Florida man launches Drive To Monitor Actions Of The Florida Bar
The Bar receives thousands of complaints against lawyers but over 95% are dismissed without any discipline to the lawyer involved and monitoring will reveal if they are acting fairly and lawfully.
The Attorney Consumer Assistance Program (ACAP) of the Florida Bar claims to receive about 30,000 calls each year from people having problems with Florida lawyers. Most are discouraged or reluctant to file an official complaint Some do not have the ability to do so.. As a result less than 10,000 claims are filed.
Records indicate for the past five years only about 1500 lawyers were disciplined by the Florida Supreme Court and Bar Grievence Committee.. That is an average of about 300 per year. Most of the discipline is of a minor degree.
The Bar was established to protect the public from being ripped off by dishonest lawyers but what has been observed so far, it has become an association to help their members avoid discipline. Severe punishment is only handed out to lawyers that commit crimes and other serious offenses.
Mlecka said, we are in the process of contacting people that have complained to the Bar only to find them sending a letter closing the case without action of discipline.. These letters appear to follow the same format. We would like to hear from people that have contacted the Bar and feel the Bar had not performed their job properly or fairly. We would also like to hear from people having problems with their lawyer and have not yet filed a complaint.
After enough evidence is collected, a letter will be sent to the Florida Supreme Court. One suggestion already in mind is for the Bar to set up an appeal process after a file closure is made. It does not appear fair that one person with ACAP can make the final Bar decision on a complaint.
For further information Mlecka can be contact at (352) 796-2089.
Louis F. Mlecka