Los Angeles Office
845 S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017
www.calbar.ca.gov
San Francisco Office
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Attorney Misconduct Complaint
To file an attorney misconduct complaint, please read the instructions below, complete the
attached complaint form, and mail to:
Office of Chief Trial Counsel Intake
845 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017
You may use the State Bar’s online Attorney Search (www.calbar.ca.gov) to see whether an
attorney has a public record of prior discipline in California and whether the attorney is licensed to
practice law in California.
Instructions
Please provide your name, address, zip code, email address (if available), and telephone
numbers (work, home and cell). Complaints are confidential unless charges are filed. So
that we may promptly communicate with you, please provide an email address to which
you have exclusive access and is not shared with others.
Attorney’s Information
You may use the State Bar’s online Attorney Search (www.calbar.ca.gov) to see whether an
attorney has a public record of prior discipline in California and whether the attorney is licensed
to practice law in California.
Provide the full name, address, and phone number of the attorney you are complaining
about.
If you wish to complain about more than one attorney, complete a separate statement
of complaint for each attorney.
If any of the blank spaces do not apply to your case, write N/A (Not Applicable). If you
do not know the size of the attorney’s law firm, please state “Unknown” for Size of Law
Firm.
In the Statement of Complaint section, tell us in your own words what the attorney did
or failed to do that you believe may warrant disciplinary action. We need to know the
background of your case.
OFFICE OF CHIEF TRIAL COUNSEL
845 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017
800-843-9053
Fax: 213-765-1168
o If your complaint is about the attorney you hired, tell us: When did you hire the
attorney? What agreement did you make with the attorney? Was the agreement
verbal or in writing?
o If the complaint is about an attorney who has not represented you, please tell
us: What is the connection you have with this attorney? If the attorney is
representing a person or entity in a dispute with you, please identify that person
or entity and explain the nature of the dispute.
Court Information
If your complaint involves a court case, please provide information (if known) in this
section.
Attachments
Provide any helpful documents. Send only copies and keep the originals. All documents you
send, originals or copies, become the property of the State Bar and are subject to future
destruction.
o If you are complaining about an attorney who represented you, provide copies of
written fee agreements, payments or other communications (written or electronic)
to the attorney. It may be helpful to provide copies of the front and back sides of all
canceled checks and/or copies of receipts showing your payments to the attorney.
o If you are complaining about some other attorney, provide any court documents or
communications with the attorney which will help to explain your complaint.
o If you are represented by counsel in the matter involving the attorney, please
provide your attorney’s name, address and telephone number.
Translation Information
The State Bar accepts complaints in over 200 languages. If you need translation services to
communicate with the State Bar, please let us know by completing the Translation Information
section. We will communicate with you through a translation service in the language of your
choice. If you have a trusted friend or family member whom you would prefer to provide
translation assistance and that person will accept communications from the State Bar in English,
please provide their contact information in the Translation Information section.
After You Submit
The State Bar will review and evaluate your complaint to determine whether investigation and
prosecution is appropriate. You will be notified of our decision in writing. This chart explains what
happens after you file a complaint. Thank you for your cooperation.
Important Information You Should Know
The State Bar’s Office of Chief Trial Counsel (OCTC) reviews complaints of unethical conduct by
attorneys licensed to practice in California. Should OCTC prosecute allegations contained in
your complaint, you may be required to testify before the State Bar Court in order to prove
charges against the attorney(s) involved. Below is a list of what OCTC can and cannot do when it
considers a complaint against an attorney:
OCTC can recommend that an attorney be disciplined only for a violation of the California
State Bar Act or the California Rules of Professional Conduct.
OCTC cannot act as your attorney or otherwise help you in legal matters connected with
your complaint. For example, OCTC cannot give you legal advice or perform legal service
for you (such as pursuing damages or other legal action against the attorney(s) involved
in your complaint). You may have legal remedies available to you, but OCTC cannot
advise you on your rights in a given situation or what you should do. The State Bar is not
a court that can provide civil remedies to you.
