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.

AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareDistrict of ColumbiaFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

 

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Alaska

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

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Arizona

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

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California

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

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Colorado

See the Colorado Bar Association web page, “In Case of Dispute”

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District of Columbia

Contact: Board on Professional Responsibility

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Idaho

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

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Iowa

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

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Kentucky

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

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Louisiana

Contact:  Office of Disciplinary Counsel

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Maryland

Contact: Attorney Grievance Commission

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Massachusetts

Contact: Office of the Bar Counsel

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Mississippi

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

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Montana

Contact: Office of Disciplinary Counsel

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Nebraska

Contact: Counsel for Discipline

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Nevada

Contact: Office of Bar Counsel

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New Hamphire

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

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New Jersey

Contact: Office of Attorney Ethics

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New York

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

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North Carolina

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

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North Dakota

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

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Oklahoma

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

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Pennsylvania

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

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Rhode Island

Contact: Disciplinary Board

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South Carolina

Contact: Office of Disciplinary Counsel

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South Dakota

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

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Texas

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

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Vermont

See the Vermont Supreme Court web page, “Attorney Discipline Information”

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Virginia

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

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Washington

Contact: Office of Disciplinary Counsel

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West Virginia

Contact: Office of Disciplinary Counsel

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Wisconsin

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

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Wyoming

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

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