How to File a Complaint Against a Family Lawyer in North Carolina

Filing a Complaint Against a Family Lawyer in North Carolina

When you hire a family lawyer in North Carolina, you expect professional and ethical behavior. Unfortunately, there are instances where an attorney may not meet these standards. If you believe that your family lawyer has acted unethically or incompetently, you have the right to file a complaint. Here's how to navigate this process step by step.

Understanding the Grounds for Complaint

Before filing a complaint, it's important to understand what constitutes grounds for disciplinary action. Common reasons include:

Step 1: Contact the North Carolina State Bar

The North Carolina State Bar is the agency responsible for regulating attorneys' conduct in the state. To initiate a complaint, you must contact the State Bar's Office of Counsel.

Step 2: Submit a Written Complaint

A complaint must be written and signed by the complainant. You should include:

While there is no specific form required for submitting a complaint, the North Carolina State Bar provides guidelines and examples on its website.

Step 3: Review by the Grievance Committee

Once your complaint is received, it is reviewed by the Grievance Committee of the State Bar. The committee will determine whether there is enough evidence to support allegations of professional misconduct.

Step 4: Investigation and Hearing

If the committee deems an investigation necessary, it will be conducted by a State Bar attorney. Should probable cause be found, a formal hearing before the Disciplinary Hearing Commission may occur.

Step 5: Resolution and Appeal

The outcome can range from dismissal of the complaint to disciplinary actions against the attorney, including reprimand, suspension, or disbarment. Decisions can be appealed within the State Bar's legal framework.

Historical Reference

In one notable case from 1995, North Carolina attorney James Doe* was disbarred for misappropriation of client funds. The case underscores the importance of rigorous enforcement of ethical standards within the legal profession.

*Name changed for privacy.