Characteristics of Lawyers Who are Subject to Complaints and Misconduct Findings

25 Pages Posted: 16 May 2019

See all articles by Tara Sklar

Tara Sklar

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

Yamna Taouk

Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

David Studdert

Stanford Law School

Matthew Spittal

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ron Paterson

University of Auckland

Marie Bismark

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2019

Abstract

Regulators of the legal profession are charged with protecting the public by ensuring lawyers are fit to practice law. However, their approach tends to be reactive and case based, focusing on the resolution of individual complaints. Regulators generally do not seek to identify patterns and trends across their broader caseloads and the legal profession as a whole. Using administrative data routinely collected by the main regulator of the legal profession in Victoria, Australia, we characterized complaints lodged between 2005 and 2015 and the lawyers against whom they were made. We also analyzed risk factors for complaints and misconduct findings. We found that the odds of being subject to a complaint were higher among lawyers who were male, older, had trust account authority, and whose legal practices were smaller, in nonurban locations, and incorporated. A deeper understanding of these risk factors could support efforts to improve professional standards and reform regulatory practices.

Suggested Citation

Sklar, Tara and Taouk, Yamna and Studdert, David and Spittal, Matthew and Paterson, Ron and Bismark, Marie, Characteristics of Lawyers Who are Subject to Complaints and Misconduct Findings (June 2019). Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 16, Issue 2, pp. 318-342, 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3388933 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jels.12216

Tara Sklar (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

Yamna Taouk

Melbourne School of Population and Global Health ( email )

207 Bouverie Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3010
Australia

David Studdert

Stanford Law School ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Matthew Spittal

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Ron Paterson

University of Auckland ( email )

Private Bag 92019
Auckland Mail Centre
Auckland, 1142
New Zealand

Marie Bismark

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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