California belongs to the majority of states with "organized bars", meaning that a non-profit corporation, a bar association, is acting as a government agency prosecuting attorney misconduct.
In February of 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that occupational licensing and discipline by members of the regulated profession without neutral state supervision is in violation of federal antitrust laws and stripped antitrust immunity from regulators.
After that, state bars did nothing to comply with that decision, give consumers more authority in the regulation of the legal profession which is done allegedly for consumers' benefit, nor did legislatures enact laws which would ensure neutral state supervision over occupational regulation in general and over attorney regulation in particular.
Last month, I wrote about how California State Bar and judiciary, in obvious collusion, were fighting against the former insider of the California State Bar and now whistleblower Joseph Dunn.
The California Legislature responded to the corruption games in the California State Bar by a yet-unprecedented move suspending the CalBar's authority to collect annual membership fees (allegedly used to prosecute attorney discipline).
It appears that the California Legislature is reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v FTC in seeking "deunification" of the "organized bar" of the State of California, seeking to remove regulatory authority over attorney licensing and discipline from the California Bar Association, attorneys' special interest group.
The next logical step would be removal of yet another special-interest group, the American Bar Association, from controlling attorney licensing through certification of law schools where an attorney can only be licensed to practice law in a given state if he graduated from an "ABA-certified" law school.
Talking about special interests.
But, let's come back to where this article has started.
- attorney discipline was ruled - by the California top court - as having nothing to do with effective representation,
- when all states at this time are violating federal civil and criminal antitrust laws in occupational regulation, including attorney regulation, by their non-compliance with the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court precedent;
- when what constitutes the practice of law is not clearly defined, and when the U.S. Federal Trade Commission AND the U.S. Department of Justice distinguish between legal services (by licensed attorneys AND unlicensed providers) and the practice of law, and
- when FTC and DOJ acknowledges that attorney regulation should be loosened up to deal with the "justice gap" - obviously admitting that the justice gap has been caused by attorney regulation -