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Disciplinary Counsel is the top attorney grievance official in the District of ColumbiaDisciplinary Counsel         

Washington, D.C.'s "top lawyer cop." Appointed by the D.C. Board on Professional Responsibility, Disciplinary Counsel serves as the chief prosecutor for attorney disciplinary matters involving active or inactive attorneys who are members of the D.C. Bar. The Office of Disciplinary Counsel investigates all complaints and allegations of ethical misconduct and initiates appropriate resolutions, ranging from diversions, dismissals, and informal admonitions, to the preparation of formal charges.

A Contact Member of the D.C. Bar's Hearing Committee oversees Disciplinary Counsel's initial investigation of attorney grievancesContact Member   Those who serve on D.C. Bar Hearing Committees also participate in overseeing Disciplinary Counsel's initial investigation and may help to facilitate an early resolution of grievance cases. Appointed by the Board's Executive Attorney at the outset of an investigation, this "Contact Member" has the power and duty to review and approve or suggest modifications of recommendations by Disciplinary Counsel for dismissals, informal admonitions, the institution of formal charges, and the deferral or abatement of disciplinary investigations pending the outcome of related criminal or civil litigation.  
D.C. Bar's Hearing Committee conducts trials in attorney misconduct casesHearing Committee   Composed of two attorneys and a layperson, a Hearing Committee is formed once Disciplinary Counsel files a petition to institute formal disciplinary proceedings. After conducting an evidentiary hearing, the Committee has 120 days to file a report of factual findings and recommendations to the Board on Professional Responsibility.
D.C. Bar's Board on Professional Responsibility oversees attorney grievance discipline cases Board on Professional Responsibility   Appointed by the Court of Appeals, this nine-member board oversees the D.C. Bar's attorney grievance process. Composed of seven attorneys and two laypersons, the Board meets twice a month for 11 months of the year, reviewing the recommendations of its Hearing Committees, and cases referred by the Court of Appeals, including criminal conviction referrals, reciprocal discipline matters, petitions for negotiated discipline and petitions for reinstatement. The Board also considers petitions for emergency temporary suspension of attorneys. If a party objects to a Hearing Committee recommendation, all nine members of the Board will hear oral argument. The Board also has the authority to issue final disciplinary orders dismissing complaints, orders directing Disciplinary Counsel to issue letters of informal admonition, and orders imposing private reprimands.  
D.C. Court of Appeals renders final decisions in attorney disciplinary proceedingsD.C. Court of Appeals   The final authority over attorney disciplinary matters, the Court of Appeals is the ultimate arbiter of attorney discipline in Washington, D.C. Although it gives great deference to the findings and recommendations of the Board on Professional Responsibility, this Court is the last word in determining the fate of D.C. Bar members.
Attorney Grievance defense attorney specializes in defending lawyers in disciplinary proceedings before the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission and the D.C. Bar's Board on Professional Responsibility involving professional misconduct, legal ethics, disbarment, suspensions of law licenses, petitions for disciplinary action, reprimands and sanctions for unethical conduct. If you receive a letter from Bar Counsel Lydia Lawless, Disciplinary Counsel Hamilton Fox, or from any attorney disciplinary board in Maryland or the District of Columbia, retain experienced attorneys with expertise in lawyer discipline and breach of ethics cases to avoid sanctions for professional misconduct. We help lawyers avoid disbarment, suspension, reprimands, censure and informal admonitions by drafting responses to client grievances and ethical complaints; representing lawyers in peer reviews, evidentiary hearings, and oral arguments before the BPR and the Court of Appeals; filing petitions to reinstate an attorney's license to practice law; conducting law firm ethical compliance audits; and drafting legal ethics opinions to protect lawyers from ethics charges. In many cases, disciplinary proceedings may be dismissed, dismissed with a warning, or result in a conditional diversion agreement with Bar Counsel to rectify misconduct. Lawyers may need help in managing their law firm attorney escrow IOLTA trust account and complying with attorney trust accounting rules to avoid charges of ethical misconduct. Do not represent yourself in responding to an attorney grievance, law firm client complaint, or other allegation of ethical impropriety. Attorney grievance defense counsel may help you comply with legal ethics rules, avoid sanctions like suspension or disbarment, and avoid future attorney grievances.


By The Lawyer's Lawyers | Kramer & Connolly and Irwin R. Kramer who are responsible for the content of this informational website.   This website is designed for lawyers faced with attorney grievances. As cases do differ, past performance does not guarantee future results.