The Rules of the Supreme Court of Ohio require that investigations be confidential, and you are asked to keep confidential the fact that you are submitting this grievance. Only the attorney under investigation may waive confidentiality. The party(ies) you are filing your grievance against will receive notice of your grievance and may receive a copy of your grievance and be asked to respond to your allegations. The filing of a grievance may result in your attorney withdrawing from your case. We cannot prevent this. Please also be advised that in filing a grievance against your attorney, you are waiving the attorney-client privilege. Additionally, this office has no jurisdiction to become involved in the merits of any case. The attorney disciplinary process will not affect or change court decisions made in your case.
Please use one form for each attorney against whom you are complaining. You may copy the form if you have more than one grievance, and you may enclose all of your grievances in one envelope.
The Grievance Process
A grievance sent to the Disciplinary Counsel of the Supreme Court of
Ohio or to a local bar association's certified
grievance committee will be reviewed to determine whether the grievance
alleges a violation of the Code of
Professional Responsibility or Code of Judicial Conduct. If there is
evidence that supports the allegation of a violation,
the grievance will be investigated. Following the investigation, if
substantial, credible evidence is found that a
violation has occurred, a formal complaint will be filed with the Board
of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline.
A three-member panel of the Board will review the complaint and
determine whether probable cause exists to certify it.
If the complaint is certified by the Board, a hearing is then held
before a different three-member panel of the Board.
The panel considers the evidence and makes a recommendation to the full
Board of Commissioners. The full Board then
makes a recommendation to the Supreme Court of Ohio. The Court has final
say on whether to discipline an attorney
or judge and what sanction should be administered. A grievance is
confidential until the Board certifies it as a formal
complaint. A grievance or complaint can be dismissed at any point in the
CLICK HERE FOR RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
CLICK HERE FOR RULES OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY
CLICK HERE FOR RULES OF GOVERNMENT OF THE BAR OF OHIO
CLICK HERE FOR THE CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT
Office of Disciplinary CounselThe authority of the Grievance Committee is limited to the investigation of attorney misconduct, which would be in violation of the specific Disciplinary Rules, which are included in the attorneys' Code of Professional Responsibility.
250 Civic Center Drive, Ste. 325
Columbus, Ohio 43215-7411
8 a.m.- 5 p.m.
First, neither the Bar Association nor its Grievance Committee can act as a court of appeals. It cannot overrule any decisions that have been made by a court. The Bar Association cannot change the outcome of your case or redeem your losses, whether monetary or otherwise. The only function of the Grievance Committee is to investigate allegations of attorney misconduct and to either seek sanctions against the attorney in the Ohio Supreme Court or to exonerate the attorney when no misconduct is found.You may pursue a cause action in court against an attorney at the same time that your complaint against that attorney is being investigated by the Grievance Committee. However, the Grievance Committee will not be representing you, and the grievance procedure is separate and distinct from any civil cause of action.
Second, the Grievance Committee cannot interfere with ongoing court proceedings. The grievance process will not be used on behalf of one party in a lawsuit to put unfair pressure upon the other parties to that suit or upon the attorneys who are involved. The court system is the proper place for the resolution of civil or criminal disputes, and the injection of an attorney grievance into court proceedings is disruptive to the court system itself and may unfairly influence an attorney's representation of his client.
Finally, it is important to recognize that the Bar Association and its Grievance Committee cannot give you legal advice or represent you. The Grievance Committee's function is to investigate, and seek discipline for, attorney misconduct. A person with a legal problem should consult an attorney, and cannot rely on the Bar Association for legal representation.