Complaints Against Israeli Lawyers
Has your lawyer been grossly negligent, rude or otherwise badly behaved? If you think that your Israeli lawyer has behaved improperly, you can file a complaint against him or her at the lawyer’s local Israel Bar Association. The letter of complaint is a document that includes the chronology of the case. Attach relevant documents and be clear as to what your are complaining about. Do not forget to give both the lawyer’s full name and your full name and address.
The Israeli Bar association, its Ethics Committee and Disciplinary Court have jurisdiction over most matters except the following:
(1) Fees – ie over-charging or requests for refunds;
(2) Professional Negligence – ie shoddy work or even laziness.
If you have a dispute with your lawyer over his or her fees, it is best to sue in a regular court. For professional negligence, you could also sue in a regular court for damages. For this you will need a lawyer who is familiar with both the case in hand (eg land, traffic) and professional negligence.
You can look at here for the Israel Bar Law and the Bar’s “Rules of Ethics” (in English). There are also other rules of ethics found in other Israeli laws, eg in the various rules of procedure.
This is obviously a sensitive subject. I am a member of the Israel Bar, South District, Ethics Committee and I see lots of irrelevant complaints, usually clients who want their money back or complaining after they lost their case. But I also see some very serious matters involving breaches of fiduciary duty, criminal conduct and the likes. These are dealt with very strictly. Note that some criticism has been laid against the Israeli Bar for allowing members to deal with complaints, this will change and a “public representative” will now sit on the ethics committees and disciplinary tribunals.
Law in Israel
שאול דיוויס עו”ד