Class Action Lawsuit Filed against State Bar after Data Breach

By Veronica Miller and Kate Hsu

ANAHEIM, CA – A law firm here said it’s filed a class action lawsuit against an individual,, and the State Bar of California—despite a chance of harassment by the attorney licensing agency—because of an alleged data breach of 260,000 records.

Lenore Albert from Law Offices of Lenore Albert said the class action lawsuit was filed March 18 on behalf of four people, including two California residents who had filed complaints against an attorney with the State Bar, and two members of the State Bar.

This class action lawsuit claims that the State Bar of California, through the release of 260,000 confidential records, violated privacy rights.

The release of these confidential records happened after the State Bar intentionally transferred some of its confidential records into a new Case Management System, and then intentionally published all of their public records online.

This lawsuit also claims that there was a violation of constitutional rights, state law, and federal antitrust laws.

Albert stated that the agency failed to secure this confidential information that they were trusted with and failed to notify any of the affected California residents.

The Plaintiffs’ attorney also notes that in 2022 this is not what protecting the public is supposed to look like. Especially with so much information shifted onto the internet in terms of work, school, and shopping.

Albert states that the State Bar suggests it has no liability because the law does not apply to them, but Albert argues this “is the type of thinking and reaction that is wrong in California and destroys public trust in the government and integrity of the judicial system.”

Albert added that the Bar, with $300 million in revenue coming from attorneys and having some of the highest paid public servants in the state, has “is no legitimate excuse for this breach or lack of proper response.”

Albert proceeded to highlight the California Information Practices Act of 1977, which may put the potential defendant Tyler Technology under a liability for actual damages and statutory damages of $2,500 plus, per person.

Albert noted the severity and danger of such data breaches, including potential theft, extortion, job loss, harassment or even bodily harm.

Albert said, unlike the previous OPM (Office of Personnel Management) breach when a hacker unlawfully accessed employee records, this case was caused by the State Bar’s own conduct, which she deemed “highly offensive and embarrassing.”

Albert emphasized the possible retaliation to his credibility because she’s filing the class action against the State Bar, including unjustified investigation, suspension, and even disbarment of his license.

“The State Bar has the ability to erase all credibility of an attorney and take away their livelihood in one fell swoop,” said Albert, adding she is pursuing the action because “it is meritorious and the victims want justice but are too afraid.”

About The Author

Veronica is a senior at UC Davis majoring in Political Science Public Service. She is passionate about advocating for women's rights and plans on attending law school where she can continue to advocate.

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