Grievances: Lawyers Must Act Ethically
The Alaska Bar Association has several ways to ensure that lawyers in Alaska conduct their legal practices with the highest ethical standards. All lawyers who are licensed to practice in Alaska are governed by ethical rules, known as the Rules of Professional Conduct, adopted by the Alaska Supreme Court.
The Bar Association administers these rules through an established 12 member Disciplinary Board of three citizens and nine lawyers. The Disciplinary Board appoints a lawyer (the Bar Counsel) and staff who are assigned to independently investigate and prosecute allegations of lawyer misconduct.
If you believe that a lawyer has acted unethically or question the conduct of a lawyer, you may make a written complaint to the Alaska Bar Association for investigation.
Examples of Misconduct
The Rules of Professional Conduct cover a wide range of lawyer conduct and misconduct that may be cause for discipline. Some examples of misconduct are:
- Neglect of your legal matter; failure to communicate with you;
- Dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation in a case;
- Revealing your confidential information (except for special circumstances under law);
- Withdrawing money without your approval from a trust account set up for your case;
- Charging excessive or unreasonable fees; however, these complaints should be filed with the Fee Arbitration Committee first;
- Failing to follow court rules and procedures.