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Appellate Division Grievance Committees

Attorney disciplinary proceedings in New York are before the Appellate Divisions of the Supreme Court. Each Appellate Division has one or more grievance committees assigned to specific jurisdictions.

Committees include attorneys as well as non-attorneys who volunteer to help uphold the standards of the legal profession. Each committee office has a professional staff of attorneys and investigators to investigate grievance complaints and prosecute disciplinary matters.

A person who submits a grievance about a lawyer must file their complaint formally, in writing. Committees also have sua sponte authority to institute their own investigations. The appropriate committee will review the allegations and evaluate their validity, as well as the severity of the accusations.

Each complaint is reviewed and, where appropriate, the subject attorney will be notified and have the opportunity to respond to the claims. More serious cases can result in formal disciplinary proceedings before the Appellate Division. These matters are tried before a special referee appointed by the court and are akin to Article 4 special proceedings.

Ultimate decisions can be either public or private. Public decisions issuing a sanction can be devastating to an attorney's career as they are searchable online indefinitely. Even a private sanction can have severe consequences, as they are considered notice to change your practice and will increase any future sanction issued. They can also have a negative impact on future judicial hopes and result in an increase in your malpractice policy costs.

Chris McDonough, Brian Griffin, and, Thomas Foley
Our Disciplinary Defense Attorneys Can Help
McDonough & McDonough understands how disorienting it can be to face grievances and disciplinary action. Our Garden City, New York legal team is here to support you and provide guidance during this difficult time. Contact us for more information about the strong representation we can offer you.
We provide effective representation for attorneys who are facing bar association grievances. Contact our New York-based team today to learn more about how we can help you!