As I have mentioned before, earlier this year I submitted a petition to the Minnesota Supreme Court to change the Rules on Lawyers Professional Responsibility. Basically my petition seeks to increase the chance of a fair investigation by reducing conflicts of interest. Sadly, but predictably, The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility has recommended that my change not be accepted. Below is a draft of my response to them.----------------------------------------------------------------------
Re: In Petition to Amend Rule 6, Section A of the Rules on Lawyers Professional Responsibility and Letter Regarding the Matter Received by Me dated October 12, 2016.
I am writing to express my extreme dissatisfaction with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility's recommendation against adopting the rule change I petitioned the Minnesota Supreme Court to make regarding Rule 6, Section A of the Rules on Lawyers Professional Responsibility.
My petition seeks to amend the Rule to include:
The investigator assigned, if a lawyer, shall not be in active practice in the same area of law that the lawyer under investigation practices in. The investigator assigned, if not a lawyer, shall not be a person who works in a profession which commonly receives referrals from lawyers who practice in the same area of law as the lawyer under investigation.In your response you state that sufficient safeguards are in place already. This is difficult to understand given the facts in the complaint I filed against
with your office. Indeed the behavior of your office had been blatantly unethical and likely criminal.
I will remind you that:
- My complaint against
is backed by the strongest, clearest evidence possible. It is difficult to understand how a reasonable person could think otherwise.
- The original investigation never addressed the specific complaints.
- The appeals process, likewise, did not address the the complaints.
Furthermore, the “appeals process” you mention in your letter is rather opaque and consists of nothing more than a letter addressed to your office.
- The investigator was a person who makes his living off referrals from divorce attorneys. Your claim that this does not create a conflict of interest is difficult to understand.
It is evident that your office does not work to enforce the Rules on Lawyers Professional Responsibility but rather works to shield lawyers from complains that they broke the rules. As far as I can gather your office rarely, if ever, takes action against a lawyer unless they have been charged by law enforcement with a crime. I doubt you have ever disbarred or even reprimanded a lawyer for lying in Family Court which is the very reason it is so common. And if you do not believe that it is common for lawyers to lie in Family Court you are simply out of touch with reality.
The Rules on Lawyers Professional Responsibility are like the Iraqi Constitution under Saddam Hussein - a nice document but not followed.
The devastation caused by the failure to take action of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility against lawyers who break the rules is enormous. It harms the innocent, including many children, and drives many victims to self-destructive behavior including, tragically, suicide. It also creates a culture of crime which is the logical outcome when people see that the privileged and powerful are able to operate outside the law.
I doubt you consider yourself unethical and a criminal. Pretty much no one, no matter how badly they behave, does. But your actions show that you are.
Please ensure that this letter is passed on to all Directors and Assistant Directors at the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility and confirm that you have does so to me.