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Resources for the Public

Complaints Against Lawyers

The ABA is not a lawyer disciplinary agency and has no authority to investigate or act upon complaints filed against lawyers. Each state has its own agency that performs that function in regard to lawyers practicing in that state. Locate your state agency from the Directory of State Disciplinary Agencies.

The Center operates the National Lawyer Regulatory Data Bank, the only national repository of information on public sanctions imposed upon lawyers in disciplinary cases throughout the United States. The Data Bank not only provides ready access to information concerning sanctions imposed on individual lawyers but also offers a means of gathering national statistics on disciplinary cases.

Complaints Against Judges

If you wish to file a complaint against a judge, you may do so with the judicial disciplinary agency in the state where the judge is located. Bear in mind that the judicial disciplinary agency will not be able to assist you with any underlying legal problems; their function is to make a determination as to whether the judge has violated any applicable judicial ethics standards that have been adopted in your state.

Finding A Lawyer

Most legal issues are regulated by the law in the state where you live, or where the problem occurred. The ABA's web site "FindLegalHelp.Org" will guide you to a comprehensive list of resources in each state, including local bar associations with referral services. The ABA Standing Committee on Lawyer Referral and Information Service also maintains a directory of lawyer referral services.

Some other directories exist that list lawyers and include information about their special practice areas. One directory is the Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Locator. Another route is to ask a friend for a recommendation. Lawyers also can be good sources of referrals for other lawyers in their own and other practice areas.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)