I feel 100lbs lighter!
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|Fri, 05-09-2003 - 8:54am|
Seriously, the hearing was yesterday. I was in the room with the court reporter, a news reporter (YIKES), and there were two laypersons on the board that made the decision. And the rest of the group consisted of NINE ATTORNEYS! Six of them were on the board and one was prosecuting the one I complained about and he had an attorney himself. He was up on two charges: failure to maintain confidentiality and failure to communicate, which had two parts. One was failure to provide me with reasonable communication and the second was failure to comply with my reasonable requests for communication. He was found guilty of the communication charge and the confidentiality charge was dismissed. (FYI, the confidentiality clause refers to embarassing or personal information--otherwise they can talk about you all they want to outside parties. I did not know that before yesterday). The board stated that his failure to communicate did not adversely affect my case, so we were ALL shocked when his punishment was a public reprimand! The other option would have been a dismissal with terms. Terms might be that he take a class in communication with clients or office managment or something. A public reprimand, while I don't understand the significance of it, is a pretty big deal. It will remain on his record for the rest of his life (he's been licensed for 20 years, and practicing personal injury for 10) and should he ever attempt public office or to become a judge this provides a serious handicap. It may also keep a few clients away if they do thier research before selecting an attorney. He lawyer was shocked and I dare say outraged at the punishment; while pleading for dismissal he had stated that public reprimand would be "grossly disproportinate" to the case and "inhumane". He also recieved a $500 fine.
For my part, I am NOT a public speaker and was absolutely dreading the whole thing, even though it did result from my complaint letter to the state bar. I'd even told them in an interview that I would be willing to testify, so I brought it on myself. But anyway, my fil was in the back of the room when I testified (DH was still outside, as he might have been called upon to testify) and he said I did a great job and was very clear, didn't get flustered, and did not seem the least bit nervous. The lawyer said I was "TOUGH"! That makes me feel pretty darn good b/c it was a big step for me. It even went by quickly b/c I thought they had me up there for 30 minutes and it was actually about an hour and a half! I answered questions from the state bar guy ("my attorney", even though it was his case), the defense attorney, the panel from the STate bar, the defense attorney again, and then my attorney again.
Anyway, I've probably gone into way too much detail, but for not only having it over with but having done a good job (and getting the guy nailed!) I'm feeling pretty good! Now I can RELAX!