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Three Reasons Why Representing Yourself Against a Bar Complaint Could Be a Serious Mistake

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Are you facing a bar complaint from a current or former client? If so, the complaint could put a tremendous amount of pressure and strain on you and your legal practice. You need to know how to navigate the process and protect your career.

As explained by The Florida Bar, complaints and other attorney discipline matters are handled through an official grievance process. Under Florida rules, legal professionals have the right to represent themselves in grievance proceedings.

That being said, doing so could be a big mistake. If you are facing an official complaint from a former client, it is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced Florida bar complaint defense attorney. Here are three reasons why legal professionals may want to avoid representing themselves through the entirety of the grievance process:

  1. Experience Matters—The Process is Highly Technical

Similar to any other legal case, there are a number of different complex, technical rules that affect bar complaints and grievances. It is generally best to be represented by an attorney who has extensive experience navigating the process. There is a lot of value to hiring a professional. With a top bar complaint defense lawyer in your corner, you will be better able to protect your rights and your career. 

  1. Direct Interactions With the Referee Feel Like a “Cross Examination”

At the outset of the grievance process, you may not feel like you have much to worry about. You may be right. An obviously frivolous complaint may be resolved without issue. However, as a complaint progresses, an attorney could be required to go before a referee or even the Florida Supreme Court.

As was mentioned above, legal professionals are allowed to serve as their own advocate through the whole process. However, should you go before a referee or the Florida Supreme Court, it is best to hire a defense lawyer. Direct interactions with referees can often feel like a cross examination. The line between the respondent and the representative of the respondent is very thin when they are the same person. 

  1. Keep the Emotions Out of the Case

Finally, facing a bar complaint from a former client can bring out some strong emotions. You may feel stressed out, annoyed, frustrated, or aggrieved—particularly if the complaint was brought on spurious or outright misleading grounds. As an attorney, you undoubtedly know that emotions can sometimes get in the way of building the most effective legal case. Working through an experienced Florida bar grievance defense lawyer can help to alleviate this potential problem.

Contact Our West Palm Beach Bar Complaint Lawyers Today

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our West Palm Beach bar complaints & grievances attorneys are standing by, ready to protect your rights and your career. We are proud to be the lawyers’ lawyers. If you are facing a bar complaint, call us now for a confidential initial consultation. With offices in West Palm Beach and Miami, we defend legal professionals facing bar complaints and grievances throughout South Florida.

Resource:

floridabar.org/public/acap/

https://www.turnpikelaw.com/what-to-expect-during-the-grievance-committee-in-florida/

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