Filing a Complaint

To file a complaint about an attorney admitted in Hawai`i, submit a letter describing the lawyer's actions which are believed to be improper.

The letter should be written legibly or typed and should include:

  • The lawyer's full name,
  • Detailed statement of facts believed to show misconduct on the lawyer's part,
  • The date of each event described in the complaint, and
  • Copies of documents (letters, agreements, court records, etc.) that support the complaint.

Facsimile and e-mailed complaints are not accepted. Signed complaint letters must be mailed or delivered to:

Office of Disciplinary Counsel
1132 Bishop Street, Suite 300
Honolulu, HI 96813
Tel. (808) 521-4591

Review and Investigation

Upon receiving the complaint, ODC will determine if an investigation needs to be taken. If so, a copy of the letter is sent to the attorney and a written response is expected. The goal of the review process is to collect information required to decide if the attorney acted unethically.

Evaluation and Disposition

After careful evaluation, one of the following dispositions may occur:

  • Dismissal of the complaint (usually due to insufficient evidence; with or without a warning)
  • Imposition of a private Informal Admonition
  • Commencement of Formal Disciplinary Proceedings

Dispositions determined by members of the Disciplinary Board are final and binding upon ODC, the attorney, and the complaining party.

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