Filing formal complaint against attorney

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Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:08 pm

I routinely deal with attorney's on a daily basis due to my job. I have come across an attorney who clearly needs to be sanctioned by the state Bar. My question is this: If I file formal paperwork to have this attorney investigated, my name will be linked with the investigation. Is there any chance this will negatively affect me later on when it comes time to look for employment with a firm? I am a 0L and will be attending a T-6 in the fall of 2012.

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YourCaptain
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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby YourCaptain » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:12 pm

You can't file an anonymous complaint? is this public record? It just doesn't seem like the kind of thing that would come up. During OCI they look at your resume and they might google your name. Would this come up on a background check?

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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:15 pm

YourCaptain wrote:You can't file an anonymous complaint? is this public record? It just doesn't seem like the kind of thing that would come up. During OCI they look at your resume and they might google your name. Would this come up on a background check?


The state that I live in makes all disciplinary matters public, including the identity of the person/group making the complaint.

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Geetar Man
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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby Geetar Man » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I routinely deal with attorney's on a daily basis due to my job. I have come across an attorney who clearly needs to be sanctioned by the state Bar. My question is this: If I file formal paperwork to have this attorney investigated, my name will be linked with the investigation. Is there any chance this will negatively affect me later on when it comes time to look for employment with a firm? I am a 0L and will be attending a T-6 in the fall of 2012.



It can affect you negatively if that person that you intend to turn in is well known/has pull.
In all honesty, you should have a damn good reason to turn that person/report him. By doing so, you could potentially impact his family and other's lives negatively.

In short, if it's not that significant of a reason, why do it? I still don't know the reasons behind why you want to report him. In order to give you a better answer of what course of action you should take, I think a general description of what is going on is needed.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:21 pm

Are you willing to disclose the nature of the complaint ?

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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I routinely deal with attorney's on a daily basis due to my job. I have come across an attorney who clearly needs to be sanctioned by the state Bar. My question is this: If I file formal paperwork to have this attorney investigated, my name will be linked with the investigation. Is there any chance this will negatively affect me later on when it comes time to look for employment with a firm? I am a 0L and will be attending a T-6 in the fall of 2012.


It might affect you negatively - almost as much as your misuse of apostrophes.

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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:45 pm

Geetar Man wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I routinely deal with attorney's on a daily basis due to my job. I have come across an attorney who clearly needs to be sanctioned by the state Bar. My question is this: If I file formal paperwork to have this attorney investigated, my name will be linked with the investigation. Is there any chance this will negatively affect me later on when it comes time to look for employment with a firm? I am a 0L and will be attending a T-6 in the fall of 2012.



It can affect you negatively if that person that you intend to turn in is well known/has pull.
In all honesty, you should have a damn good reason to turn that person/report him. By doing so, you could potentially impact his family and other's lives negatively.

In short, if it's not that significant of a reason, why do it? I still don't know the reasons behind why you want to report him. In order to give you a better answer of what course of action you should take, I think a general description of what is going on is needed.


Alright, though I don't want to go into too much detail. Assume I am an accountant for a company and one of my duties is to negotiate settlements with attorneys/people that we have decided to pay for whatever reason.

In my course of handling this specific file, it has come to my attention that the offer I made to the attorney for settlement in late November was never presented to his client. I know this because his client called me today and wanted to know why we hadn't made an offer, yet. On top of that, the attorney seems to believe that what he says in emails doesn't actually have any repercussions. For instance, on several occasions, he has mailed me a hard copy of a letter outlining specific information, and then emailed me a day later stating that he never actually did what he said he did in the hard copy letter. He literally perjured himself quite clearly in the emails. He has also refused to provide documents that are required for payment (by state law), using the excuse that he doesn't believe the forms are necessary, so he won't provide them.

The attorney has also, on two occassions, sent me emails with private/personal information. The emails were intended for his client and were addressed (in the body) as such, but he sent them to me, instead. One of the emails was just unprofessional (he told his client that I am personally the most bizarre accountant he has ever worked with and he posited that I have very small genitalia), but the other outlined that he thinks he can get more money out of me by trying to exaggerate the costs associated with representing the client.

I really just want to settle this matter, but his actions are clearly not in the best interest of his client (I will pay his client immediately once the attorney provides the state-required paperwork) and seem to be motivated by a personal grudge (he let me know verbally that he thinks I'm a scum bag and he hopes that Karma gets me).

