Like most state agencies of its ilk, the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission traditionally has taken a reactive approach. Someone brings a complaint against an attorney and if it's found to be warranted, punishment is meted out-ranging from reprimand to disbarment.
Given the legal profession's challenging times in the 2010s, and based on successful models in jurisdictions including New South Wales, Australia, the Illinois ARDC is among the state-level attorney disciplinary agencies that are considering retooling their regulatory approach to make it more proactive.
This approach was dubbed Proactive Management-Based Regulation (PMBR) in a widely circulated 2013 Hofstra Law Review article written by University of Arizona law professor Theodore Schneyer. Proponents say it gives attorney-regulators the leeway and wherewithal to design self-assessment tools to prompt attorneys to evaluate their practices and improve them as needed. "You have the lawyer sit down with checklists: Have you thought about this? Have you thought about that?" says Jim Grogan, deputy administrator and chief counsel at ARDC.
Find out more about PMBR and how it's being used in other jurisdictions in the June Illinois Bar Journal.