This month’s California Bar Journal has a very nice article on Bar attorney Murray Greenberg who is currently serving as the President of the National Organization of Bar Counsel. The article’s focus is on Mr. Greenberg’s efforts to pave the way for attorneys who are starting to lose their ability to practice (either through poor health or age-related ailments) to retire with dignity, before having issues that lead to State Bar disciplinary actions.
Having witnessed attorneys who simply cannot continue to practice at the level expected by the Bar, but who continue to try to practice for financial reasons, I am particularly interested to see where Mr. Greenberg’s efforts lead. Model rules that provide a safe haven for attorneys needing to wind down would be great, as would some sort of third-party surrogate that can assist in taking over practices where the attorney has no one to whom he can turn his cases over.
When the time comes to wind down your practice, it may be sooner than you anticipated and not the financial result that you’re hoping for. However, our obligations to our clients require that we take down our shingle when we can no longer perform up to the ethical and competency standards that apply to the profession. It would be wonderful to see Mr. Greenberg’s work lead to a model for attorneys to follow when this time comes, as it will for all of us.
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