The Costs of the WSBA Discipline System

Posted On Feb 8 2016 by

There are 35,000 members of the WSBA. About 100 or so are disciplined each year — that’s a paltry .0028 % of the 35,000 members. The WSBA pays about $5,000,000 a year to achieve this result – that is about 48% of the WSBA’s lawyer license revenue in a fiscal year. That’s about $50,000 on average per disciplined member per year. The cost to the individual on the other side of the WSBA Washington Lawyer Discipline System equation might be as much as $250,000 together with the impact to the lawyer’s reputation. — “What others believe or have opinions generally held about someone or something.”


Posted On Feb 7 2016 by

As a bar association (forced) we find something we dislike and punish a member whose conduct in the past is like what we dislike today.

Tennessee Lawyer Discipline System — Due Process Revisited

Posted On Jun 13 2014 by

In a recent post, the due process of the Tennessee lawyer discipline system was an issue in discipline system case.  The court held that due process was not denied a lawyer where lawyer investigation, investigation, prosecution and adjudication were in the hands of the Tennessee Supreme Court, one entity. The discipline system created by Supreme Court is found in Supreme Court Rule 9.  Nowhere is a Tennessee bar association mentioned.  That is to say, Rule 9 does not require the involvement a bar association in the operation of Rule 9. It should also be noted that the rules of professional …

Due Process and the Tennesee Lawyer Discipline System

Posted On Jun 12 2014 by

The Supreme Court of Tennessee recently confronted the issue of whether the state’s lawyer discipline system violated due process.  See Long v. Board of Professional Responsibility,  “Long contended that Rule 9 is unconstitutional and violates his due process rights because Rule 9 combines investigative, enforcement, and adjudicative authority in the same agency; creates a financial incentive for the Board to pursue formal disciplinary proceedings; and gives rise to an institutional bias in favor of finding guilt and imposing discipline.”  The court said that “[b]ecause the investigatory/enforcement responsibilities and the adjudicative responsibilities are functionally separate within the Board, Rule 9 does …