The investigation process is confidential, it is conducted impartially, and both sides are heard during it.
If the Commissioner’s office decides to investigate a lawyer’s conduct, the following steps can be taken:
- Further information may be sought from the client (or the person who made the complaint) to assist the investigation.
- The Commissioner is usually required to notify the lawyer that they are being investigated and provide details of the original complaint. The lawyer has the right to respond within 21 days (unless the Commissioner specifies a different response period).
- