A total of 3,725 lawyers were subject to public sanctions for professional misconduct during 2003, while another 2,495 received private sanctions, according to the Survey on Lawyer Discipline Systems published last week by the Standing Committee on Professional Discipline of the American Bar Association.
Disciplinary agencies received 119,863 complaints in 2003, and had another 32,422 complaints pending from the previous year, the survey said. Agencies summarily dismissed more than 62,000 complaints because they did not state facts that would constitute professional misconduct or because the agency lacked jurisdiction. Of the remaining 83,000, another 45,000 were dismissed after formal investigation. Formal charges were warranted in response to 79,150 complaints, and actually were brought during the year against 2,912 lawyers. Private sanctions were imposed in 2,495 cases, while public sanctions were imposed in 3,725 cases.