Make sure your voice is heard - sign HALT's Lawyer Discipline Best Practices petition. We need every member of the legal reform movement to stand up and be counted.

Every year, tens of thousands of people who pour hard-earned money into lawyers' pockets find themselves battling the very person they hired to help them. And every year over 100,000 Americans who file complaints against lawyers with their state's disciplinary agency walk away unhappy. In 2006, more than 123,000 complaints were filed against lawyers, but 92% led to no discipline or only informal "private" discipline. Less than 1% led to disbarment.

Signing HALT's petition is one way you can demand action on ten common-sense reforms that push discipline agencies to:

  • Disclose a lawyer's complete and disciplinary history so that consumers can make informed decisions about whether to hire an attorney.
  • Host a user-friendly Web site that is easy to find and provides helpful information about the discipline process.
  • Discipline lawyers with formal, serious and public measures.
  • Permanently disbar lawyers who commit abusive practices against clients.
  • Abolish gag rules that prevent people from speaking publicly about complaints they've filed.
  • Publicize the availability of lawyer discipline programs through required client notification and local advertising.
  • Open lawyer discipline hearings to everyone to increase the public trust.
  • Provide ordinary citizens with a majority voice on the panels that decide attorney misconduct cases.
  • Grant clients and witnesses immunity from civil liability for any information given to the agency during a disciplinary investigation.
  • Allow citizens to appeal initial complaint dismissals and hearing panel discussions.
HALT's reform efforts are having an impact. Oregon, California and Nebraska are just three states that have implemented reforms that improve transparency and accountability.

But we need to show that legal reformers support HALT's efforts in every state. Will you please help?

Our goal is to collect 1,000 signatures from each state. Please take a moment now to copy and paste this link into your browser window: http://www.halt.org/reform_projects/lawyer_accountability/petition.php and sign the petition. Once you do that, consider forwarding this newsletter on to friends and family members and asking them to do join with us in demanding real reforms.


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