Christensen Law Office PLLC

Accessable Lawyers. Unsurprased Service.

Disciplinary Defense

You are an attorney and you just received an envelope marked “Personal & Confidential” from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility (“OLPR” or the “Director’s Office”). Inside the envelope is an ethics complaint—perhaps a complaint from a former client, adverse party, opposing counsel, or even a judge. Your heart stops and your stomach sinks. Receiving an ethics complaint can feel like an attack on both your professional reputation and on your personal integrity. The appropriate thing to do is to get an objective opinion about the matter. That is where we come in.

Attorneys hire us for ethics advice and to defend them in disciplinary proceedings that stem from an ethics complaint. But why would an attorney hire some other attorney for ethics representation? After all, you are an attorney—you know the Rules of Professional Conduct. Simply put: because your reputation and integrity are on the line. After all, you wouldn’t advise your client to defend herself pro se in her criminal case, in her custody dispute, or in her trust litigation, right? Hiring an attorney to defend your professional license shouldn’t be any different.

We provide attorneys with an objective voice to defend against ethics complaints, and we understand the complexity of Minnesota’s lawyer discipline system. When your reputation and integrity are called into question it’s a good time to ask us for help.

“That sounds nice and all, but the allegations in the ethics complaint seem simple enough for me to respond to on my own.”

Great! Just be mindful of the scope of the investigation and the tenor of your response. It is not uncommon for “relatively straightforward” complaints to turn into more complex investigations when the Director’s Office starts asking for additional information from the attorney under investigation. We understand that process and can bring you peace of mind during the investigation.

“That’s great, but I cannot afford to pay another attorney to defend me, so now what?”

We are happy to discuss the fees associated with our representation in ethics cases. Every situation is unique and, while we ordinarily bill for our time on an hourly basis, there are instances where other fee arrangements make more sense for the both of us. Cases that do not involve complex issues and are not likely to result in public discipline usually cost less than $5,000.00 to defend. That figure is merely an estimate and can change depending on the nature of the allegations. It’s also important to remember that some malpractice insurers offer coverage as part of your existing policy for ethics cases and disciplinary defense. You should check with your carrier to see if your policy includes that coverage and what, if any, limits there are to that coverage.

Schedule a consultation with us today:

Disciplinary Defense Attorneys: Aaron D. Sampsel