Bar & Education
Welcome to the Office of the Ombudsman for the Attorney Discipline System! Below is a brief description of what the Ombudsman is tasked with doing and some other information that you may find useful.
What is an Ombudsman?
In general, an ombudsman is a neutral representative of a governmental entity or company who responds to questions and concerns brought by the public and may report trends, systemic problems, and organizational issues to high-level executives and directors in a confidential manner. The Ombudsman for the Attorney Discipline System was created by the Texas Legislature to be:
A Source of Information for the Public – The Ombudsman is tasked with answering questions from the public on the grievance system’s operations, accessing the system, the filing of grievances, and the availability of other State Bar programs.
A Monitor of the Attorney Discipline System – The Ombudsman is responsible for receiving complaints about the system and investigating complaints to make sure the proper procedures were followed. Also, the Ombudsman makes recommendations to the Supreme Court of Texas as well as the State Bar Board of Directors for improvements to the attorney discipline system.
Independent – The Ombudsman reports directly to the Supreme Court of Texas and is independent of the State Bar Board of Directors, the Commission for Lawyer Discipline, the Chief Disciplinary Counsel, and the Board of Disciplinary Appeals. This independence allows the Ombudsman to impartially evaluate any complaints from the public about the grievance system and provide reports to the Supreme Court of Texas as an outside party.
Confidential – The Ombudsman cannot disclose any information, proceedings, hearing transcripts, or statements he or she receives, including documents from various State Bar of Texas departments, to any person other than the Chief Disciplinary Counsel.
What can the Ombudsman help you with?
Contact the Ombudsman if you:
- have questions about the system’s operation, accessing the system, or the availability of other State Bar disciplinary programs;
- want information about how to file a lawyer grievance;
- have a closed, previously-filed grievance that you would like reviewed to ensure the proper grievance procedures were followed;
- have a suggestion for improving the system that you would like to bring to the attention of the Supreme Court of Texas and/or the State Bar Board of Directors; or
- would like to express concerns or constructive proposals about the attorney discipline system.
What is the Ombudsman not allowed to do?
The Ombudsman cannot:
- draft a complaint for you;
- act as an advocate for you in any matter;
- represent you as your attorney in any matter;
- reverse or modify a finding or judgment in any disciplinary proceeding; or
- intervene in any pending disciplinary matter.
How do I get in touch with the Ombudsman?
If you think the Ombudsman can help you based on the information above, you can reach him or her via phone, mail, email, or fax at:
Ombudsman, Attorney Discipline System
State Bar of Texas
P.O. Box 12487
Austin, Texas 78711-2487
Phone: 512-372-1125 or 1-844-527-0382 (toll free)
When calling about a specific grievance, please provide information that will help the Ombudsman identify it, such as the reference or case number.
If you need information about something that is outside the scope of the Ombudsman’s office, chances are the State Bar of Texas or other disciplinary entities have resources that can help. Below are some useful links to additional resources:
|If you have a matter that is pending before the Board of Disciplinary Appeals (BODA) and want to know its status...||Contact information
Board of Disciplinary Appeals Website
|If you have a matter pending with the Chief Disciplinary Counsel (CDC) and want to know its status...||Contact Information
Chief Disciplinary Council Website
Information on the Grievance Process
|If you have a minor concern, disagreement, or misunderstanding with your attorney, contact the Client-Attorney Assistance Program (CAAP)...||
|If you are having a fee dispute with your attorney...||Attorney Fee Disagreeement Website|
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Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS)
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