State Bar of California

Capitol Alert
By Jeremy B. White
jwhite@sacbee.com
May 31, 2016 – 3:39 PM

  • Critical audit cited backlog of discipline cases
  • Assembly Bill 2878 would have altered make-up of board
  • Lawmakers said more changes are needed

In a clear rebuke to California’s system for regulating attorneys, the Assembly on Tuesday decisively rejected a bill that sought to overhaul the State Bar.

A recent audit of the quasi-governmental agency lambasted it for a backlog of claims related to attorney misconduct, which the agency is tasked with investigating. The audit also spotlighted shoddy recordkeeping and high executive pay.

Legislators aired their frustration with the State Bar on Tuesday, arguing a bill that would have altered the entity’s board of trustees by eliminating six elected members, fell short of needed change. They pointed to hundreds of complaints to which the Bar never responded, and excoriated the agency for failing to rein in unlicensed practitioners like “notarios,” who often offer unauthorized legal advice to immigrants.

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