Although Chapman Immigration Law Group has focused much of its practice on immigration work, the firm also practices in other areas of law. Included within the practice is the burgeoning area of attorney ethics and discipline, as well as professional malpractice.
Whether you are an attorney facing a complaint or if you are facing a tough ethical question on which you need independent counsel, CILG is ready to help you. Many do not understand the ethical thicket into which attorneys wade every day. It is a tough environment with trust accounts, conflicts of interest, competency and diligence as major areas in which it is easy to end up in a stressful disciplinary situation. In some cases lawyers do not recognize potential problems until it is too late. In other cases the lawyer recognizes a problem, but the ethical answer can be less than clear. To this end CILG has armed itself with some of the best research tools and has associated with professional organizations that are geared towards representing the bar in this very difficult area of law. As a member of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers and the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, Mr. Chapman remains on the cutting edge of information as he provides assistance to members of the bar.
In addition to the difficult quagmire of professional responsibility, lawyers can also face malpractice suits from clients. CILG also stands ready to assist in defending against such claims.
Finally, in some cases a client may well be justified in bringing a malpractice claim against their former lawyer. As part of the commitment to maintaining the integrity of our justice system, CILG believes it is also necessary to examine each claim on a case by case basis to determine whether claims are warranted and in those cases where the claim is warranted the firm may choose to represent plaintiffs against their former lawyer.
It may appear that this approach is contradictory. How can a firm defend some lawyers in their cases and in other cases bring claims against lawyers by private citizens? The answer can be narrowed to maintaining the integrity of our legal system.
Representing lawyers in ethics or malpractice actions that are frivolous certainly maintains the integrity of our system. No one wants a lawyer to be the object of attack merely because a client chooses to vindictively attack by using a professional ethics claim or a malpractice claim. In those cases lawyers need to know they are free to provide excellent services to their clients without fear that they will stand alone if attacked unfairly. Vindictive or frivolous claims chill the passion to practice and CILG stands ready to serve as the champion of good lawyers who love their profession and are simply targets for unhappy clients.
Representing lawyers who have stumbled and committed ethical violations or malpractice also assists in maintaining the integrity of the legal system. Lawyers are human and humans have a tendency to defend themselves subjectively. Objective representation assists the lawyer in viewing their case from a disconnected perspective. Lawyers are smart people with many years of education. Lawyers become lawyers because they really have the true interests of their client at heart. Some stumble during their career, but should not be forever scarred by the incident. These lawyers should be assisted by good counsel to right their ship and sail on in their career so that future clients are well served.
Representing plaintiffs in certain malpractice claims also maintains the integrity of our system. In most situations a person hires a lawyer because they are already suffering some stress that requires the assistance of counsel. In some cases the conduct of a lawyer can lead to serious harm to a client. Serious harm cannot go unattended as it simply sours the populace on the legal system. The United States is a nation of laws and individuals need to know that if their lawyer causes them injury that someone will assist them in the recovery of their losses. This once again assists in preserving the integrity of our legal system.
David J. Chapman is a member of the American Bar Association’s Center for Professional Responsibility and also the Association for Professional Responsibility Lawyers.