I think he has clearly shown a disregard for standard procedure and his petulance is negatively affecting his client and the legal profession.

c3pO4
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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby c3pO4 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:46 pm

TLS is not the place for this. This is a forum for law students to discuss legal employment.

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NoleinNY
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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby NoleinNY » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Geetar Man wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I routinely deal with attorney's on a daily basis due to my job. I have come across an attorney who clearly needs to be sanctioned by the state Bar. My question is this: If I file formal paperwork to have this attorney investigated, my name will be linked with the investigation. Is there any chance this will negatively affect me later on when it comes time to look for employment with a firm? I am a 0L and will be attending a T-6 in the fall of 2012.



It can affect you negatively if that person that you intend to turn in is well known/has pull.
In all honesty, you should have a damn good reason to turn that person/report him. By doing so, you could potentially impact his family and other's lives negatively.

In short, if it's not that significant of a reason, why do it? I still don't know the reasons behind why you want to report him. In order to give you a better answer of what course of action you should take, I think a general description of what is going on is needed.


Alright, though I don't want to go into too much detail. Assume I am an accountant for a company and one of my duties is to negotiate settlements with attorneys/people that we have decided to pay for whatever reason.

In my course of handling this specific file, it has come to my attention that the offer I made to the attorney for settlement in late November was never presented to his client. I know this because his client called me today and wanted to know why we hadn't made an offer, yet. On top of that, the attorney seems to believe that what he says in emails doesn't actually have any repercussions. For instance, on several occasions, he has mailed me a hard copy of a letter outlining specific information, and then emailed me a day later stating that he never actually did what he said he did in the hard copy letter. He literally perjured himself quite clearly in the emails. He has also refused to provide documents that are required for payment (by state law), using the excuse that he doesn't believe the forms are necessary, so he won't provide them.

The attorney has also, on two occassions, sent me emails with private/personal information. The emails were intended for his client and were addressed (in the body) as such, but he sent them to me, instead. One of the emails was just unprofessional (he told his client that I am personally the most bizarre accountant he has ever worked with and he posited that I have very small genitalia), but the other outlined that he thinks he can get more money out of me by trying to exaggerate the costs associated with representing the client.

I really just want to settle this matter, but his actions are clearly not in the best interest of his client (I will pay his client immediately once the attorney provides the state-required paperwork) and seem to be motivated by a personal grudge (he let me know verbally that he thinks I'm a scum bag and he hopes that Karma gets me).

I think he has clearly shown a disregard for standard procedure and his petulance is negatively affecting his client and the legal profession.


In other words, he's a pain in the ass?

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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:57 pm

DO NOT report him. If his client feels he is inadequate, his client should seek other counsel. I am a CPA and I would never get involved in professionally damaging an attorney's reputation. It's professional courtesy. You leave that up to the person that is being disadvantaged.

Also, so what if he said you have a small prick? Build a bridge and get over it.

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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:01 pm

Why did the client call you directly if he has an attorney working on this matter ?

OP: Essentially your concern is that an attorney may have lied to you & was less than polite during negotiations.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:03 pm

I can understand your frustration, and whether you want to report him because you actually care about his client or just want to get back at him (or probably a combination of both) doesn't really matter. There are crazy people in this country, and this guy obviously has a short fuse/social misunderstandings...so I don't know if reporting him is the best course of action for you.

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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby romothesavior » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:08 pm

I don't think this is the right place for this and I doubt anyone can really give you advice, but I am interested in it.

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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:10 pm

A better approach might be to notify the attorney that his client contacted you directly & indicated that he had never been informed of your settlement offer.

P.S. This wouldn't be the first time that a lawyer has been accused by the opposition of untruthfulness & rudeness. To some, this just validates that he is indeed an attorney.

P.P.S. Another course of action might be to call the state bar & ask whether or not this lawyer has been publicly disciplined at any time & if so, for what type of transgression.

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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby sebastian0622 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:58 pm

He didn't "perjure himself" in an email to you. Most of your complaints seem to be of the "he's a pain in the ass" variety. To the extent that he's dishonest / derelict / doesn't represent his clients well, that's an issue between the client and him. I'm not saying you shouldn't do anything, just that I personally would let it go and chalk it up to a negative work experience, of which you'll have plenty before you die.

