Attorneys licensed by the State Bar of California take an oath to abide by laws aimed at protecting consumers from unethical lawyers. But sometimes attorneys don’t act in the best interests of their clients.
Call the State Bar's multilingual intake hotline (800-843-9053) for help.
If you have a problem with your lawyer’s actions or fees, you have options. Find out how to resolve a problem without going to court, file a complaint against a lawyer and how to get money back from an unethical attorney.
The State Bar doesn’t oversee how much an attorney can charge consumers. But if you feel that your bill is too high, you can ask for Mandatory Fee Arbitration to resolve the dispute.
Consumers sometimes lose money or property because of an unethical attorney’s actions. Find out about the State Bar’s Client Security Fund and what you can do to recover lost money or property.
If your complaint against an attorney is closed without the State Bar seeking discipline, you have the right to request that the State Bar’s Complaint Review Unit review that decision. This process is commonly referred to as a “second look.” Learn more about the complaint review process.
If you wish to complain about improper governmental activity by the State Bar of California or its employees, agents, or officers (including but not limited to current or former employees of the State Bar or the State Bar Court, volunteers, appointees, and contractors), you can do so directly to the California Department of Justice. They will review and investigate as appropriate without prior review by the State Bar. Learn more.