Overseers of the Bar – Okay for lawyer to make bomb threats – what about GALs?

There are consequences for the actions that one makes in life. Calling in a bomb threat as an example will land the person making the call into a lot of trouble. If you manage not to serve any jail time there are other areas where you might be penalized to the point of losing your job.


You are a lawyer in the state who is brought before the Overseers of the Bar (an independent agency created by the Judiciary that is funded by fees paid by lawyers). In a case that was recently brought before the Overseers – a lawyer – who called in a bomb threat (twice) was essentially slapped on the wrist and is being allowed to continue practicing law. Part of his defense was that he had a series of medical conditions that were not being treated properly according to the defendant. In other words it is the “I’m not responsible for my actions” defense.

Why is this important?

The Overseers of the Bar is set to take over responsibility for Guardian ad litem complaints. The Judiciary  is moving from a simple yet  broken process (one that the average person could understand) to a highly complex process of complaint (a process that is very legalistic in scope). The reasoning behind this move was that the Overseers had the experience of handling complaints. The Judiciary, Guardians ad litem and divorce industry were all in favor of this change. Parents, friends and family surprisingly did not favor the move. Now imagine if in filing a complaint you are mildly successful to get to the point that the lawyer in the above case did. You are standing there in front of the board ready to prove how your GAL broke every rule and statute in the book. Then all of a sudden – the GAL brings out the tried and proven defense “I’m not responsible for my actions” because of (medical condition, parents didn’t love me or some other issue). Bang you lose and the Guardian ad litem is free to continue operating as a GAL.

There is no data that shows how many lawyers are disciplined or lose their license as a result of breaking the law. A complaint or disciplinary action through the Overseers is a highly complex and legal process. Beyond the scope of most people without a legal background. Imagine what is going to happen if you attempt to complain through the Overseers of the Board?

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