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Fired bar leader's suit is baseless and his whistleblower claims are 'bewildering,' Calif. bar says

Posted By Administration, Monday, November 17, 2014

The State Bar of California is firing back after its former executive director claimed in a lawsuit that he was fired for exposing “egregious improprieties.”

The bar says the lawsuit by fired executive director Joe Dunn is “baseless” and his claims of being a whistleblower are “bewildering” because it was his job to manage the bar’s operations and employees.

Dunn claimed in his lawsuit (PDF) that he was told of his firing Nov. 7, just days after he and seven other anonymous complainants filed whistleblower notices with the bar. The bar publicly announced Dunn’s departure last Thursday, and Dunn filed his suit a few hours later.

Dunn says in the suit that his whistleblower complaints alleged “ethical breaches, prosecutorial lapses and fiscal improprieties” by some bar officials. One of the whistleblower allegations, he said, was that chief trial counsel Jayne Kim removed a category of discipline cases from reports to conceal the true backlog of disciplinary cases. “Kim’s conduct did not involve a few isolated cases but was shockingly rampant,” the suit alleges.

Kim had filed an internal complaint against Dunn, his suit alleges, in an attempt “to preserve her position.” And the law firm hired to investigate—Munger, Tolles & Olson—had close ties to a bar trustee, the suit claimed. Furthermore, the suit alleged, the hiring of the law firm was “an utter waste of state bar membership dues” because a retired state supreme court justice had offered to do the work for free.


Read the whole story at ABA Journal

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