How to file a complaint against an attorney

If you believe an attorney has committed professional misconduct, you have the option of filing a complaint with the attorney regulatory authorities in your jurisdiction (links below).

There are a few important things to keep in mind when thinking of filing a complaint:

Filing a complaint against an attorney is a serious matter, and should be limited to significant problems. Issues like slowness to respond, curtness, lack of empathy, condescension, or even sloppy legal work - while often meriting a cautionary review on Avvo - will rarely suffice. That's because in order for the regulators to punish an attorney for professional misconduct, they must find - with proof - that the attorney did something that violates the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Some examples of attorney practices that violates the Rules include:

  • Serious neglect of your case
  • Failure to provide an accounting of your money or property held by the attorney
  • Commingling your funds with the attorney's own money
  • Refusing to return your file at the conclusion of the representation
  • Representing you despite the existence of a conflict of interest
  • Dishonesty to you, a court, or others
  • Criminal conduct

If you are unsure whether your concerns with an attorney involve professional misconduct, in most states you can call or email the disciplinary office and discuss the matter prior to submitting a written complaint.

Contact information for attorney regulatory authorities, by jurisdiction: