The grievance panel’s
decision that the complaint did or did not allege
that the attorney committed a crime is not
Will there be a hearing on my complaint?
Generally, no. The local grievance panel may hold a
hearing if it believes a hearing is necessary; the
local panel may also investigate the complaint
without a hearing and ask for statements from
witnesses or ask for additional evidence. Often, the
local grievance panels only review the written
complaint, answer, and evidence submitted by you and
Who represents me, the Complainant, in this process?
The grievance process is an
investigation by the Judicial Branch into the
conduct of an attorney. After you file a complaint,
you are called the Complainant. You can provide
useful information to the local panel investigating
the complaint. If probable cause is found that the
attorney is guilty of misconduct, you can help the
disciplinary counsel make the case against the
attorney. Disciplinary counsel does not have to call
you as a witness at the public hearing, but you have
the right to make a statement to the Statewide
Grievance Committee, if probable cause was found. No
one will represent you in this case, and the
grievance process is not likely to have an effect on any related civil or criminal action. You can
represent yourself in this process or hire counsel
to represent you.
the grievance panel counsel vote on whether to find
No. The grievance panel counsel only helps the
grievance panel investigate the complaint against
the attorney and gives the panel legal advice. The grievance panel counsel does not have a vote.
Are there non-attorneys on the panel?
Yes. Each grievance panel
has two attorneys and one non-attorney.
7. Can I contact the panel members?
No. The panel members are asked to review the evidence
before them and make a decision. All
communication should be with the grievance panel
counsel. It is improper to contact a panel
member directly; doing so will result in delay and
possible transfer of the grievance complaint.
8. What happens after a finding of probable cause is
made that an attorney is guilty of misconduct?
The complaint is sent to the Statewide Grievance Committee
for further action.
9. What happens to materials that I submit to the
panel? Can they be returned?
No. Please make sure you keep a copy or the original of
everything you send to the grievance panel.
10. Is there anything that I cannot send (confidential
documents, psychiatric reports etc.)
Yes. You cannot submit personal identifying information
in your complaint. If you want to submit any
medical, psychiatric or hospital records, then you
must provide these records in a sealed envelope with
an explanation why they are relevant to the
grievance complaint. The panel will decide to review the records or send them back.