When we say that you can report your lawyer for ethical violations, you should know the various types of ethical codes that they have broken. Say, your lawyer forgot to make copies of your lawsuit papers, that can be irresponsible but that does not qualify him or her for an ethical violation.
But, if your lawyer is pressuring you into settling for a deal that sounds very off to you, then you should get your knives ready and prepare to report him to the court. Luckily, we can help you out in understanding how this process works.
The Common Reasons Why Lawyers Get Reported
It’s no secret that lawyers have a lot of responsibility on their hands and their career is all about handling very serious and even intimate matters. When you hire a lawyer, your intention is to get all the help you can get. And you also trust them with all your personal information.
However, often times, lawyers forget to keep in mind their integrity. You can already find a list of published standard ethical codes/violations by the American Bar Association. These ethical codes cover a range of behaviors such as how a lawyer should communicate with clients, how they should handle the funds of their clients and so on.
From the previous complaints made by clients, the most common ones include but are not limited to; when a lawyer fails to inform the client about the condition of their ongoing information. Then the lawyer does not consult the client before making any important decisions. Other common complaints include a lawyer not returning the client’s documents which are in fact a property of the clients.
Clients have also reported lawyers for their incompetence while handling cases. Since in such cases the lawyers are not properly prepared for the matters at hand. A conflict of interest can further push clients to report lawyers for malpractice. Because this includes the clients losing trust in the loyalty of lawyers they have hired.
Another reason why clients have reported lawyers is due to financial matters. When a lawyer steals from the clients’ funds, refuses to give the money to the client or charge a heavy fee, then that’s considered an ethical violation.
Your State Can Help You Take Them To Court
If you find that your lawyer has broken various ethical codes and you wish to report them, there are various ways you can adopt. The State Disciplinary Boards are present at each state of America. This board is responsible for enforcing the practice of ethics. With that, they also handle reports of unethical behavior represented by the lawyer or attorney. Depending on what your lawyer has done there are various rulings issued by the board.
The board might send a private reprimand to the lawyer. They can also send out a public reprimand that is published in official reports, local legal journals and more. The lawyer can also be suspended from practicing law or there is an option of disbarring the lawyer (taking away their license for good!). The lawyers can also be ordered to pay a sum to the client as restitution.
To file a complaint, you can simply mail the state-issued complaint form/letter with all important information such as the lawyer’s name, firm and so on. This will be received by the local board.
This complaint is then reviewed by the board that includes lawyers and other professionals. If an ethical violation is noted, the lawyer in question gets a copy and an opportunity to report their side of the story.
However, if you still do not agree with the rulings by the board, you can file for malpractice lawsuits. Keep in mind that these lawsuits are valid when you are looking for a compensation as well. But be warned that these lawsuits can be very hard to win and all the proof you can get will help you out.
You will easily be able to find the right website to go to in order to file a complaint against your lawyer. Each state has its own board and each board of the state has its own website which allows you to fill the forms online in case you cannot travel.