Grievance and Complaints
The function of the Certified Grievance Committee of the Ashtabula County Bar Association is to investigate allegations of attorney misconduct to determine whether or not the attorney has violated a provision of the code of Professional Responsibility. If the Commitee finds probable cause to believe that a violation of the Code has occurred, then the Committee shall proceed with disciplinary action. Disciplinary action involves an attorney's license or right to practice law in Ohio.
The Committee cannot give legal advice, provide legal representation for you, or recover or collect monies on your behalf. The sole function of the Committee is to conduct a disciplinary investigation.
The Supreme Court Rules also provide that all investigations undertaken by the Committee are private and confidential. This confidentiality provision also applies to the party making allegations of misconduct.
If you believe that you have a grievance against an attorney practicing or serving in Ashtabula County, Ohio, please fill out the grievance form questionnaire. If you would like the form mailed to you, please contact our assistant secretary on our confidential telephone line at (440) 275-0717 or request a complaint form via email at email@example.com.
Please read the form and complete same to the best of your ability, setting forward the specifics of your complaint, and attaching any documentation that supports your complaint. Upon completion of said form, print and please return the same to the attention of the chairmen:
Ashtabula County Bar Association
Certified Grevance Committee
P.O. BOX 409
Jefferson, OH 44047
You may also pick up forms at the Ashtabula County Law Library, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Law Library is located in the Ashtabula County Courthouse. Please do not return a completed grievance complaint to the law library. A complaint is privileged and confidential information and must be mailed to Ashtabula County Bar Association Certified Grievance Committee, P.O. Box 409, Jefferson, Ohio, 44047.
Further, be advised that all information throughout the grievance process is to be kept strictly confidential. You are not to copy documents you may receive concerning the grievance process and distribute said documents to any party other than the grievance chairperson.
The Ashtabula County Bar Association Certified Grievance Committee is a group of lawyers and non-lawyers who are authorized by the Ohio Supreme Court to investigate and review ethical complaints against lawyers practicing or serving in Ashtabula County, Ohio. The Grievance Committee reviews complaints of ethical misconduct only. The Grievance Committee does not appeal court orders, resolve fee disputes, or pursue claims for money damages.
The questionnaire is designed to give the Grievance Committee enough information about your grievance to determine if it is a matter that the committee can properly handle. This information will be given to the members of the Committee and the attorney involved in your grievance, but otherwise is kept strictly confidential.
Grievances which the Committee can handle are often, but not always, in one or more of the following categories:
- Neglect of a legal matter entrusted to a lawyer by a client
- Representing a client under the circumstance which involves a conflict of interest
- Mishandling, commingling, or failing to account for moneys of a client entrusted to an attorney
- Conduct involving dishonesty or fraud
- Improper advertising or client or solicitation practices
There are other complaints which can involve the committee; the above list is provided by way of example only.
If you believe that you have a grievance against an attorney practicing or serving in Ashtabula County, Ohio, please fill out the questionnaire and mail it.
Throughout the grievance process, you will be kept apprised of all developments in writing.