Friday, April 12, 2013

Missouri Supreme Court Makes Lawyer Discipline Hearings Public

The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that an attorney discipline hearing cannot be closed to the public without good reason.

The rare Friday decision says the Disciplinary Hearing Panel can only close a pending hearing involving a St. Louis attorney if the panel can show "good cause." The discipline panel previously issued a blanket order closing the proceedings, which was challenged by Missouri Lawyers Media.

The Supreme Court said its ruling was the first interpreting a new court rule setting guidelines for when disciplinary hearings can be confidential.

St. Louis attorney Ben Lipman represented Missouri Lawyers Media. He says the decision will help ensure future proceedings are not closed inappropriately.

Missouri Court Makes Lawyer Discipline Hearing Public


Thelma said...

Important step for the organized Bar. People are entitled to know if it's safe to hire a lawyer.

StandUp said...

Wow! This is long overdue and very welcomed!

Nancy said...

If lawyer discipline hearings were made public in all states,I bet there would be more discipline. The secrecy just protects the guilty.

Anthony said...

I hope all states follow suit. Secrecy promotes covering up. If lawyers were disciplined when they act up, they'd fly right.