The Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) is part of a comprehensive lawyer regulation system established by the Montana Supreme Court. The system consists of ODC and the Commission on Practice (COP). COP and ODC are under the direct supervision of the Montana Supreme Court. The Court appoints the Disciplinary Counsel. There are nine lawyers and five non-lawyers on the COP. The Court also appoints both the lawyer and the non-lawyer members of COP.
ODC performs central intake functions and processes, investigates and prosecutes grievances against lawyers that are within the disciplinary jurisdiction of the Court. COP hears and decides the Complaints and, in appropriate cases, makes recommendations to the Court for discipline.
ODC has the authority to investigate:
To learn more about ODC and its responsibilities, browse through our web pages.
The Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement are the Rules which govern the attorney disciplinary process as a whole. These Rules are set forth by the Montana Supreme Court.
The ODC refers to complaints as grievances. Grievances filed with our office allege violations of the Montana Rules of Professional Conduct. Filing a grievance with our office does not stop pending litigation and is not a substitute for judicial remedies. ODC cannot:
1. Give legal or ethical advice OR refer you to legal counsel;
2. Initiate malpractice claims or suits;
3. Demand immediate recourse of an attorney (i.e. return fees, answer your phone calls);
4. Process grievances against law enforcement and probation officers;
5. Accept grievances against judges; or
6. Investigate claims of discrimination (race, age, sex).
Additional information for these circumstances may be found on our resources page.
Office of Disciplinary Counsel
33 South Last Chance Gulch St.
P.O. Box 1099
Helena, MT 59624-1099