Stone Issues Statement on Audit of State Bar

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO –Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) has issued a statement regarding the audit released today by the California State Auditor regarding the State Bar of California:

"The primary duty of the State Bar is to protect the public from dishonest attorneys, and our job as legislators is to ensure that the Bar is adequately performing that job.  Unfortunately, the audit found that the Bar fails to properly inform the Legislature about its activities in a manner that is transparent and fully accurate.   As a result, it is extremely difficult for the Legislature to perform its critical oversight functions.  Moreover, the public has suffered very real harm as a result of the Bar's unreasonable delays in reimbursing losses due to attorney misconduct.  This apparently has been a problem for years, yet the Bar did not fully inform the Legislature of the magnitude of the problem -- $16.7 million shortfall at the end of 2015 --  leaving thousands of Californians to wait years for any hope of reimbursement.

"I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Legislature and the Chief Justice to craft reforms that will end the ongoing turmoil at the Bar once and for all and give the public what it needs and deserves -- a truly effective regulator of the legal profession."

Stone serves as Chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, which provides legislative oversight of the State Bar of California.