Complaints Against Attorneys
(toll free in California)
(from outside California)
Filing a Complaint
What kinds of violations typically result in disbarment and other levels of discipline?
Each case is different. But most disbarred attorneys fall into one of two categories: They committed a very serious violation, such as perjury or stealing client funds, or they have a history of misconduct.
Reproval, either public or private, usually is reserved for first-time offenders whose misconduct falls on the low end of the scale.
For example, abandoning one client might lead to a private reproval or remedial action, such as Ethics School. Abandoning 12 clients, however, would likely result in much more serious discipline.
An attorney is placed on probation so that his or her conduct in the practice of law can be monitored - much like supervised probation in the criminal justice system.
Occasionally, another practicing attorney -- serving as a probation monitor -- meets with the disciplined attorney. The disciplined attorney then files regular reports and could be required to meet special conditions during the probationary period. Most conditions of probation are monitored by the Probation Unit.