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Consequences Your Lawyer Might Face After You File a Complaint

If you believe that your lawyer is not adequately representing you, there are steps you might be able to take to hold your lawyer accountable. However, before you fill out a lawyer disciplinary complaint, you will want to make sure that your lawyer has taken actions that would justify a complaint. Then, there are several consequences your lawyer might face.

Situations That Do Not Constitute Unethical Conduct

Even if an attorney makes a mistake when representing you, this does not usually constitute a breach of ethics and will not warrant disciplinary action. To be considered negligent, an attorney will need to engage in negligence that amounts to malpractice. You will always want to discuss the situation with your lawyer before you consider filing a complaint.

There might be a hotline that can be contacted that is managed by the bar association before you may ultimately file a complaint. A large portion of these requests are often resolved and you may be able to receive the remedy you want without having to issue a complaint.

How to File a Complaint

When you fill out attorney disciplinary complaint forms, you will need to write a clear description of the issue that you're complaining about. Explain in detail what your attorney did that you are filing a complaint over. Make sure to include the last date on which you were in contact with your attorney and what you communicated with them about.

Consequences That Lawyers Face

Contrary to popular belief, a lawyer does not simply receive a slap on the wrist. Thousands of lawyers are disciplined each year. The severity of the punishment is based on the severity of the transgression. Usually, a law firm itself is not disciplined but action may be taken against all the lawyers of a particular law firm when they have committed ethics violations.

After you fill out the complaint form, your attorney may need to attend a professionalism workshop, a workshop on advertising rules, or they might receive law management consultations. In some cases, your lawyer may even be completely disbarred and won't be allowed to practice law in your state anymore.

Emergency Suspensions

For those lawyers who misuse client funds or who have a criminal history, the bar association might be able to pursue an emergency suspension. If your lawyer has committed a crime, you may also want to contact the authorities so that you may press criminal charges. By being proactive, there are several ways you can hold your lawyer accountable.