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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:04 pm

c3p04: I figured this was the best forum for this question as I am inquiring about how this may affect future employment opportunities.

NoleinNY: Yes, the attorney is a pain in the ass, but his personal attacks don't bother me. It is his dereliction of duty I have an issue with.

Anon CPA: Really? I would think someone like you (a licensed professional) would understand the importance of the oaths that are taken. Since when does professional courtesy extend to negligent actions? As a licensed professional myself, I feel more obligated to report negligence as I have a greater understanding of what inappropriate behaviour is than a lay person.

CanadianWolf: The client called me because the attorney wasn't keeping the client abreast of what was going on. I cannot advise the client what to do as I cannot speak with the client as he is represented by an attorney. I don't so much care that the attorney lied to me and was less than polite during negotiations. What I care about is the attorney not doing his job and violating his oath to represent his client appropriately. The guy has clearly sent hard copy letters with the intent to appear as if he is doing the right thing, only then to email me and say he never actually did what he said he did. That is a problem and it is a clear violation of his obligation as a bar-admitted attorney. And, as I have said previously, there are other issues (not presenting a client with an offer, which is required within 48 hours in this jurisdiction, sending privileged information to me rather than his client, admitting to attempting to inflate his charges/billable hours, etc...).

As a licensed professional and someone who aspires to be an attorney, I feel an obligation to ensure that people like this guy are not able to prey upon lay people with little understanding of the law or what is going on. On top of that, I do not want this guy representing himself to the public as an attorney, as that will most likely lead only to his tarnishing more the public image of attorneys.

My original question, however, is whether or not filing a valid complaint against an attorney will affect me in the future with regards to employment.

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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby Geetar Man » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:07 pm

sebastian0622 wrote:He didn't "perjure himself" in an email to you. Most of your complaints seem to be of the "he's a pain in the ass" variety. To the extent that he's dishonest / derelict / doesn't represent his clients well, that's an issue between the client and him. I'm not saying you shouldn't do anything, just that I personally would let it go and chalk it up to a negative work experience, of which you'll have plenty before you die.



X2. You should just do YOUR job the right way and he will get what he deserves sooner or later.
I know that what I've learned from work experience is to just let everyone else fuck up or whatever and keep doing what I'm doing, the right way. It's part of the "work skin" that you get from working for a while.

I know it may bother you, and sure, what he said about your penis or whatever is fucking rude. But I would just leave it alone. There's no point in you losing sleep over this. The only time I would ever report someone (other than something EXTREMELY serious) is if I was reported. With that being said, don't give anyone a reason to report you and you'll be okay.



*EDIT* In regards to your question about it affecting you negatively, yes, its a possibility. I doubt he's the only one who is doing that kind of shit and there will be other higher ups who dont want "snitches" in their office. So if you think that the utility of what you might do outweighs the possibility of a negative impact on your life, then yes, go for it. Otherwise, no. IMHO, I would choose the latter.
Last edited by Geetar Man on Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:08 pm

Maybe the client lied to you.

Not sure that the attorney owes any duty to you.

Some might view this as you interfering with another's attorney-client relationship.

Yes, it might affect you chances of getting a job with the other attorney's firm.

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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:14 pm

sebastian0622 wrote:He didn't "perjure himself" in an email to you. Most of your complaints seem to be of the "he's a pain in the ass" variety. To the extent that he's dishonest / derelict / doesn't represent his clients well, that's an issue between the client and him. I'm not saying you shouldn't do anything, just that I personally would let it go and chalk it up to a negative work experience, of which you'll have plenty before you die.


So, if he sends an official, signed letter to me via certified mail, in which he states "I sent you a copy of XYZ (signed state paperwork) on 01 December 2011. You have no reason at this time not to pay my client." And then, a day after the letter is delivered, he emails me and says: "Yeah, I never actually sent you a copy of XYZ. I never even had a copy in my possession. I gave it to my client and he never returned it, so you aren't going to get it any time soon, if ever." That isn't perjuring himself? Maybe I am not using the correct term, but he clearly made a false statement on a signed document, and he made it knowingly.

Geetar Man: My reporting the attorney won't end up in a negative result for me at this time. My client docs are clear, concise, and complete. Nothing I have done in the the carrying out of my duties violates any professional or moral obligation.

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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:17 pm

OP: You want to complain because the opposing counsel is messing up ? Don't you owe a duty to your employer ? It's not your job to represent the client seeking a recovery/settlement from your employer.

