We often hear from people who want to complain about their lawyer - usually it's after they lose their case. In Sunday's column, I wrote about Jack Frestedt, who didn't know that his lawyer had a long disciplinary history. When I checked out Frestedt's lawyer Bill Paul on the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility website, I only found two disciplinary actions. One was a reprimand/probation from 2000 and the other entry only said pending. I had to call the office to get more information about the pending action. Even though the state's petition to discipline a lawyer is a public document, it can't be posted on the office's website until after the case is resolved. Once I got that document, it showed all of the other times that Paul had been disciplined privately by state regulators.
My colleague Jane Friedmann wrote up some helpful tips that accompanied my story. Pursuing a complaint with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility can be a long, arduous process so it's good to know what to expect.