This article, High Court [of Kentucky] Disciplines Lawyers, AP, 12/17/04 reports on five recently sanctioned Kentucky attorneys but it also gives a pretty good overview of the types of violations that attorneys might be taken to task for. One attorney was temporarily suspended, pending initiation of a disciplinary action for misappopriating funds from clients unless she resigns from law practice. A second attorney, a repeat offender was suspended for five years for failing to keep clients up to date and failing to move their cases along. Two thirty day suspensions were imposed respectively on an attorney who failed to keep a client properly informed and one who failed to properly oversee a paralegal. Finally, one attorney received a reprimand for failing to properly pursue a client’s case.
While the attorney who misappropriated funds is a hopeless cause, so many of the other cases, I’m certain could have been avoided. How? By a simple letter- even a form, giving clients a status update on a stale case. Not only does a letter inform a client, it’s documentation that you’ve actually kept the informed. Even picking up the phone and giving a 30 second summary of the case would keep a disgruntled attorney from bringing an complaint. So little effort for so much potential gain.