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HOW TO SUBMIT A REQUEST FOR INVESTIGATION


Filing a Request for an Investigation of an Attorney  |  Effect on Your Legal Rights  |  Other Information Provided by the ARDC  |  Request for Investigation Form

EFFECT ON YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS

Does My Attorney Still Represent Me?
Can the ARDC Take Over My Case?
Can the ARDC File Criminal Charges Against an Attorney?
Can the ARDC File a Malpractice Complaint Against an Attorney?

Does My Attorney Still Represent Me?

Filing a request for an investigation does not, in and of itself, end your relationship with your lawyer. If the matter for which you hired the lawyer still needs attention and you have not fired the lawyer or your lawyer has not withdrawn from representing you, you may continue to consult with your lawyer, or any other lawyer of your choosing, to ensure that your legal rights are protected. If you wish to end that relationship, it is important that you communicate your decision to the lawyer, preferably in writing, and that you secure other representation if your legal matter still needs attention or resolution.

Can the ARDC Take Over My Case?

No. We do not represent you. You remain responsible for taking action to protect your legal rights. Any cause of action you may have against the attorney cannot be prosecuted by us. Because lawyer disciplinary proceedings are restricted to the question of a lawyer's ethical fitness to practice law, the ARDC cannot provide you with legal advice or legal services, either in place of the services you expected from the lawyer, or in connection with any possible claim for damages you may have against the lawyer.

Can the ARDC File Criminal Charges Against an Attorney?

No. The ARDC has the authority only to affect a lawyer's ability to practice law in Illinois. If a lawyer has committed a crime, a report can be made to the police, State’s Attorney or other agency with the authority to enforce criminal statutes.

Can the ARDC File a Malpractice Complaint Against an Attorney?

No. The ARDC cannot a file a civil malpractice complaint against an attorney even if the attorney has been disciplined. That right is held by the person, typically the client, to whom the attorney owes a duty. If you have lost money as the result of the lawyer's misconduct and the lawyer is disciplined by the Supreme Court of Illinois for that misconduct, the disciplinary sanction imposed by the Supreme Court may include the repayment of the misappropriated funds. You also may be able to receive compensation from the Client Protection Program, which is administered by the ARDC. For more information about that program, please access Client Protection Program or call the ARDC at either our Chicago or Springfield offices.

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