Accountability: How to file a bar complaint

When prosecutors engage in misconduct, they violate the bar’s Rules of Professional Responsibility – the ethical rules that govern the legal profession. Each state’s rules are largely similar in substance, though the procedure that each state uses to enforce the rules may differ markedly. In many states, there is a Disciplinary Counsel, Commission or Board – usually an agency of the state bar or the state’s court system – whose job it is to investigate, adjudicate, and recommend punishment for attorneys who violate the state’s Rules of Professional Responsibility. Below, by state, you can find links to information about how to file a bar complaint – sometimes called a “grievance” – in each state. You can also find links to each jurisdiction’s Rules of Professional Conduct, which govern attorney behavior.

 

Alaska

See the Alaska Bar Association web page, “Complaints Against Attorneys”

Rules: Alaska Rules of Professional Conduct

 

Arizona

See the State Bar of Arizona web page, “Arizona Lawyer Discipline Process Overview”

Rules: Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct

 

Arkansas

California

See the State Bar of California web page, “Filing A Complaint”

Rules: California Rules of Professional Conduct

 

Colorado

See the Colorado Supreme Court web page, “In Case of Dispute”

Rules: Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct

 

Connecticut

See the Idaho State Bar web page, “Disciplinary Process”

Rules: Idaho Rules of Professional Conduct

 

Illinois

See the Iowa Judicial Branch web page, “Attorney Discipline”

Rules: Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct

 

Kansas

See the Kentucky Bar Association’s website, “Complaints against Lawyers”

Rules: Kentucky Rules of Professional Conduct

 

Louisiana

See the Mississippi Bar Association web page, “Complaint Procedure”

Rules: Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct

 

Missouri

See the New Hampshire Supreme Court web page, “Attorney Discipline System”

Rules: New Hampshire Rules of Professional Conduct

 

New Jersey

See the New York State Unified Court System web page, “Complaints About Attorneys”

Rules: New York Rules of Professional Conduct

 

North Carolina

See the North Carolina State Bar web page, “Filing A Complaint”

Rules: North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct

 

North Dakota

See the North Dakota Supreme Court web page, “Complaints Against Lawyers”

Rules: North Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct

 

Ohio

See the Oklahoma Bar Association web page, “Filing A Complaint Against An Attorney”

Rules: Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct

 

Oregon

See the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania web page, “Report an Attorney”

Rules: Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct

 

Rhode Island

See the South Dakota Bar web page, “Lawyer Discipline”

Rules: South Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct

 

Tennessee

See the Texas State Bar web page, “How to File A Complaint”

Rules: Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct

 

Utah

Contact: Office of Professional Conduct

Rules: Utah Rules of Professional Conduct (see Chapter 13)

 

Vermont

See the Vermont Supreme Court web page, “Complaint Brochure”

Rules: Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct

 

Virginia

See the Virginia State Bar web page, “How to File a Misconduct Inquiry About A Lawyer”

Rules: Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct

 

Washington

See the Wisconsin Court System web page, “Lawyer Regulation”

Rules: Wisconsin Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys

 

Wyoming

See the Wyoming State Bar web page, “Lawyer Complaints”

Rules: Wyoming Rules of Professional Conduct

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