The authority of the ODC is limited. Following is a list of some
things the ODC does and some things the ODC cannot do when it considers a
complaint against a lawyer.
evaluates complaints about Delaware lawyers (for other jurisdictions, please
refer to the National Organization of Bar Counsel at
on most, but not all occasions, contacts the lawyer(s) about whom you are
complaining and requests a response to the specific statements in your
if warranted, based on the evaluation of information gathered, conducts a
formal investigation regarding the lawyer's conduct.
has the discretion to dismiss a complaint or to seek to prosecute the lawyer.
if lawyer discipline is sought, presents the matter to a panel of the
Preliminary Review Committee consisting of two attorneys and one lay person,
which can decide to dismiss the matter, offer the lawyer private discipline, or
approve the filing of a petition for discipline with the Board on Professional
prosecutes disciplinary matters before the Board on Professional Responsibility
and the Supreme Court of Delaware.
NOTE: A complainant in a disciplinary matter is not considered a party
to the proceeding, and has no right to appeal decisions made in a disciplinary
NOTE: The procedure for evaluating, investigating, and prosecuting
lawyer misconduct is outlined in the Delaware
Lawyers' Rules of Disciplinary Procedure.
act as your lawyer.
give you legal advice in any matter or provide other legal services.
advise you of your legal rights or remedies in any given situation.
intervene in a civil or criminal proceeding on your behalf.
cannot find you an attorney. (The
Lawyer Referral Service
may be able to help you find an attorney.)
order an attorney to do something for you or to stop doing something.
cannot get money or other property for you or seek money damages from
your attorney. (The Fee Dispute
Conciliation and Mediation Committee
is established to mediate fee disputes between lawyers and clients.)
cannot consider or evaluate complaints about judges. (See
Complaints Concerning Judges.)
ALL COMPLAINTS AND ANY INFORMATION RELATING TO, OR GATHERED AS A RESULT OF, A
COMPLAINT FILED WITH THE ODC ARE CONFIDENTIAL.