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Office of Disciplinary Counsel


Initiating a Complaint


Things you should know before you file a complaint:

  • ODC does not provide legal advice. Consequently, ODC will not advise you whether you should file a complaint or provide you with legal representation. If you need help finding a lawyer, you may contact the Delaware State Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service.
  • If you decide to file a complaint, you will be asked to certify the accuracy of the allegations in your complaint. You may also be required to provide documentation to support your complaint.
  • The filing of a complaint does not automatically result in disciplinary action against the lawyer or person you complained about, or a hearing. Each year, ODC reviews hundreds of complaints, but only a small percentage of these ever proceed to a hearing.
  • ODC screens complaints to determine whether the conduct alleged violates the Delaware Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct or the Rules of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Subcommittee of the Board on Professional Responsibility. Complaints that do not support a violation of the rules will be dismissed.
  • ODC may send your complaint to the lawyer or person for a response and may gather additional information from other sources.
  • After reviewing the evidence, ODC may dismiss your complaint, with or without a warning or conditions, proceed with further investigation, or seek to initiate formal proceedings.
  • ODC will notify you in writing regarding the final disposition of your complaint.
  • Unless otherwise provided, the lawyer disciplinary process is confidential. You are required to maintain the confidentiality of all proceedings, including the filing of your complaint and disposition of the matter. You may not use any records or dispositions before any court.
  • ODC may only evaluate the professional conduct of Delaware lawyers or lawyers practicing law in Delaware.
  • ODC has no jurisdiction to consider complaints against opposing parties, law enforcement officials, public agencies, or courts.
  • Complaints regarding the professional conduct of judges may be submitted to The Court on the Judiciary, 55 The Green, Dover, DE 19901, 302-739-4155.
  • ODC is not a court and cannot review, reverse, or remand any decision made by any court. Nor may ODC intervene in pending court proceedings. If there are pending court proceedings, it is likely your complaint will be stayed or dismissed until those proceedings conclude.
  • ODC will not adjudicate fee disputes between lawyers and their clients. If you have a dispute with your lawyer regarding the amount of fees you paid, you may contact the Delaware State Bar Association Fee Dispute Conciliation and Mediation Committee.

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Office of Disciplinary Counsel
The Renaissance Centre
405 North King Street, Suite 420
Wilmington, Delaware 19801
P: (302) 651-3931   |   F: (302) 651-3939