Immediately after election, the Bar Council appointed 5 senior Bar members to form the Ethics Committee. This committee is responsible for receiving complaints made in respect of the conduct of counsel and attorneys, registered associates and legal executives. It may resolve a complaint, issue a reprimand to the attorney, or refer the matter to the Disciplinary Tribunal. The Ethics Committee determines whether there exists a reasonable ground for the making of complaint. It refers a complaint to the Disciplinary Tribunal, where the Committee considers that the facts of the complaint would warrant a penalty or order other than a reprimand. It reprimands counsel and attorneys, registered associates and legal executives where the Committee considers that, though the allegations of a complaint have been made out, a reprimand is the adequate penalty. Generally speaking the majority of complaints are based on lack of communication, from attorney to client, but also in the other direction from client to attorney. The Ethics Committee has had a high success rate in resolving this type of complaint.
Before lodging a complaint, be sure to have exhausted every means of contacting the attorney and of obtaining satisfaction yourself. A complaint may be lodged by writing a letter to the Ethics Committee setting out the circumstances and attaching any supporting documents, submitting it to the Bahamas Bar Office, and copying it to the attorney to save time as the Ethics Committee would have to do so in conducting its investigation. You will then receive an acknowledgment and reply within 6 to 8 weeks, if only to update you on the status. The Ethics Committee meets once a month.
For more information on The Bahamas Bar Association Code of Professional Conduct - Click Here.
To find out how you should lodge a complaint against an attorney - Click here.
If you have any further questions or would like more information on the Ethics Committee - Click Here to Contact Us.