Last time, we took a close look at the Court’s history with tax law cases – whether the Court more often hears tax challengers’ wins from the Court of Appeal or government’s wins and how often it reverses each side’s wins.  Today, we’re looking at the Court’s attorney disciplinary cases.

It should be pointed out at the outset that the cases which over the years have resulted in full-blown opinions by the Court represent only a small fraction of its attorney disciplinary decisions.  A great many disciplinary matters are dealt with by the Court in unpublished orders. 

Because State Bar disciplinary decisions go straight from the State Bar Court to the Supreme Court, the only cases which can reasonably be said to have been won by the attorney below are attorney admission disputes where the petition for review has been filed by the Bar Examiners.  We report these cases in Table 576 below.  One such decision was reversed in 1995, another was reversed in 2000.  Attorney litigants won one admissions case in 2014 and lost two.

We report the Court’s history with disciplinary cases in Table 577.  The Court decided twenty-one cases in 1991, siding with the Bar in seventeen and reversing at least in part in four.  The Court affirmed three decisions in 1995, one in 1997, 1998 and 2000, four in 2001, two in 2002, one in 2004 and 2005, two in 2014 and one in 2015.

Overall, the Court has reversed, in whole or in part, in only 26.83% of its attorney cases.  The Court reversed in 36% of its cases from 1991 to 1995.  The Court reversed in only 25% of its cases from 1996 to 2000.  The Court didn’t reverse in any of its eight attorney cases from 2001 to 2005, and it didn’t decide any attorney cases from 2006 to 2010.  The Court reversed in 25% of its attorney cases from 2011 through 2017.

Join us back here later this week as we turn our attention to new areas of law.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Ken Lund (no changes).