Report: California State Bar Fails to Protect Public from Bad Lawyers

California Connection
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LOS ANGELES (AP)–

A scathing audit says the California State Bar has failed to consistently protect the public from bad lawyers and lacks financial accountability.

The California State Auditor’s report released Thursday says the state bar — the nation’s largest — settled hundreds of complaints against attorneys in 2010 and 2011, in some cases without adequately disciplining them.

More than 30 of those attorneys were later disbarred after new complaints were filed or the California Supreme Court found that the discipline appeared inadequate.

The audit says the bar also spent $77 million on a new building in 2012 four months after estimating to the state Legislature that it would only cost about $25 million.

State bar President Craig Holden says in a statement that the organization is embracing the recommendations and has begun addressing the problems identified.

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