The processTHE GRIEVANCE PROCESS

Your written statement will be reviewed to determine if it contains substantial allegations which, if proven, would constitute professional misconduct under the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct (formerly the Code of Professional Responsibility), or for judges, the Code of Judicial Conduct. The authority of the Grievance Committee is limited to misconduct defined in the Rules or Code. The Grievance Committee has no authority to investigate other behavior by an attorney which the public may view as “unethical,” but which is not covered by the Rules. A fee dispute between you and your attorney usually cannot be investigated by the Grievance Committee, because most fee disputes do not involve professional misconduct

The Erie-Huron County Joint Certified Grievance Committee has no authority to change any decision by a court of law, or to interfere with ongoing legal proceedings. The Grievance Committee 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. The Erie-Huron County Joint Certified Grievance Committee cannot give you legal advice or represent you. A person with a legal problem should consult an attorney of his or her choice.

The Grievance Committee does not ordinarily investigate claims of simple negligence or malpractice. If you have such a claim, you should consult an attorney of your choice.

If it appears that there may be a violation, your complaint will be investigated. If substantial, credible, convincing evidence is found that a violation has occurred, the Grievance Committee will file a formal complaint with the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline of the Ohio Supreme Court. If that Board, after hearing, finds that the attorney has committed misconduct, it 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 filed with the Erie-Huron County Joint Certified Grievance Committee or with the Office of Discipline Counsel of the Supreme Court of Ohio is confidential until the Board accepts (certifies) a formal complaint. A grievance or complaint can be dismissed at any point in the process.