June 09, 2010

Leading Silicon Valley Attorney Supports Ombuds for Professional Conflicts

Mark Shem, a partner at Borton Petrini and President of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, supports an informal mechanism for resolving conflicts between attorneys. In his monthly blog post, Shem recalled a informal SCCBA program for lawyers with concerns about opposing counsel.
A volunteer member of the Professionalism Committee, an ombudsman, if you will, would discuss the matter with both parties in hopes of reaching an informal resolution, or at least educating the offending attorney. The ombudsman was not a fact finder and did not render any opinions regarding the dispute. Rather, this person helped counsel work out their disagreements. 
His suggestions came in the context of a call for a renewed commitment for civility among lawyers.  (SCCBA President's Message.)

Shem's proposal reflects a growing sentiment within the legal community that lawyers need and informal and confidential dispute resolution mechanism.

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