Attorneys who violate the Rules of Professional Conduct are subject to discipline, which could mean suspension of the right to practice law, or even disbarment.
All lawyers, however, are not of equal abilities. Some are more capable than others and sometimes they make mistakes. A lawyer may lose the trust and confidence of a client for various reasons. In some cases this may result from unethical conduct. In other cases, grounds for discipline may not exist because the lawyer may not have violated the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Disciplining a lawyer requires evidence - proof of misconduct - to justify disciplinary action. Likewise, the action of the lawyer must constitute misconduct. An honest disagreement about how a case should have been handled does not constitute misconduct, even if the outcome of the case is disappointing.
A mistake alone does not constitute misconduct. Like all others, lawyers make mistakes. If a mistake causes a loss, the client may be able to recover the loss in a law suit against the lawyer. But a mistake or error in judgment by itself is not misconduct.
If you have a problem of inadequate communication - lack of sufficient agreement or some misunderstanding - it may be the problem can best be resolved by a frank talk with the lawyer. The Board's Consumer Assistance Program may also be helpful in resolving misunderstandings with your attorney.
If your efforts have not satisfactorily resolved your concerns, complete and submit the "Online Complaint Form" below. Alternatively, CLICK HERE to print a blank copy of the complaint form.
- For alleged ethical violations of a serious nature, check, "I am submitting this form as a formal complaint."
- For concerns which do not rise to the level of serious ethical violations, check, "I am submitting this form as an informal request for assistance."
- If you are filing a complaint against an attorney practicing law but not licensed in Tennessee, you will need to print and submit a complaint form to the Board via email attachment or U.S. mail to the following address:
Board of Professional Responsibility
10 Cadillac Drive, Suite 220
Brentwood, TN 37027
CLICK HERE to print a blank copy of the complaint form.
Do not mail original documents to the Board. Include your name and the attorney’s name on all documents.