The State Bar’s Client-Attorney Assistance Program (CAAP) is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this month.
The program was launched on Sept. 27, 1999, to help mediate problems between attorneys and their clients in cases where a formal disciplinary proceeding is not warranted. CAAP has a staff of eight, most of whom are certified mediators. Most complaints involve a lack of communication by attorneys.
The program gets high marks from both sides. CAAP director Bennie Ramirez related that more than 90 percent of clients surveyed are happy with the results obtained by CAAP. “We also get a lot of letters from attorneys who say they’re glad their dues are helping to pay for a program which helps them resolve client disputes and avoid the grievance system,” Ramirez said.
CAAP plans just a small celebration in its office to mark the anniversary, and then it’s back to the phones. For the future, Ramirez predicts technology will help CAAP be more and more of a one-stop shop for clients who need help. “We’re always working to streamline things and help more people,” she said.