Should I Represent Myself?
Self-Representation in Bar Cases
Many Florida lawyers read the “Attorney Discipline” section in the Florida Bar News with a morbid curiosity. Whose name might be in there? What ethical lapses did they commit? Surely, no Florida attorney wants to see his or her name published there. Defending Florida Bar complaints is a primary focus of our practice.
As soon as you learn about a Florida Bar complaint, you should review the terms of your malpractice insurance policy, as it may include a duty to report the fact of a bar complaint. Some insurance policies will pay some or all of the cost of defending a Florida bar complaint.
With respect, the old adage about having “a fool for a client” holds true in defending a bar grievance. Having the proper experience and knowledge base is essential. Moreover, most lawyers are not effective advocates acting as their own Florida Bar defense attorney. That’s because being too close to the case can unduly affect a lawyer’s objectivity. An accused attorney can act rashly when probity and caution are called for, due to having a personal stake in the outcome of the Florida Bar grievance. And, a lack of familiarity in this area of law can result in missteps or failing to take advantage of opportunities.
For these reasons it is prudent to have experienced Florida Bar defense counsel at your side as early in the process as possible. This cannot be overstated. We can help you fight for justice. Contact The Geer Law Firm before attempting to defend a Florida Bar complaint.