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Filing a complaint with the Bar Association

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My dad was involved in a lot of civil court cases and one attorney, that he retained, said the absolute worst thing you can ever do to someone in his profession was to report them to the bar association.

We eventually filed a complaint against that same attorney and it was honestly the most impressive professional slaughter that I have ever witnessed.

You can report ANY attorney to the bar. It doesn’t have to be your own.

Here are the steps I followed.

1. Read up on the Rules of Professional Conduct from americanbar.org.

2. Pay especially close attention to Rule 8.4 Misconduct.

It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

(a) violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;

(B) commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;

© engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;

(d) engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice;

(e) state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official or to achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law; or

(f) knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law.

3. Write out a complaint citing as many rule violations as possible. Make sure you list any case numbers that you and the attorney were involved in. Don’t go into a lot of details just yet.

4. Get your complaint notarized and submit it to the bar association.

5. Once you get a response from the attorney contesting each issue in the complaint, prepare an extremely detailed response. Include exhibits and affidavits as well. They only give you a short time. So, it would be best to get everything organized before filing the initial complaint.

6. Wait for the bar to review everything. When they are ready, they will have an insane list of issues to smack the attorney around with. You may need to write up another letter to correct any misinterpretations of your complaint.

7. The bar will schedule a hearing. You can choose to appear in person, by phone, or not at all. If you don’t want to show at the hearing, let them know far in advance. The hearing will still continue against the attorney.

8. Sit back and wait for the verdict. They may just get a slap on the wrist, but if it happens enough, they are out of a job.

Once you file a complaint, there is nothing you can do to stop the bar associations involvement. They will proceed with or without you.

I hope this will be of some help.

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I did one of these, most of them are whitewashed unless the attorney committed an obvious crime. First off, you have to be careful how you do this. Complaints require an attorney-client relationship in order to pursue certain violations. If the offending party was not representing you, you have no claim on those merits. The ones to look at are the ones in which the attorney is obligated to act in a certain manner towards the court and the opposition. These are tough ones to get a violation with. Again, this is the good old boys club. They are self governing. I had enough in mine to get disbarrment, they never even asked me for a scrap of paper, they just dismissed most of it and let the lawyer off with a reprimand. No appeal, either. Big surprise.

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Yes, the final outcome is usually very unfortunate. The fun part is making an attorney worry about it for six months as well as the time and expense involved. The person I filed against was worried enough to retain his own attorney.:lol:

Mostly, they just get a private admonition. If they get caught doing the same thing a lot, it's a public admonition and they become a little better known by their peers.

When I went to retain the services of another attorney, they cracked up laughing when they realized I was the one causing a certain someone so much trouble. It also kept the new attorney on notice.xangelx

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