Your complaint will be reviewed, in the order in which it was received, for any potential violations of the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct. You will receive a written response to your complaint within two to eight weeks. If a potential violation is found, an investigation will be opened and a copy of your complaint will be provided to the attorney who will then be required to respond to the allegations.
The grievance investigation generally takes approximately 60 to 90 days; however, it can be longer if the grievance should require a more extensive investigation. You may be contacted to provide additional information to the Grievance Committee. Should this occur, you must provide the information in order for the committee to continue its investigation. If you have questions during the investigation process or wish to obtain the status of your complaint, you may contact the Grievance Department by phone from Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Please note that the Grievance Department does not meet with clients in person.
At the conclusion of the investigation you will be contacted by mail regarding the findings of the committee.
If the Grievance Committee finds sufficient evidence of wrongdoing, it will file a formal complaint charging misconduct against the attorney. The Board of Commissioners on Grievance and Discipline, which is an independent board appointed by the Supreme Court of Ohio, will then hold a public hearing and you may be required to testify. Based on the results of this hearing, the Supreme Court of Ohio may take action against the lawyer to protect the public by limiting or prohibiting the lawyer from practicing law. If the Board finds insufficient evidence of misconduct, the charges may be dismissed by the Board.
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, or to exonerate the attorney. A person with a legal problem should consult an attorney and cannot rely on the Bar Association for legal representation. The grievance procedure is separate and distinct from a civil cause of action. The fact that you have filed a grievance with the Bar Association will not affect the time limitations for the proper filing of a civil lawsuit, whether that suit is against your attorney or against anyone else.
Click here to access the necessary forms to file a complaint against an attorney.