Complaints & Discipline
This section expands on complaints and discipline and discusses concerns particular to members.
If you are a lawyer who has a complaint filed against you or who is considering filing a complaint against another lawyer, please read our Complaints page for a description of our complaints process.
Obligation to File a Complaint
Lawyers are reminded they have a DUTY to file a complaint and report cases where it is reasonable to expect that a person has suffered or may suffer damage or loss due to another lawyer’s breach of conduct.
When a lawyer files a complaint against another lawyer, either on his or her own behalf or on behalf of a client, the process we follow is the same as when a complaint is filed by a member of the public.
Duty to Report Misconduct of another Lawyer
Rule 7.1-3 of the Code of Professional Conduct requires that a member report to the Law Society serious violations of the rules of ethics, including misappropriation of trust funds, abandonment of a law practice, conduct that raises a substantial question as to another lawyer’s trustworthiness or competence as a lawyer or raises a substantial question about a lawyer’s capacity to provide professional services.
It is critical to public protection, the effective administration of justice and the reputation of the legal profession that concerns about any such serious misconduct are brought to the Law Society’s attention immediately for further investigation. Early intervention permits the Law Society to investigate concerns, provide support to a lawyer where appropriate, or take steps to protect the public as soon as possible.
Duty to Respond to the Law Society
Lawyers have a duty to respond to their law society within the deadlines provided.
The Response Itself
Once a member’s reply to a complaint is received by the Law Society, it is normally copied and provided to the complainant.
Failure to Respond
Failure to respond may be considered professional misconduct. Members who have been asked to reply to the Law Society but who cannot reply on or before the deadline must communicate with the Chair of the Discipline Committee.
Are Complaints Public?
Inquiries by the Law Society are not made public, nor are investigations of complaints while being conducted by the Discipline Chair. Complaints only become public if they are referred to a Committee of Inquiry and charges are laid.
Complaints that are public (i.e. that have been referred to the Committee of Inquiry) are listed for the public on the website and the ultimate determination will be made available on the website.