The practice of law is challenging on a good day. Bar inquiries take the pressure to an altogether different level. During the 2015-16 Bar year, the Florida bar opened 4,613 disciplinary files, and the number was even higher in prior years.
“Membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions.” Thus, no privilege against self-incrimination exists in Bar proceedings. For that reason, attorneys facing discipline do well in consulting bar defense counsel as early as possible.
Avoiding a probable cause determination is ideal, but when that is not possible, having counsel represent or guide you through formal prosecution is essential. You will likely be angry and defensive and perhaps scared. Maintaining critical objectivity in those circumstances is virtually impossible. Your reputation deserves better.
Tom has helped attorneys respond to disciplinary inquiries and navigate formal prosecution. Tom also served on a disciplinary hearing panel in Kansas. Twenty-seven years of trial and appellate experience, together with many years of service to the state and local bars of Florida and Kansas, make Tom well-suited to help you with your ethics, professional responsibility, and disciplinary concerns.
Tom’s style is practical and nonjudgmental. Services can be limited in scope, which also tends to be the most economical option, or Tom can undertake full-service representation. The decision is yours, although the nature or stage of the proceedings may affect your decision.
In limited scope representation Tom helps you:
- Objectively assess your matter.
- Identify materials needed to mount the most effective defense possible.
- Draft or edit written responses to the Bar.
- Develop trial strategy.
- Prepare exhibits and witnesses for trial.
- Stay focused.
In limited scope representation, you submit all documents to the Bar under your name and bar number, which means ultimate responsibility for materials, responses, strategy, and execution rests with you, the client.
Full-service representation, as with any litigation, results in Tom’s appearance as your counsel of record. As counsel of record, Tom handles all communication with the Bar, drafts and files all papers on your behalf, and represents you in all proceedings before the referee, hearing panel, or supreme court.
Tom’s fees are competitive. In some circumstances fixed or capped fees by stage are most economical. Hourly fees apply in full-service representation. In all circumstances, fees are collected before services are provided.
Call or email Tom if you are facing a disciplinary complaint or formal proceedings. He will be honored to help you fight to preserve your reputation.