Is there such thing as a "stupid bar complaint?"
Do state bars recognize "stupid bar complaints?"
Then why do they ask me to respond to "stupid bar complaints?"
To let the public know that their stupidity is taken seriously, and because what looks stupid to you, may not look stupid to the Bar.
The problem is, "stupid bar complaints" are often met with "stupid lawyer responses."
When lawyers get "stupid bar complaints," they exhibit anger much more than those lawyers who get "serious bar complaints." A lawyer who knows they are in trouble is much easier to deal with than a lawyer who knows they've done nothing wrong, or at least thinks so.
"Stupid bar complaints" are usually dealth with by the Bar in exactly that fashion, it just takes time.
Less and less lawyers are receiving letters from the Bar informing them that a complaint was filed and summarily dismissed without the need for a response.
I believe state Bars have moved deeply into the "consumer protection" world, and I think it's wrong. Yes there are bad lawyers and Bars need to take swift and serious action, but Bars have moved their mission to focusing on public protection from lawyers, and it shows. If you look at the advertising rules, the prevailing theme is "people are stupid, lawyers are smart, and we must protect the stupid public from smart lawyers." This is why font size, colors, and specific words are sanctioned nationwide - people are too dumb to understand when a lawyer is "puffing," says the Bars. You can't say you're a great lawyer, because you may not be.
When you get a "stupid bar complaint," act as if it is not "stupid." Kill the ant with a hammer, but hammer on the Rules, not the complainant.
In the end, if it truly is "stupid," it will go away.
"Stupid Bar Complaints" though, will never, go away.
Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. Please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com