The South Carolina Bar Association Oversees Lawyers and Judges

who oversees lawyers

Clients seeking legal assistance often turn to their state bar association. Their staff of attorneys is equipped to screen, investigate and prosecute complaints about lawyers and judges.

The grievance committee panel will decide if there is sufficient evidence that an attorney has engaged in improper conduct and then hold an investigation hearing on your complaint.

Grievance Committees

Grievance committees are comprised of members of the public who volunteer their services as investigators and mediators of attorney complaints from members of the public. Although these members don’t receive compensation for their work, it remains essential for maintaining high standards within legal profession. If you have a grievance against an attorney, submit it through your bar association first in order to submit it formally to a grievance committee for resolution.

Staff attorney will review each complaint to assess whether or not it meets the committee’s investigative guidelines, then assign it to one of their subcommittees for investigation. Once assigned, subcommittee will interview witnesses and gather evidence for investigation purposes, while interviewing or summoning individuals directly involved with case as witnesses or attendees at hearings as appropriate (chair will choose who appears and suggests others). Furthermore, this chair may schedule meetings for discussion, mediations, or hearings in response to specific allegations made in complaint.

Subcommittee members will produce a report, outlining any recommendations to dispose of the case, which will then be presented to the Chair of the full Committee for action. After meeting has concluded, all parties directly involved will be informed of its results by this chairperson.

If a subcommittee determines there is probable cause for misconduct, they will refer the matter to the Statewide Grievance Committee for hearing. This committee comprises 21 members; at least three must not be lawyers. Should any member present have conflicts of interests that compromise his/her impartiality during hearings and decisions on matters brought before them, he or she will abstain from taking part or making decisions regarding said matters.

After hearing, the Statewide Grievance Committee will issue its final verdict, including finding probable cause and issuing discipline if applicable. Furthermore, conditions could be placed upon an attorney’s license to practice law; for example requiring them to complete continuing legal education courses, make restitution payments, participate in fee arbitration agreements or receive medical, psychological or substance abuse treatment services as needed.

Disciplinary Boards

The Disciplinary Board is a judicial body charged with overseeing attorneys and ensuring they abide by the law. Composed of members who serve without compensation, typically three members will consist of non-lawyer public members; one will be an retired judge from either the Appellate Division or Superior Court; while eight will be lawyers appointed by either the Supreme Court from around the state or from each judicial district respectively.

Anyone can lodge a formal ethics violation complaint against an attorney, including clients. Additionally, other attorneys and judges can also submit complaints. No matter who files the complaint, however, a committee will evaluate it to see if there is sufficient evidence for further investigation and then contact them if there are any ethics violations committed by them and file formal complaints accordingly.

After conducting an in-depth investigation, the hearing officer or committee will review all available evidence and make a recommendation regarding discipline. If they determine that an attorney committed serious violations, disciplinary committee members could impose sanctions ranging from private admonishment to disbarment based on their findings; attorneys will be informed about this result by mail.

The legal profession’s disciplinary system exists to safeguard public interests and maintain high levels of integrity within legal services. To accomplish this, four components make up this system: Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC), hearing officers/committees/disciplinary boards/Supreme Court. While each of these members perform distinct and unique duties, all come together to ensure fair and impartial reviews.

As attorneys may face disciplinary actions for many reasons, including mishandling client funds or accepting excessive fees, any misdeed that leads to such action could incur significant fines and potentially suspension or disbarment proceedings. Therefore, it’s vital that you hire an attorney with an established record of professionalism and adherence to ethics code regulations.

State Bar Associations

In most states, bar associations are government-sanctioned bodies that regulate and license attorneys. Furthermore, in many of them they serve as voluntary organizations that help improve and promote legal profession. Furthermore, the bar oversees ethical standards and investigates complaints against lawyers. If you’re searching for legal assistance it is essential that they are licensed within your state – most states maintain directories of lawyers that will list their disciplinary history.

Illinois State Bar Association is one of the nation’s largest voluntary bar associations with nearly 30,000 members, shaping legislation, educating the public and offering professional services to lawyers. Along with providing a directory, services include lawyer referral services and conducting continuing legal education seminars for its members. Furthermore, pro bono programs and civil legal aid programs in Illinois are operated as well.

Illinois State Bar Association plays a key role in prosecuting lawyers who engage in the unauthorised practice of law. With a full-time staff dedicated to investigating and prosecuting such cases, and special units to assist the public with legal questions. Furthermore, this Bar publishes numerous books such as Illinois Bar Journal (a general magazine distributed to all members), committee newsletters and more.

New York Attorney Grievance Committees of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court are charged with disciplining attorneys within their ten downstate counties of New York, providing an administrative system designed to maintain and safeguard legal integrity while safeguarding public protection. Unfortunately, however, the process can often be lengthy.

As well as licensing lawyers, the state bar regulates and licenses them, it also oversees other issues including ethics and professional standards for its members, diversity in legal profession and ensuring access to justice for all citizens. Furthermore, it sponsors various judicial nominations and elections and provides ongoing legal education research programs; additionally it sponsors events for both its members and non-members to foster community engagement.


The judicial branch of state governments supervises judges through an ethical standards system. If you believe a judge has violated any ethical standards, filing a complaint with your state’s disciplinary agency may be appropriate; however, these agencies do not address legal matters but only determine whether an ethical standard has been violated. In South Carolina’s Supreme Court’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel handles screening, investigating, and prosecuting complaints against both judges and lawyers to uphold its high standard of conduct set out by its highest court.

Outside of the Judge, other courtroom staff you’ll encounter include Chief Judge who oversees court administration and decides cases; Clerk of Court assists Judge by managing caseflow through court; scheduling hearings/trials as needed and maintaining records; Interpreter is an individual hired at state expense to translate court hearings from one language to the next; this service is offered in criminal and child support cases as well as any case that threatens an individual’s life, liberty, property or children from being taken from them; they provide translation services in criminal and child support cases where life or liberty/property/children could be taken from them; clerk of Court assists Judge in managing cases flow through court while scheduling hearings/trials as needed and maintaining records; when needed they assist the Chief Judge is responsible for administering cases and also making ruling decisions; while finally an Interpreter assists Judge during hearings to translate hearings between language to make up one voice! All these individuals provide services free to ensure fair play is provided throughout each hearing in which life/liberties or property could potentially taken away from them by means of state expense when necessary e.g.. legal aid could potentially taken away as well.