Roy M. Sobelson

Publication Date


Document Type

Survey Article


The survey period was relatively quiet in terms of judicial and legislative developments in the Legal Ethics area. Nevertheless, it may prove to be an important transition period in the history of the State Bar of Georgia, insofar as lawyer discipline and consumer assistance is concerned. On June 1, 1995, the State Bar of Georgia began an experimental Consumer Assistance Program, sometimes known as "Central Intake." The reason for the program was simple. History has shown that the vast majority of complaints about lawyers do not raise disciplinary issues at all. In the past, such nondisciplinary complaints were summarily dismissed, leading to substantial public disillusionment and dissatisfaction with the lawyer discipline process.

The purpose of the Consumer Assistance Program is to resolve as many nondisciplinary complaints as possible through conciliation,'negotiation, and education. Those matters that cannot be readily resolved may be referred to other ancillary services or agencies, such as Fee Arbitration, the Lawyer Assistance Program, the Clients' Security Fund, lawyer referral services, and the like.