Source: (2010) Nevada Law Journal. 12(2):253-315.

Our contribution to this debate is to envision a specific structure and form for public participation in disciplinary processes. We draw upon theory and practice in the field of Restorative Justice. Developed primarily in the context of criminal and juvenile justice, Restorative Justice animates diversionary programs such as victim offender mediation, conferencing,and sentencing circles and emphasizes two important elements that are currently undervalued in attorney discipline: 1) deliberation and decision making by a diverse group of stakeholders and 2) discussion that focuses on repairing the damage caused by the offender. A restorative approach sees “that ‘justice’ can only be realized when the stakeholders most directly affected by a specific offence—the victim, the offender and the community—have the opportunity to voluntarily work through the consequences of the offence with the emphasis on repairing the harm and damage done.” In our view, the legal profession both constitutes and creates community. By strengthening that community, a more restorative disciplinary process can in turn improve the morale of practicing lawyers, prevent ethical misconduct, and protect the public. (excerpt)


Read Full Article