CPIL’s Robert C. Fellmeth Quoted in Daily Journal Article on State Bar's New Contract to Receive Alerts on Attorney’s Arrests

Los Angeles (July 10, 2017) - University of San Diego (USD) School of Law Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) executive director Professor Robert C. Fellmeth was quoted in a Los Angeles Daily Journal article reporting on the State Bar signing a contract with the California Department of Justice (DOJ) to be notified when licensed lawyers are arrested.

According to the article, the bar will receive automatic alerts when one of its members is convicted of a crime. The deal will only apply to lawyers licensed after the agreement is signed, not the more than 189,000 active bar members.

Fellmeth said he had mixed feelings about the news, saying that he also supports the bar re-fingerprinting currently practicing attorneys. 

“On the one hand, congratulations to the new bar leadership, which is showing more concern for consumers than their predecessors,” Fellmeth said. “On the other hand, they are 300,000 un-fingerprinted lawyers short and 30 years late.”

When the bar receives information about arrests, it gives the agency the important opportunity to take disciplinary action against an attorney prior to a conviction, if necessary, said Fellmeth.

“An arrest is worth at least your attention, and if serious enough, an interim suspension,” said Fellmeth.

Several state lawmakers also said that the bar should ensure it gets arrest alerts for both current and future attorneys as required by law. The bar has since pledged to find a way to accomplish that goal.

Professor Fellmeth also recently published an opinion editorial in the the LA Daily Journal on the California Supreme Court's recent decision to amend its rules relating to the setting of the pass point for the Bar Exam. To read that aritcle, please click  'download attachment' on the left side of this page. 

 About Center for Public Interest Law

Founded in 1980, the University of San Diego School of Law’s Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) serves as an academic center of research and advocacy in regulatory and public interest law. CPIL focuses its efforts on the study of an extremely powerful, yet often overlooked, level of government: state regulatory agencies. Under the supervision of experienced public interest attorneys and advocates, CPIL law student interns study California agencies that regulate business, professions, and trades.

CPIL publishes the California Regulatory Law Reporter, a unique legal journal that covers the activities and decisions of over 25 major California regulatory agencies.

In addition to its academic program, CPIL has an advocacy component. Center faculty, professional staff, and interns represent the interests of the unorganized and underrepresented in California’s legislature, courts, and regulatory agencies. CPIL attempts to make the regulatory functions of California government more efficient and visible by serving as a public monitor of state regulatory activity. The Center has been particularly active in reforming the state’s professional discipline systems for attorneys and physicians, and in advocating public interest reforms to the state’s open meetings and public records statutes.

 About the University of San Diego School of Law

The University of San Diego (USD) School of Law is recognized for the excellence of its faculty, depth of its curriculum, and strength of its clinical programs. Each year, USD educates approximately 800 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 84 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 35th nationally and 6th on the West Coast among U.S. law faculties in scholarly impact and 24th nationally and 6th on the West Coast in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.

Robert C. Fellmeth

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