If you think that a lawyer has committed a serious ethical violation, such as failing to pay you money that you won in a settlement or lawsuit, or making an egregious mistake such as not doing the work you paid them for, or committing a crime, or having a drug or alcohol problem, you should report the attorney to the bar. The agency that regulates attorneys, usually the bar association or state supreme court, will investigate your complaint and take appropriate action if it believes the conduct you have reported is a serious violation of the law.
In most cases, the attorney who has been reported to the bar will receive a copy of the complaint, and they will be allowed to respond to it in writing within 21 days. If the lawyer fails to respond, the case will be referred to the district ethics committee and a hearing will be scheduled before the committee.
The attorney can request a hearing in which you can be present, and you may present evidence. The judge or other person who decides the case will also be able to hear testimony.
If your complaint does not involve an allegation of an ethics violation, or if the complaint is based on a matter outside the jurisdiction of the bar, such as a dispute over your lawyer’s fees, you may choose to file it with your state bar rather than with the VSB. Your VSB will contact you to explain the process and advise you of the confidentiality requirements.
It is important to remember that your complaint should not be made lightly, or with the intention of gaining some advantage from it. Complaints should be made after you have tried to resolve your differences through communication with your attorney and you still believe that you have grounds for a formal complaint against your attorney. Recommended this site truck driver accident lawyers .
To report a awyer to the bar, fill out a complaint form and return it to your state’s attorney discipline agency. You should include any documents that support your allegations, as well as any evidence that the lawyer committed an ethical violation.
Some agencies have a fee for their services, while others are free to handle complaints and investigations. It is always a good idea to contact your state bar for information about the costs involved in filing a complaint with that agency and for information about what you can do if the complaint is not resolved.
In Virginia, the VSB is responsible for investigating ethics violations against lawyers in the state. However, Virginia law governs how this work is carried out and how the VSB handles the investigation of any complaints against lawyers. If the lawyer you have a complaint against has been arrested, it is not an independent basis for the VSB to investigate your complaint or initiate discipline proceedings.
The VSB requires you to keep your complaint confidential, which means that you cannot discuss your complaint with anyone other than the lawyer about whom you have complained, people who might have information about the complaint, and other persons involved in the attorney disciplinary system. This is an important step in protecting the integrity of the system.