You must file a complaint with the State Bar of California if you believe your lawyer acted improperly, but not because there is a disagreement between you or you think you did not do a good job. For that type of disagreement you should try alternative methods of resolving disputes between lawyers and their clients, if available.
All lawyers working in California must comply with the ethical standards imposed by the Supreme Court of California and the state legislature. The State Bar of California is a branch of the Supreme Court of California and investigators and processes complaints against lawyers.
Depending on the severity of the infraction, the lawyer may receive a warning, have to serve a probationary period, be suspended from the exercise of the law for a period of time or be disqualified (prohibit the exercise of the law in California).
The State Bar has limited authority to take disciplinary action against attorneys for conduct such as acting rudely or committing to single involuntary error. It is limited by laws to unethical conduct, as defined in the Rules of Professional Conduct and / or the State Bar of California Act.
If you believe that your lawyer acted unethically you must file a complaint. The complaint form must be mailed to the State Bar of California at the indicated address. Do not forget to follow the instructions.
Some things you should know about filing complaints:
NOTE: The primary jurisdiction of the State Bar of California includes the regulation of attorneys. However, under certain circumstances, you are authorized by law to take limited action against people who are not attorneys. If you have information about the possible illegal exercise of the law by a person without proper license, call 800-843-9053. You should send supporting documents or other information to: The State Bar of California, Office of Chief Trial Counsel, Intake Unit, 845 South Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90017-2515, Attn: UPL Project.
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