Our legal system is based on the principle that an independent, fair and competent judiciary will interpret and apply the laws that govern us. The role of the judiciary is central to American concepts of justice and the rule of law. The Code of Judicial Conduct (Supreme Court Rule 2) is intended to establish standards for ethical conduct of judges.
Supreme Court Rule 12 establishes the Commission on Retirement, Removal and Discipline of Judges to receive, investigate, and hold hearings regarding citizens' complaints against judges.
To make a complaint against a Missouri judge, write to:
James M. Smith
Commission on Retirement, Removal and Discipline of Judges
2190 S. Mason Rd., Ste. 201
St. Louis, MO 63131-1637
For information, call 314/966-1007.
Complaints must be in writing.
Clients have a right to expect a high level of professional service from their lawyer. In Missouri, lawyers follow a code of ethics, known as the Rules of Professional Conduct, which guides their practices and their relationships with clients. When lawyers fail to meet the ethical standard, they are subject to disciplinary action.
Contrary to common belief, it is the Supreme Court of Missouri, not The Missouri Bar or any other bar association, which is in charge of the state's lawyer discipline system. In order to protect the public, the Supreme Court oversees a mechanism for investigation and, where necessary, discipline of lawyers who fail to meet their professional obligations. Examples of misconduct which may draw disciplinary action are: neglect (failure to communicate, failure to perform agreed upon duties, delay, etc.); trust violations (embezzlement of funds entrusted to a lawyer by or for a client); conflict of interest; and improper advertising.
For more details about the process and forms necessary for filing a complaint, visit the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel website.