Before a consumer or another potential client chooses to hire an attorney in Florida, he or she may wonder, are Florida Bar complaints public record? The Florida Bar’s Department of Lawyer Regulation handles the discipline system for the state of Florida attorneys. Members of the public are then able to search those historical records for information about possible disciplinary actions.
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Finding Information on Florida Bar Disciplinary Actions
A member of the public looking for information on whether a particular attorney has been disciplined for unethical behavior has a few different potential options he or she can use.
Monthly Summary of Discipline
Each month, The Florida Bar publishes a report that lists attorneys who have received disciplinary action from the Florida Supreme Court during the previous month.
This summary contains a list of the attorney’s name, his or her address of business, and the action that was taken.
The Florida Bar maintains a searchable database of every attorney licensed to practice in Florida. As part of that database, any disciplinary actions taken against each attorney are included as part of the individual lawyer’s database record.
Within the record, you can find individual public records about a disciplinary action taken against a particular attorney. When you click on these records, you can see administrative or court documents and other information regarding the disciplinary action.
You also can find the attorney’s business address and other information through this database record.
If you’re asking are Florida Bar complaints public record because you have a specific question regarding the status of a particular attorney, you can get information on attorney discipline on The Florida Bar website. Understand that the Bar will only give you information that is related to that attorney’s public record.
If you are seeking information that is more than 10 years old about a particular attorney, you will need to make an e-mail request.
Filing a Complaint
If you’re wondering are Florida Bar complaints public record, you should know that consumers or other clients who feel as though a lawyer has treated them in an unethical manner have the ability to file a complaint with the Florida Bar through its Attorney Consumer Assistance Program (ACAP). Florida’s Discipline Roadmap Infographic is a great resource to help you get started filing a complaint. Note that Judges or other attorneys also can file complaints.
Every complaint that goes to the ACAP does not result in disciplinary action. The ACAP first will attempt to resolve the dispute through general negotiations.
The ACAP may find after its initial investigation that no action is required. This causes the case to be closed.
Should the ACAP move forward with a further investigation of a case, it will go through multiple levels. At each level, the case either will be passed on to the next level for further investigation or it will be closed.
Ultimately, the Florida Supreme Court will have the final say on whether a particular case should result in disciplinary action against the attorney.
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At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, our team is ready to protect the interests of our clients. If you are looking for legal representation in an action against an attorney, we are ready to serve you.
Call us at 1-800-747-3733 for a free consultation.