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Professional Responsibility & Legal Ethics

A short guide to researching the law of professional responsibility and legal ethics with a focus on resources available to the Catholic University School of Law community.


Locating lawyer disciplinary proceedings constitutes a real challenge to the legal researcher.  The challenge is largely a byproduct of the huge variation between jurisdictions in the publication of the results of the proceedings.  In some states the results are digested in the state bar journal, while other states have no formal publication method for these decisions.  The results of the proceedings are, however, often reflected in the information contained in the individual state’s lawyer disciplinary database.  More and more states are making this information available to the public on the disciplinary board’s website (usually this is under the authority of the state bar or the state supreme court).  The ABA Center for Professional Responsibility provides a useful list of contact information for the various state disciplinary agencies on their website.  The ABA has compiled disciplinary information from the various states into one national database; the National Lawyer Regulatory Data Bank, which is available for a fee on the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility website.

Judge Kathryn J. DuFour Law Library / 3600 John McCormack Road N.E., Washington, DC 20064 / 202-319-5155