Immunity to Those Who Report Unethical Conduct by a Lawyer In Arizona

In Arizona, a legal document preparer certified in accordance with the Program may perform specified legal services without being supervised by an attorney in good standing with the State Bar. In light of the role now permissibly played by certified legal document preparers in working with the public and providing the public with certain legal services, just as with the legal profession, public policy demands that absolute immunity be extended to members of the public who report alleged unethical behavior by certified legal document preparers. We can conceive of no reason why a person who reports allegedly unethical conduct by a lawyer should be protected by absolute immunity while a person who reports allegedly unethical conduct by a certified legal document preparer should be subjected to the risk of civil liability. Given the public's need for access to legal services and the importance of regulating those who provide such services, there should be no distinction. the proper, fair and efficient administration of justice demands no less. Absolute immunity should be extended to those who report alleged unethical conduct by certified legal document preparers. Another panel of this court reached the same conclusion in a case also involving Sobol. Sobol v. Marsh, 212 Ariz. 301, 130 P.3d 1000, 1 CA-CV 05-0199 (Ariz. App. Mar. 30, 2006).