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Filing a complaint against a lawyer

I'm interested in filing a complaint against a lawyer who I think violated a rule re: conflict of interest. I know I can file a complaint with the BBO, but I was wondering if a lawyer could help me determine if I have grounds, and maybe help me with the complaint and the whole process. If so, what kind of lawyer do I look for? I'm guessing many lawyers might not want to get involved in reporting on a colleague, but the complaint process seems pretty intimidating, and I could use some help. Thanks in advance.

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Submitted Mon, 08/14/2017 - 10:38

It's important to understand that when you file a BBO complaint, you aren't responsible for proving the complaint or for investigating it in any way. This isn't a case that you are bringing against your lawyer, this is a complaint. All you have to do is report the facts as you know them to the BBO. The BBO will determine if they have any merit and will look into the complaint more if it does. If they find the attorney violated the rules, they will take disciplinary action if it's needed.

A BBO complaint MAY result in you receiving some form of refund if the lawyer still has any money of yours. But what it WON'T do is to affect any prior case that you may have had. The BBO is a licensing board. A complaint with them isn't a suit against your former lawyer and doesn't necessarily entitle you to any form of compensation. This is not like the malpractice tribunal for suing a doctor. There is no requirement to file a BBO complaint before suing a former attorney. If the complaint has merit, and action is taken, and you suffered as a result of the conduct, you would still have to make a malpractice complaint against the attorney to have any basis to recover money.

Start by calling the BBO. Their complaint line can advise you if the complaint has any merit and you don't need an attorneys help to do so, there's no proper "process" or required form to make a complaint. If you think you were damaged by the behavior, contact a malpractice attorney to review the case and see if it's worth suing over.

Atty. David Owens
Grolman LLP

Thank you. This is helpful.

Great suggestion.

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