias, abuse of authority, disregard for fundamental rights, intentional disregard of the law, or any purpose other than the faithful discharge of judicial duty is subject to investigation.” (Oberholzer v. Commission on Judicial Performance, supra, 20 Cal.4th at p. 398, original italics.)
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