Privatizing the Attorney Grievance Process: Startup Disrupts the Legal Industry

08/13/2014 (press release: LegalWhistler) // New York, New York, USA // Ruth Leslie

After decades of self-policing, a new way to file an attorney grievance has finally arrived. The legal profession has largely gone without monitoring or interruption. Are most lawyers ethical? Probably, but there are a few bad apples. The problem arises when the ethical lawyers fail to intervene and put a stop to the shenanigans of their unethical counterparts. ¨The legal profession is wrought with individuals who are willing to bury their heads in the sand and overlook wrongdoing¨, says the founder of the Legal Whistler, Ruth Leslie.

Apparently the saying, good people stand by while evil prevails, is alive and well in the legal industry. The problem really arises when lawyers feel the pressure to ¨go along to get along.¨ The contributing factors of collusion, money and power make for a sometimes disastrous mix and lead to unethical behavior. The public generally suffers when this happens. This is why the Legal Whistler was created to bring transparency to the attorney grievance process.

The Legal Whistler allows complainants to file online grievances (soon to be available in all 50 States) and tracks and monitors those grievances through each stage of the bar complaint process. Conflicts of interest are tracked and recommendations for recusal are made. Complainants can also receive advice on how to write the grievance and strategies for making their complaint more effective. However, the best part is the searchable database. Unlike the State Bar, who purges their database and destroys all grievances periodically, the Legal Whistler never discards grievances. They are kept on file for a lifetime and can be accessed by individuals who want to discover a history of complaints filed against an attorney.

Until the Legal Whistler, previous complaints filed against a lawyer have been kept totally confidential unless the complaint lead to disciplinary action. Getting a full disclosure of complaints filed against an attorney was not possible….until now. There has long been an outcry that most attorney complaints seem to get dismissed without any action taking place. Those complaints were dismissed and destroyed but now they will be kept on file. The public will have a better understanding of the issues surrounding a lawyer before they make a hiring decision because they will have access to their complaint history.

The Legal Whistler is a private startup operated by a group of non-lawyer tech entrepreneurs. No private company has ever intervened in the bar complaint process. While the Legal Whistler will not have the power to discipline lawyers, it will be able to shine a light on a system currently veiled in secrecy and expose the truth behind the grievance process. Our database accepts both previously filed and newly filed grievances. If you have filed a grievance from January 2007 to present or if you need to file a new grievance, visit our website today.

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