The State Bar of California website is the best starting point if you are trying to file a grievance. But do not go it alone, remember to buy Dispute It – A Layman’s Guide on How to Get an Attorney Refund & File a Bar Grievance, to greatly increase your chances for a California State Bar complaint.
Rules of Professional Conduct
The California Rules of Professional Conduct will help you to understand where possible attorney grievance violations have occurred with your lawyer.
Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement:
The California Rules of Disciplinary Procedure are the guidelines governing the discipline of attorneys and provides the most comprehensive explanation around the rules, process, and sanctions.
Disciplinary Process Flowchart:
The California Disciplinary Process Flowchart is perhaps the most helpful document for the layman since it provides a visual representation of each step and the decision gates around filing a California State Bar complaint against an attorney.
Local Bar Offices & Websites
I would recommend you contacting your local bar office to learn more about the fee dispute program offerings for California.
Lawyer Disciplinary Agency:
After a cursory overview of the rules, contact the Lawyer Disciplinary Agency office and speak to a representative about your possible violations and the grievance process. This agency is the division that handles a California State Bar complaint against an attorney.
The 2016 California Bar Association Annual Discipline Report is another source of helpful information. It provides eye-opening statistics and a must-read for anyone wishing to understand their odds when filing a California State Bar complaint against an attorney.