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Discipline System Articles, Media


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From The Florida Bar Journal

Lawyer Discipline — A Roadmap to Florida’s Lawyer Regulation System

The Florida Bar performs many important roles for the legal profession, and arguably none is more important than lawyer regulation and discipline. One of the fundamental aspects of the legal profession is that it is self-regulated. The judicial branch of government, headed by the Florida Supreme Court, is responsible for implementing and enforcing the rules…

“What We Got Here Is Failure to Communicate”: The Legal, Ethical, and Monetary Considerations of Effective Communication

[Editor’s note: Endnote 1 refers to the title] The rejection of a potential client because that person does not speak English or may be Deaf[2] is considered to be discrimination — the decision to reject is based upon a protected status. For a person with limited English proficiency (LEP), it is considered national origin discrimination,…

Florida’s Lawyer Discipline System: What Every Attorney Needs to Know

The Florida Bar performs a number of important roles for the legal profession, and arguably none is more important than lawyer regulation and discipline. Fortunately, most lawyers will never have any interaction with the disciplinary system during their careers. Despite its significance to the practice of law, few lawyers or members of the public have…

From The Florida Bar News

Ethics seminar examines ‘Bar Grievances and You: How to Avoid Them and What to Do if You Get One’

The latest statistics suggest that most Florida lawyers are unfamiliar with the grievance process. And that’s a good thing, says Florida Bar Staff Counsel Patricia Ann Toro Savitz. She notes that there are 113,000 Bar members, and the Supreme Court in 2021 took some 350 public disciplinary actions. “That is a very, very, very small…

The evolution of discipline cases and the court’s treatment of professionalism

Most Florida Bar members uphold the high ethical standards the profession demands. But for the small fraction who risk discipline through unprofessional conduct, “The First Amendment is a poor defense.” So warns Tampa attorney Scott Tozian, a former prosecutor and former Florida Bar staff counsel who primarily defends lawyers in grievance cases. The Supreme Court…

Court says repeated conduct merits more severe discipline

That a lawyer has been disciplined for similar conduct in another grievance case does not justify lessening the sanctions in a second case that occurred around the same time, according to the Supreme Court. Instead, the court said in a December 9 opinion, such a pattern of misconduct justifies a more severe punishment in the…

How the Bar investigates disciplinary complaints

While the Bar’s Attorney-Client Assistance Program in Tallahassee handles the initial processing of most complaints against lawyers, once an investigation determines the alleged misconduct may constitute a violation of Bar rules, the case is sent to one of the Bar’s five branch offices for further investigation. “We go out of our way to make sure…

ACAP helps lawyers and clients sort through their differences

There is a group of lawyers at The Florida Bar who spend a good part of the day on the phone talking with clients. But these attorneys aren’t talking with their clients; they’re talking to yours. These lawyers operate The Florida Bar’s Attorney Consumer Assistance Program (ACAP). Their job is to help weed out many…

Get to know the lawyer regulation process

If you’re like most of the 102,000 members of The Florida Bar, your ethics and professionalism are a credit to the legal community. You’re a bit fuzzy on the intricacies of the lawyer regulation system, but that’s just fine with you. There are reasons, though, why every lawyer should understand the Bar’s procedures for investigating…