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Some thoughts on attorney discipline

The Daily Record had a story this week about the Attorney Grievance Commission’s annual discipline report, which showed the number of lawyer sanctions fell last year despite rise in number of lawyers. Here are some thoughts that crossed my mind as I read the story:

— The most complaints last fiscal year came out of Montgomery County. I would find it interesting to see where the majority of disbarments came from as a percentage of that jurisdiction’s lawyers.

— It also would be interesting to see how many young lawyers had complaints filed against them.

— Why did attorney sanctions fall last year despite rise in number of lawyers? Maybe because the economy seems to be improving and fewer cash-strapped attorneys are likely to do or be pressured to do complaint-worthy things. Conversely, the drop in sanctions could be from residents being unable to afford attorneys and more litigants choosing to proceed pro se. Fewer sanctions also might be a side effect of teaching more practical organizational skills in law school.

— I’m not surprised that civil litigation and family law are the most common complaint practice areas. God bless those attorneys. (I think good family law attorneys should get Nobel peace prizes, not bar complaints.)