About the Disciplinary System

The Supreme Court of Ohio has the constitutional responsibility to oversee the practice of law in the state and has one of the most comprehensive disciplinary systems of any state in the nation. The Court has established three offices—Office of Disciplinary Counsel, Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline, and the Clients’ Security Fund--to exercise independent authority to assist the Court in meeting its responsibility as set forth in Section 5(b), Article IV, of the Ohio Constitution.

Office of Disciplinary Counsel

The Office of Disciplinary Counsel investigates allegations and initiates complaints concerning ethical misconduct and/or mental illness of judges or attorneys under the Code of Professional Responsibility, the Rules of Professional Conduct, the Code of Judicial Conduct, and rules governing the Unauthorized Practice of Law, pursuant to the Ohio Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar and the Government of the Judiciary.

Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline

The Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline was established by Rule V of the Rules for the Government of the Bar and is charged with administering, interpreting, and enforcing Rule V to provide lawyer and judge discipline for ethical misconduct. The Board also serves under state law as the ethics commission for the filing of more than 1,800 financial disclosure statements required of Ohio judges, judicial candidates, and magistrates.

Clients’ Security Fund

The Clients' Security Fund was created in 1985 by Rule VIII of the Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar. Its purpose is to reimburse losses to legal clients as a result of the dishonest conduct of a licensed Ohio attorney.