Feb 25, 2021

In my book “Minority Viewpoint – my experience, as a person of color, with the American Justice System”, I discuss the interactions I had with the MN Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board (LPRB) about the performance of my lawyer. I was really disappointed in the way LPRB handled the issue.

The document titled “MN Rules of Professional Conduct” published by the MN LPRB clearly makes the following statements:

“The lawyer must make reasonable efforts to ensure that the client possesses information reasonably adequate to make an informed decision”.

“A lawyer who does not personally inform the client assumes the risk that the client is inadequately informed and the consent is invalid”.

“Whether the information and explanation provided are reasonably adequate, relevant factors include whether the client is experienced in legal matters”.

“Informed consent requires that each affected client be aware of relevant circumstances and of the material and reasonably foreseeable ways that the conflict could have adverse effects on the interests of that client”.

All these statement indicate to me that I had a valid complaint. Is it wrong of me to expect the board to explain to me why my appeal (with detailed clarifications) did not fall within the categories described above? The letter written by Virginia Klevorn (who reviewed my appeal) literally consisted of 4 sentences. Why was there no response at all to our polite request to have more information as to how they viewed my complaint? At a minimum they could have at least responded to my letter.

I honestly believe that the LPRB needs to be more open and responsive if they are to truly uphold the standards of this critically important profession.

© 2017 - Sumi Mukherjee
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