About the OCDC

What is the OCDC and What Does it do?

The Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel is an agency of the Missouri Supreme Court and is responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct by lawyers, prosecuting the cases where a lawyer’s misconduct poses a threat to the public or to the integrity of the legal profession, and maintaining current records of disciplinary information for lawyers licensed to practice law in Missouri.

When lawyers enter the practice of law in Missouri, they obligate themselves to uphold the law and to abide by the Rules of Professional Conduct governing members of The Missouri Bar. The purpose of attorney discipline is to protect the public and the administration of justice from attorneys who have not discharged their professional duties to clients, the public, the legal system, and the legal profession. The professional conduct of attorneys is governed by Supreme Court Rule 4 and the discipline process is governed by Supreme Court Rule 5.

It is important to remember that lawyers are human. Sometimes they make mistakes. Some are more competent at certain tasks than others. Some are better communicators than others. A lawyer may lose the trust and confidence of a client for various reasons. Client dissatisfaction is not, by itself, grounds for discipline. A lawyer may be disciplined only for violating the standards of conduct set forth in the rules governing Missouri lawyers. Examples of misconduct that may result in disciplinary action include failing to respond to a client’s reasonable requests for information or to keep the client reasonably informed about the status of a matter, failing to represent a client in a diligent manner, misappropriating funds entrusted to a lawyer by or for a client, and conflicts of interest.