OCTC cannot give you the name of a particular attorney to help you with your legal
matters. The State Bar does certify lawyer referral services, and a list of certified lawyer
referral services is available on the State Bar's website (www.calbar.ca.gov) or by calling
800-843-9053. The State Bar pamphlet Finding the Right Lawyer is also available online.
OCTC can seek discipline for an attorney’s failure to refund an unearned fee or failure to
account for fees. Please keep in mind, however, that attorney fees are not refundable
simply because you are dissatisfied with your attorney's services. In other words, OCTC
cannot decide whether an attorney’s fee is reasonable. If you are disputing your
attorney's fees, you may seek to resolve the dispute through a fee arbitration process.
Information about fee arbitration is available online or by calling 800-843-9053.
OCTC can seek an order of restitution if an attorney has misappropriated client funds. In
addition, the State Bar's Client Security Fund (CSF) may reimburse funds dishonestly
taken by the attorney (but not simply because the lawyer acted incompetently,
committed malpractice or failed to take certain action). CSF cannot process applications
for reimbursement until final discipline has been ordered against the attorney by the
California Supreme Court. An application for reimbursement from CSF is available
online or by calling 800-843-9053.
If you have further questions, you may call the call center at 800-843-9053. Also, the
State Bar pamphlet Having A Problem With Your Lawyer is available online. The
pamphlet has helpful answers to questions about dealing with an attorney.
Los Angeles Office
845 S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017
www.calbar.ca.gov
San Francisco Office
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Attorney Misconduct Complaint Form
Your Information
Title:
First Name: Middle Name:
Last Name:
Address:
City: State: Zip Code:
Email:
Home Phone: Work Phone: Cell Phone:
If you prefer to communicate by email, please provide an email address. Complaints are confidential
unless charges are filed. So that we may promptly communicate with you, please provide an email
address to which you have exclusive access is not share with others.
Attorney’s Information
First Name: Middle Name:
Last Name:
Address:
City: State: Zip Code:
Email: CA Bar License #:
Primary Phone: Other Phone:
Cell Phone: Website:
Complaint Information
To better achieve the State Bar’s mission to protect the public, please answer the following
questions:
Have you or a member of your family complained to the State Bar about this attorney
previously?
Yes No
Did you hire this attorney?
Yes
No
OFFICE OF CHIEF TRIAL COUNSEL
845 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017
800-843-9053
Fax: 213-765-1168
Does this complaint involve allegations of theft?
Yes No
Does this complaint involve allegations of attorney misconduct where a person 65 years of age
or older was victimized?
Yes No
Does this complaint involve allegations of attorney misconduct where a person who is
incapacitated, infirm, disabled, incarcerated, an immigrant, or a minor was victimized?
Yes No
Does this complaint involve allegations that the attorney has abandoned a client?
Yes No
Statement of Complaint
Include with your submission, a statement of what the attorney did or did not do that is the
basis of your complaint. Please state the facts as you understand them. Do not include
opinions or arguments. If you hired the attorney(s), state what you hired the attorney(s) to do.
Additional information may be requested.
Related Court Case Information (If known)
Name of Court: Case Name:
Case Number: Approx. date case was filed:
Size of law firm complained about:
If you are not a party to this case, what is your connection with it? Explain briefly.
Translation Information
Not Applicable
The State Bar accepts complaints in over 200 languages. If you need translation services to
communicate with the State Bar, please let us know by completing this section of the complaint
form. We will communicate with you through a translation service in the language of your choice.
Do you need translation services?
Yes No
Please state the language in which you need formal translation:
The State Bar’s mission is to protect complainants regardless of their immigration status. Complainants
who are unable to complete this form due to disability, language restrictions, or other circumstances
may obtain help by calling the complaint line at 800-843-9053.
Submission
By checking this box I certify that all information on this form is true and correct. I
understand that the content of my complaint can be disclosed to the attorney. I
understand that I waive the attorney client privilege and any other applicable
privilege between myself and the attorney to the extent necessary for the
investigation and prosecution of the allegations.
Signature: Date:
click to sign
signature
click to edit
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