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What is the Complaint Resolution Program?

The Missouri Bar sponsors the Complaint Resolution Program, a system designed to help clients and lawyers resolve disputes outside the formal disciplinary process. This no-cost program benefits both parties by providing a quicker, more informal setting for reaching a mutually agreeable outcome. 

Who it helps: 

  • Clients can gain a voice in the resolution process and potentially achieve a faster remedy compared to formal discipline. 
  • Lawyers can enjoy a swifter resolution and the chance to actively participate in addressing complaints. 

Quick program facts: 

  • The program is overseen by a five-member committee and a Missouri Bar staff member. 
  • It is no-cost for both parties and funded by The Missouri Bar and The Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Company. 
  • Dispute resolution is facilitated by a neutral volunteer lawyer trained specifically for this program who guides clients and lawyers towards an agreement. 
  • Representation is not required, but lawyers and clients can bring their own counsel at their expense. 

Filing a complaint: 

Program process: 

  1. Referral from OCDC. 
  1. Both parties agree to participate and voluntarily sign forms. 
  1. The lawyer formally responds to the complaint. 
  1. A meeting is scheduled at a convenient time for both parties. 
  1. A panel member facilitates discussion and agreement. 
  1. A panel member verifies agreement completion and reports back to OCDC. 

Important notes: 

  • Lawyer and complainant cooperation is crucial for successful resolution. 
  • The program cannot coerce agreement. 
  • Lawyers may be referred to assistance programs if needed. 
  • Panel members cannot provide legal advice. 
  • Lawyer non-participation or serious misconduct may result in referral back to OCDC for formal discipline. 

For more information, click here or contact The Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel