The Certified Grievance Committee
Purpose of the Committee
The Mahoning County Bar Association’s Certified Grievance Committee has been given the authority by the Supreme Court of Ohio to investigate complaints against attorneys who practice law in Mahoning County. The role of the Certified Grievance Committee is to investigate and prosecute an attorney for ethical misconduct. All complaints against attorneys are reviewed for violations of Disciplinary Rules, which are included in the attorney’s Code of Professional Conduct.
The investigation of a grievance by the Bar Association typically takes 60 to 90 days.
The only function of the Certified Grievance Committee is to investigate allegations of an attorney’s misconduct and to either seek sanctions against the attorney or dismiss the complaint when no misconduct is found. Filing a Complaint against a lawyer will not result in a recovery of money damages you have lost.
It is important to understand that the Bar Association and our Certified Grievance Committee cannot offer legal advice or represent you. If you have a legal problem, you should consult an attorney and not rely on the Bar Association for legal representation. It is also important to understand that the Certified Grievance Committee cannot interfere with ongoing court proceedings and does not have the authority to overrule any decisions that have been made by a Court. If there is a dispute between you and your attorney over fees, ordinarily that is not a basis for an ethics complaint. The Mahoning County Bar Association does have an Inquiry Committee that can help resolve fee disputes.
The Certified Grievance Committee operates under rules adopted by the Supreme Court of Ohio and consists of attorney and non-attorney members. These rules are designed to protect the public from attorney misconduct and to uphold the integrity of the Bar. Members of the Certified Grievance Committee thoroughly investigate complaints of attorney misconduct in a manner that is fair to both the accused attorney and to the interests of the public.
Procedure to File a Grievance
If you feel you have a complaint regarding an attorney who practices law in Mahoning County, you may file a grievance with the Mahoning County Bar Association. In order to file a grievance, the complaint must be submitted in writing to the Mahoning County Bar Association. Please print out the following Complaint Form. If you have documents that support the complaint, please send copies only of that paperwork. Original documents should never be sent as we cannot guarantee that they can be returned to you. Once the Mahoning County Bar Association Grievance Committee receives and reviews your complaint, you should receive a status letter within 1-2 weeks.