Legal Malpractice

Can I Report My Lawyer to a Disciplinary Board?

By Sachi Barreiro, Attorney, University of San Francisco School of Law

Each state has its own ethical rules that lawyers must follow, usually called the “rules of professional conduct.” In most states, these rules are broader than the standard of care in a legal malpractice case. This means that, even if your lawyer hasn’t committed malpractice, your lawyer might have committed an ethical violation for which he or she can be disciplined.

Each state has a disciplinary board in charge of administering attorney discipline. You can file a complaint with your state’s disciplinary board by mail, or in some states, by phone or online. The state board will investigate your complaint and discipline the lawyer if there is evidence of an ethical violation. (For more information, including your state board’s contact information, see our article on reporting a lawyer for an ethics violation).

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