This quote caught my eye from new State Bar President Jim Fox’s interview with The Recorder:
And my view is that the role of the bar is not to enhance the business of lawyers, it is to protect the public and to enhance the confidence of the public in the administration of justice. So everything we do should be toward enhancing the administration of justice for the benefit of the public, not for the benefit of lawyers.
Mr. Fox understands that the postulate that disunification means separating the trade association function from the regulatory function is a not really accurate anymore. There is precious little trade association function left to purge; we can’t even go to Disneyland next year. The disunification debate has been re-framed as regulatory function versus access-to-justice function. It is a clever re-framing but it avoids the real issues. While there may not be “inherent tension” between them, as asserted by the GITPITF report, they are still much different functions that have no real relationship to each other. Lawyers will never trusted to run their own disciplinary apparatus. And discipline is important work that demands the singular focus of dedicated agencies.