Member Groups

The Public Servant
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Government Lawyers

November 2003, vol. 5, no. 2

Ethics corner

Although part of the Web site is still “under construction,” public information about Illinois attorneys, an explanation of the operation of the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (“ARDC”) rules, and links to use for researching ethics issues are currently available at: <>. The newest addition to this site, the “Lawyer Search” function, will enable you to verify registration information (business address, phone number, and year of admission) and current status of every Illinois lawyer. If the lawyer is, or has been, the subject of public discipline, further information is displayed about each disciplinary case following the registration details.

Go to “Lawyer Registration” for details about the registration process and forms to download to change your registered address or request a written verification of registration status (often needed when applying for public sector jobs or admission to the bars of other states). Another section provides information and a form to download for any member of the public wishing to submit a request for investigation of a lawyer. Click on “Rules and Decisions,” and you will find Supreme Court rules governing the disciplinary process, the Rules of Professional Conduct, the Code of Judicial Conduct, and the rules of the ARDC, the Board of Admissions, and the Committee on Character and Fitness (the “Decisions” part is still under construction but will, in time, enable you to research past disciplinary decisions of the Illinois Supreme Court and the Hearing and Review Boards of the ARDC).

Next on the site is a section describing the ARDC’s Ethics Inquiry Program, a service provided to attorneys who call in to request research guidance when confronting ethical problems; here, the site includes answers to some Frequently Asked Questions. Publications of the ARDC, including articles and the entire Client Trust Account Handbook, are online. Click on “New Filings, Hearing Schedules and Clerk’s Office” to review recent formal complaints filed against Illinois attorneys and to view the schedule for upcoming hearings and arguments. The Client Protection Program is described, and a claim form can be downloaded. “Resources and Links” are provided to state, local and national organizations that address ethics issues. Finally, a section on ARDC organizational information describes the work of the agency, provides contact information, and includes the last three annual reports to the Illinois Supreme Court.