FREE EBOOK: Knowing and Protecting Your Rights When an Interstate Gas Pipeline Comes to Your Community
The Legal Services Board has the overall responsibility for overseeing all lawyers in England and Wales. In addition, there are separately approved regulators directly responsible for regulating different types of solicitors. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is the approved regulatory body responsible for regulating Solicitors in England and Wales including the following types of legal professionals:
The other regulatory bodies are respectively responsible for different types of legal professionals, for example, Barristers, Legal Executives, Licensed Conveyancers, Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys, Cost Lawyers, and Notaries. The Solicitors Regulatory Authority regulates all types of legal work a firm does, including probate services and conveyancing.
What does the Solicitors Regulation Authority Do?
The SRA sets Principles and a Code of Conduct that the solicitors regulated by them must adhere to in order to provide legal services in England and Wales. Making use of a risk-based, outcome-focused approach to regulation they ensure that individuals and law firms operate independently and with integrity in the best interests of clients and the broader public interest. Their main task is to regulate the professional conduct of solicitors as well as other authorized individuals and those working in the public and private sectors they regulate.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority was formed by the Legal Services Act of 2007 to act as an independent regulator of solicitors. The SRA is a statutory body and, while it is a formal arm of the Law Society, it operates independently of the Law Society since the government adopted the recommendation by Sir David Clementi that professional bodies should not hold both representative and regulatory roles but should be separate. The Law Society still remains the representative body for solicitors.
What is the SRA’s Function?
The SRA carries out its functions by creating and upholding the Solicitor’s Handbook that includes the Code of Conduct. The handbook contains ethical principles to guide solicitors in their profession including:
They also ensure that the solicitors they regulate are insured and qualified to provide legal services by:
The SRA has a range of legal sanctions available to them that enable them to undertake a variety of actions depending on the severity of the breach and the risk posed to the legal profession and the public. More severe cases can be prosecuted at a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. The SRA can also monitor the quality of training of those entering the legal profession and increase the standard for those practicing within it. Examples of enforcement action include:
The SRA deals mainly with misconduct, dishonesty, and cases of fraud but does not take complaints about poor service provided by solicitors. Complaints are handled by the Legal Ombudsman, an organization that handles problems from clients.
Regulating in the Public Interest
The SRA regulates firms in the public interest by setting minimum professional standards so that clients as consumers can get the services they expect. When these standards are not adhered to, sanctions are taken in order to act as a deterrent for future wrongdoing.
The SRA regulates more than 180,000 solicitors in England and Wales and their main purpose is to protect the public by ensuring that high standards are adhered to and to act when risks are identified.
In 2001 a group of public school employee unions brought litigation against the State of Ohio, various charter schools including ECOT, and their management companies.
That the state’s charter school legislation which permitted privately operated schools to receive public money was unconstitutional.
The 2005 oral arguments are strikingly similar to the issues now being debated. Those archived oral arguments can be viewed here.
Fortunately, the Ohio Supreme Court, by a narrow 4-3 majority, upheld the constitutionality of this system.
Unfortunately, those that want to shut down every charter school in Ohio haven’t given up. They are now trying to overturn this seminal 2006 decision through a series of backdoor legal actions tied to the current ECOT litigation.
Let me explain:
In 2016 during the midst of the presidential primaries, a group of school choice opponents within the Ohio Department of Education, along with the Governor’s office, discovered a way to go after online charter schools. As a result of their actions, the largest online school, ECOT, was closed. 3rd Rail Politics has extensively covered this issue.
Additionally, six other smaller online schools have closed while three are struggling on repayment plans.
Those efforts were just the beginning.
Now, unless the Ohio Supreme Court overturns the lower courts and find those efforts unlawful, the path will be clear for bureaucrats and ambitious politicians to eliminate all of Ohio’s charter schools.
READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE HERE
Scott Pullins is a Mount Vernon, Ohio business, elections, and general practice attorney.
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