How to File a Complaint With the Maryland Bar

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The Maryland State Bar Association, or MSBA, can help you find a lawyer to represent you in the state. But when you already have a lawyer, and you feel that attorney hasn't represented you well or is unethical, you have to go to another organization to file a complaint.

The MSBA doesn’t accept or handle complaints against lawyers. To file a complaint, you must contact the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission. The commission investigates all complaints against licensed practicing lawyers in Maryland. When filing a complaint against your lawyer, you have two options: Complete a form or write a letter.

File a Form to Complain about the Lawyer

Obtain the complaint form. You can contact the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission to request a copy of the form. You can also download and print a copy from its website.

Complete the complaint form. On the form, provide information about yourself, the attorney and your dispute.

Sign the complaint form. The commission requires you to sign the form before it begins an investigation.

Write a Letter to Complain about the Lawyer

Draft a letter. You want to compose a first draft to provide information you want the commission to know.

Compose the letter. You can type it using computer software or typewriter. Include your personal information such as name, address and telephone number on the left-hand side of the page. You also want to include, within the body of the letter, the attorney’s information.

Provide detailed information about your dispute with the lawyer.

Sign the letter.

Send the letter to the commission via ordinary mail.

Tips

  • Once the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission receives your complaint, its staff attorney will investigate the matter. You'll be notified by mail of the outcome.

    The commission offers English as well as Spanish versions of the complaint form. Also, the commission offers two ways to obtain the complaint. You can click on the Word version, then print, or download the PDF version. The PDF version allows you to type the information directly on the complaint before printing it.

Warnings

  • Don’t file a complaint with the commission to obtain a fee. The commission doesn’t resolve fee disputes. You must go to the MSBA’s committee to resolve any fee disputes. Whether you choose to complete a form or write a letter, do not forget to sign the document. The commission requires a handwritten signature on the complaint. For instance, if you write a letter and type your name, the complaint won’t be valid.

    The commission doesn’t offer any legal advice or representation. It can’t provide any lawyer referrals. You have to go to the MSBA.

    To use the PDF’s interactive fields, you must have an Adobe Acrobat Reader version that is 5.0 or higher. An older version won’t let you type into the interactive fields.

References

About the Author

Demetrius Sewell is an experienced journalist who, since 2008, has been a contributing writer to such websites as Internet Brands and print publications such as "Cinci Pulse." Sewell specializes in writing news and feature articles on health, law and finance. She has a master's degree in English.

Photo Credits

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