Reporting a Fellow Attorney

When an attorney has actual knowledge that another attorney has violated a Rule of Professional Conduct that raises a serious question of that lawyer's fitness to practice law, that attorney has an obligation under the Rule 8.3 to report his fellow attorney's violation.  For an analysis on an attorney's duty to report see Attorney U v. Miss. Bar, 678 So. 2d 963 (1996).

Judges have this same obligation under the Canon 3D(2) of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

The duty to report is fulfilled by submitting a letter with a narrative of the surrounding facts and possible violation(s) along with any documentary support.  The letter should reference Rule 8.3 or Cannon 3D(2).   Only Mississippi attorneys and judges may report a fellow attorney by letter.  Members of the public and attorneys in other jurisdictions must file a Bar complaint.  Mississippi attorneys and judges may at their option file a Bar complaint in lieu of reporting by letter.

Any action a judge may take in regards to an attorney in his or her courtroom is cumulative and in addition to the disciplinary jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Mississippi and The Mississippi Bar.  Actions by other courts are not binding or conclusive on the Court or the Bar.  However, any action taken by them must be reported to the Bar. See Rule 1(c) of the Rules of Discipline for the Mississippi State Bar (MRD). 

If you have any questions as to whether your duty to report has arisen, please contact the Office of General Counsel at 601-948-0568.