Responding to a Complaint
How Do I Avoid Having a Grievance Filed Against Me?
Most of the grievances we receive come from clients who feel their
case is being neglected or their calls or emails are not being
returned. The best way to avoid grievances is to communicate clearly
with clients and diligently pursue their cases.
The State Bar has several programs, such as Law Office Management and the Texas Lawyer's Assistance Program, designed to help lawyers who need assistance.
What if a Grievance is Filed Against Me?
When the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel (CDC) receives a Grievance, an initial review is made to determine whether the grievance alleges facts which, if true, would constitute a violation of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. If the grievance does not allege such facts, it is dismissed as an inquiry, and you will receive notification from the Chief Disciplinary Counsel's office. There is no action required on your part when this occurs.
If the Grievance alleges facts which constitute professional misconduct, you will be notified of the Complaint and be given 30 days to respond to the allegations. The CDC will review your response and investigate the facts in order to determine whether there is just cause to proceed into litigation. If just cause is not found, the case is set before a summary disposition panel for dismissal. If the panel does not agree the case should be dismissed, it will move forward. If just cause is found, you will then be notified of the rule violations and be given 20 days to notify the CDC whether you elect to have the complaint heard in a district court of proper venue, with or without a jury, or by an evidentiary panel of a grievance committee. It is very important that you respond timely. Failure to timely file an election is conclusively deemed as an affirmative election to proceed to an evidentiary panel hearing. You may consider retaining counsel.
Get a more in-depth overview of the disciplinary process.
Contact a CDC Office in Your Area
Get contact information for all four regional CDC offices. If you have questions about the grievance process or the status of a grievance, please call the office nearest you.