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Geetar Man
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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby Geetar Man » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
sebastian0622 wrote:He didn't "perjure himself" in an email to you. Most of your complaints seem to be of the "he's a pain in the ass" variety. To the extent that he's dishonest / derelict / doesn't represent his clients well, that's an issue between the client and him. I'm not saying you shouldn't do anything, just that I personally would let it go and chalk it up to a negative work experience, of which you'll have plenty before you die.


Geetar Man: My reporting the attorney won't end up in a negative result for me at this time. My client docs are clear, concise, and complete. Nothing I have done in the the carrying out of my duties violates any professional or moral obligation.



Okay, so it seems like you have already made up your mind. The key words in your statement are bolded. You need to think about the future and your possible reference with the company. Sometimes even the people who follow all of the rules don't like people who tell on others. From what it sounds like, this attorney has been there for a while and just doesnt give a shit anymore. It may also be the case that this attorney is friends with other attorneys who work there and its POSSIBLE that this might bite you in the ass. Whatever you do, just understand the possible negative results. Once you know all of the possible negative results, compare them with the possible positive results. At this point, you should be able to see which route would be the best for YOU. I understand that you have a duty to do your job in the best way possible, but that doesnt mean you should risk negative consequences for people that you dont even know. More than likely, no one would do it for you. Let the client figure out his own deal with the attorney and just keep doing your job to the best of your ability. Hope that helps.

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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby joemoviebuff » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:27 pm

So OP, do you have small genitalia?

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grtbooks91
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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby grtbooks91 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:33 pm

joemoviebuff wrote:So OP, do you have small genitalia?


This seems to me to get to the heart of the issues at play here.

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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:54 pm

OP here. I may have not made this more clear, and if that is the case, I apologize. I am going to file the paperwork, I don't have a choice, nor do I mind. The reluctance of the attorney to do his job leaves us (my company) liable for excess damages as we have not made payment within the period required by law from the time we agree to make payment. Albeit, if we were ever sued for failure to pay, we'd easily be able to justify why there has been a delay. I have been asked "politely" to file the paperwork with the state Bar by the person that oversees my department.

My question is simply this, and if there is no good answer to be found here, that is fine: Will filing a valid complaing against an attorney admitted by the Bar possibly come back to bite me in the ass later on. It is not as if I am doing this all willy-nilly... I don't want to have to submit a complaint against anyone, but the attorney's actions are egregious and derelict, and they have the ability to cost us additional money in defending a bad faith claim. My employer wouldn't ask me, and I wouldn't comply if they did, to file a complaint against an attorney that is just being a jackass for shits and giggles, just like I wouldn't expect someone to file a complaint against me for tell them to F-off.

And, for the record, the only thing the attorney did do right in this whole thing was advise his client (or, me indirectly) of the small stature of my schmeckel. I'm hung like Ken Jeong.

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Re: Filing formal complaint against attorney

Postby joemoviebuff » Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. I may have not made this more clear, and if that is the case, I apologize. I am going to file the paperwork, I don't have a choice, nor do I mind. The reluctance of the attorney to do his job leaves us (my company) liable for excess damages as we have not made payment within the period required by law from the time we agree to make payment. Albeit, if we were ever sued for failure to pay, we'd easily be able to justify why there has been a delay. I have been asked "politely" to file the paperwork with the state Bar by the person that oversees my department.

My question is simply this, and if there is no good answer to be found here, that is fine: Will filing a valid complaing against an attorney admitted by the Bar possibly come back to bite me in the ass later on. It is not as if I am doing this all willy-nilly... I don't want to have to submit a complaint against anyone, but the attorney's actions are egregious and derelict, and they have the ability to cost us additional money in defending a bad faith claim. My employer wouldn't ask me, and I wouldn't comply if they did, to file a complaint against an attorney that is just being a jackass for shits and giggles, just like I wouldn't expect someone to file a complaint against me for tell them to F-off.

And, for the record, the only thing the attorney did do right in this whole thing was advise his client (or, me indirectly) of the small stature of my schmeckel. I'm hung like Ken Jeong.


You just went from zero to hero in my book, single-postedly redeeming the thread.

I have no idea if it would actually come back to bite you in the ass later on, however I suspect that if the claim is in fact a legitimate one as you say, there would be no reason for it to come back to haunt you later. Shrug.




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