***11/1/17 Update – Arizona Bar Investigation Into Attorney Aaron Kelly & Attorney Daniel Warner Continues***
The investigation into two Arizona lawyers continues, according to Rick DeBruhl, Chief Communications Officer for the Arizona State Bar.
The investigation centers around Aaron Kelly and Daniel Warner of Kelly/Warner Law Firm PLLC, who allegedly filed and/or obtained fake takedown injunctions and notarizations as part of reputation management. Search engine giant Google has a policy to remove pages from its indexes once it receives an injunction deeming the pages in question to be libelous.
DeBruhl could not speak to specifics of the investigation, however, he did provide the complaint process.
A consumer, attorney, judge or other party of interest can file a charge with the Bar. That first step is referred to as a charge. A complaint is a formal step that can later occur. The charge is sent through a process called intake, where a case is looked at to determine if it is something that can be easily remedied or something that requires a larger investigation.
Should it move to a formal investigation, the charge is assigned to one of the Bar counsel, who is responsible for looking into the facts associated with the case. From there, if it is determined that there is enough foundation in the charge, it then moves to the “probable cause committee.” This is a group of six volunteer attorneys and three members of the public, who review cases and determine if there is cause for a formal hearing.
The probable cause committee is run by the court and is not a function of the bar, giving it outside review status.
If there is probable cause for a hearing, a formal complaint is filed. While a hearing may be ordered, many times cases don’t reach that stage, DeBruhl said.