Filing a grievance against a lawyer 7: answering the response

As I reported to you, after I filed a formal complaint against my personal injury lawyers in April 2012, I received two acknowledgements from the Departmental Disciplinary Committee of the Supreme Court, Appellate Division (etc etc), telling me they’d received my complaint and that when and if the attorney I’m complaining about answers the complaint, that answer will be sent to me for response.

Two days ago, I received a fat package containing an informative cover letter from the Disciplinary Committee’s legal assistant. It was dated July 2, 2012. It’s marked Personal and Confidential, so I won’t divulge any of the internal statements. But I’ll tell you about the process.

The package includes an answer to my complaint. The cover letter advises me that if I disagree with the attorney’s statement (in that answer), I can write to the Committee, telling them specifically how I disagree. And I can include documents that may make my points.

I must also inform them of anything that has happened since I filed the complaint. I am warned that if I fail to file a response within twenty days, the Committee “may conclude that [I] agree with the attorney’s statement.”

Well, I don’t agree with the attorney’s statement. I’m working on my response and am having a great time, taking apart each paragraph. My response will be mailed long before twenty days are up. And, as “things that have happened since,” I will be enclosing the Client Request for Fee Arbitration, along with a copy of my cancelled check. Just to keep them up to date, you know.

I’m telling you this to keep you informed about this process, but also to emphasize that the so-called “system” does indeed work. Part of that work is on my shoulders, and yours, if you file a complaint. But I’ve begun to believe that a lot of people who complain that the system doesn’t work are not doing any part of the work themselves.

 

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