California Code, Business and Professions Code - BPC § 6095.1

(a) Beginning on April 1, 2000, and through March 31, 2001, the State Bar shall compile statistics indicating the number of complaints against attorneys, broken down to reflect the percentage of complaints brought against attorneys practicing as solo practitioners, in small law firms or partnerships, and in large law firms.  The State Bar shall also compile statistics indicating the percentage of complaints that are investigated, the percentage of complaints that are prosecuted, and the outcomes of those prosecutions against solo practitioners, attorneys practicing in small law firms or partnerships, and attorneys practicing in large law firms.  For the purposes of the study, agreements in lieu of discipline shall not be counted as prosecutions.  Practicing attorneys shall provide any information that is requested by the bar deemed necessary for the purpose of compiling the statistics.  For purposes of this section, “small law firm” means a firm, partnership, association, corporation, or limited liability partnership that includes 10 or fewer attorneys.

(b) On or before June 30, 2001, the State Bar shall issue a written report to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and the Assembly Committee on Judiciary on procedures used in the disciplinary process to ensure that resources of the State Bar are used fairly and equitably in the investigation and prosecution of complaints against attorneys.  In particular, the report shall focus on whether disciplinary proceedings are brought in disproportionate numbers against attorneys practicing as solo practitioners or in small law firms or partnerships, as compared to proceedings brought against attorneys practicing in large law firms.  The report shall also describe any procedures in place or under consideration to correct any institutional bias and shall include a discussion of, and recommendations regarding, any additional changes to the discipline process that would make it more equitable.  In particular, the State Bar shall consider disciplinary avenues other than the investigation and prosecution of complaints against attorneys.  After issuing the report, the State Bar shall continue to compile and maintain statistics pursuant to subdivision (a), and shall make those statistics available to the public upon request.

(c) Procedures used in the disciplinary process shall ensure that resources of the State Bar are used fairly and equitably in the investigation and prosecution of complaints against all attorneys.  Disciplinary proceedings shall not be brought in disproportionate numbers against attorneys practicing as solo practitioners or in small law firms or partnerships, as compared to proceedings brought against attorneys practicing in large law firms, unless the number of complaints against solo practitioners, or attorneys practicing in small law firms or partnerships, is commensurate with the higher number of disciplinary proceedings.

(d) The report of the State Bar prepared pursuant to this section shall not be used as a defense or mitigating factor in any disciplinary proceeding against an attorney.


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