Lawyer Regulation

Lawyer Discipline

Overview of the State Bar’s attorney discipline system

Attorney complaint hotline 800-843-9053

Protecting California's consumers is one of the primary missions of the State Bar of California. This mission is principally carried out through the bar's attorney discipline system. The bar takes complaints against attorneys from the public and other sources, investigates those complaints and prosecutes lawyers against whom allegations of unethical conduct appear to be justified.

What consumers should know

If you feel that you have grounds for a complaint, call 800-843-9053 to request a form. Here is some information that will help you file a complaint, including how to get copies of attorney discipline records and getting reimbursed if you have lost money to an attorney who has been disciplined.

The bar can also help consumers in dealing with common attorney-client problems that do not rise to the level of grounds for filing a complaint.

  • Complaint alternatives. Tips on how to communicate with your lawyer, resolve fee problems and find a new attorney.
  • Mandatory fee arbitration. Consumers can request help in resolving fee disputes with attorneys by asking for an arbitration session through a local bar association.

Information for attorneys

Reportable actions

Attorneys are required to report incidents that may affect their license to practice to the State Bar, including judicial sanctions, criminal charges, fraud judgments, multiple insurance claims, a reversal of judgment based on their conduct and discipline imposed in another state or jurisdiction. Members must also report whether they have employed a suspended or former member of the State Bar. In addition, prosecutors must report when they are filing criminal charges against an attorney. To report these activities, please use the forms listed below:

Other groups, such as insurance agencies, banks and courts are also required to report certain incidents involving State Bar members. Judicial officers should use the Discipline Referral Form.


Attorney Discipline
Office of Probation
State Bar of California
845 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017-2515
Attorney complaints 

Other reporting forms