Weekend Update: Consumer Alerts, Notice Pleading

Consumer Alerts

The Regulation Admissions and Discipline Committee (RAD) of the State Bar Board of Trustees met on Thursday May 9, 2013, and considered the proposal from the Chief Trial Counsel to expand the “Consumer Alerts” to all disciplinary actions filed by the State Bar (see Kafkaesq:  The Mark of Cain, Continued.)  The RAD Chair acknowledged the large volume of emails received by RAD Committee members in opposition to the proposal.  Jonathan Arons, representing the Association of Discipline Defense Counsel (ADDC), spoke in opposition to the proposal.  The Chief Trial Counsel acknowledged that the proposal should be sent out for public comment.  RAD effectively tabled the current proposal.  The Chief will come back to RAD with a re-worked proposal in July 2013 that will be sent out for a 60 day public comment period.

Notice Pleading

Mr. Arons also spoke for ADDC on the proposal to amend State Bar Rule of Procedure 5.41 to endorse “notice pleading.”   RAD unanimously passed the proposal after the Chief Trial Counsel presented additional information responsive to the ADDC’s critique of the proposal (Kafkaesq: Another Brick in the Wall.)   The Chief presented an exemplar of the slimmed down notice of disciplinary charges showing a greater level of detail than the typical criminal pleading format cited in the original proposal.

On both proposals, ADDC fulfilled its mission “to offer informed comment and vigorous critique on the existing and proposed policies, rules, statutes, and procedures governing the discipline system” and played an important role in assisting RAD in formulating policy.

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