Presentation on theme: "OVERVIEW OF THE FLORIDA BAR DISCIPLINE SYSTEM November 30, 2006."— Presentation transcript:
OVERVIEW OF THE FLORIDA BAR DISCIPLINE SYSTEM November 30, 2006
Intake Screening Process Telephone Questions Written Inquiries ACAP Process
STAGES OF PROCESSING Staff Level Investigations Grievance Committee Process Pretrial Trial Post Trial Review Appeal and Court Action
STAFF LEVEL INVESTIGATION INQUIRY Jurisdiction? If true is it a violation? COMPLAINT Response requested Rebuttal allowed Analysis of facts OPTIONS Diversion Referral to Grievance Committee Closure
OPTIONS FOR DIVERSION Fee Arbitration Grievance Mediation Practice and Professionalism Enhancement Programs Ethics School Professionalism School Anger Management Workshop Trust Accounting Workshop Advertising Workshop Law Office Management Advisory Service Continuing Legal Education Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc.
ALTERNATIVE RESOLUTION Attorneys/Clients Assistance Program Direct, but informal communications with a bar staff attorney Telephone contact design provide alternative ways resolve disputes without resort to the disciplinary process
ALTERNATIVE RESOLUTION Grievance Mediation A program for the private resolution of disputes between an individual and a member of the bar when resolution in a private manner is consistent with the public interest.
ALTERNATIVE RESOLUTION Fee Arbitration A program for resolution of disputes concerning legal fees that is free to participants and utilizes volunteer arbitrators to determine the appropriate amount of legal fees in individual circumstances.
GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE PROCESS INVESTIGATING MEMBER ASSIGNED ADDITIONAL INVESTIGATION HEARING OR REVIEW GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE ACTION
OPTIONS AT GC Diversion (same areas as at staff level) No Probable Cause No Probable Cause with Letter of Advice Minor Misconduct Probable Cause
PRETRIAL PROCESS Admission of Minor Misconduct Discovery (Fla. R. Civ. P.) Guilty Plea Complaint Drafting & Filing Appointment of Judicial Referee
TRIAL PROCESS Complaint Answer Final Hearing Hearing on Sanctions Report of Referee
Appeal to and Supreme Court Action Petition for review Burden on appeal
HOW DO I FIND OUT INFORMATION ABOUT CASES? Contact any bar office for available public information
WHAT INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE? Status and Records Available on all public files (pending and closed files) Status Only Available about specific inquiries on matters otherwise known in the public domain
WHAT RECORDS ARE AVAILABLE? Anything received from or given to the complainant or respondent; The record before the grievance committee; and The record before the referee.
WHERE TO GO TO GET RECORDS? Pending Public Files – local branch office; an appointment is necessary so the file will be ready for review Closed Files – start with the local branch, call the headquarters office for files that have been closed for several years