Lawyers ultimately work for their own financial gain. However, while some lawyers try to pursue their own financial gain by doing a great job and treating their customers well, other lawyers commit fraud. If you encounter a lawyer like this, you may need to file a disciplinary complaint.
Morally Right Vs. Legally Right
An ethical lawyer is primarily focused on what is legally right rather than what is morally right. A great lawyer is hired to provide the best legal defense even if the defense might not be considered moral. For example, a lawyer may defend a client who committed a heinous crime because they are legally entitled to a defense.
However, when a lawyer does something that is unethical or illegal, such as committing fraud, you may want to file a disciplinary complaint as a result.
Attorneys are usually law-abiding individuals and usually do not engage in scams. However, there are always exceptions and you may need to consult with another attorney if you believe that the attorney you are working with is engaged in a scam.
You may discover that the lawyer you are working with is not actually licensed to practice in the state in which you reside. You may be told that your case is a "slam dunk" only for the case to drag on as your attorney continues to charge fees. Then, you might eventually lose your case and wonder what happened.
Another problem is when your attorney suddenly settles your case without your permission. This is in order to make sure that the attorney collects higher legal fees. If this happens, you'll want to consider filing a complaint against your attorney.
How to File a Complaint
Fortunately, it is not that difficult to file a complaint. There are attorney disciplinary complaint forms you can fill out to file a complaint with the state board. Each state has its own disciplinary board that is meant to handle lawyers who fail to follow ethical standards. After your lawyer has been investigated, disciplinary actions might be taken.
Your lawyer might receive a private or public reprimand. In more extreme cases, your lawyer might be suspended and might not be allowed to practice law for a period of time. Your lawyer may even be disbarred and ordered to pay restitution. Regardless of the consequences, you will play a role in discouraging attorneys from engaging in such behavior.