State Bar Association receives complaint against Glen Lerner

The Nevada Bar Association has received a complaint against personal injury lawyer Glen Lerner related to his missing the first day of a client's murder trial.

David Clark, deputy counsel for the State Bar, confirmed on Tuesday that the organization had received a complaint against Lerner within the past three days.

The complaint was filed in connection with Lerner's failure to show up for 41-year-old Mario Lino's murder trial, which was scheduled to begin Jan. 22 before District Judge Michelle Leavitt.

Lino is facing charges that in April 2007 he killed a man suspected of having an affair with his wife. After Lerner didn't show up for the trial, an angry Leavitt re-assigned the case to the Clark County public defender's office.

Clark declined to comment further on the nature of the complaint or who filed it, citing Nevada Supreme Court rules.

After a complaint is filed, the State Bar investigates it and then presents its findings to a screening panel with written recommendations. Those recommendations could include dismissing the complaint, privately disciplining Lerner or holding a public hearing and filing a formal complaint against Lerner, Clark said.

The State Bar receives about 1,400 complaints each year.

Known mostly as a personal injury lawyer, Lerner said previously that he's defending Lino because the defendant cleans his pool.

Lerner, known for his "Heavy Hitter" commercials, said previously that he couldn't attend the hearing because he was out of state on a "sabbatical." Lerner's attorney said that Lerner didn't appear to be the attorney of record in Lino's case.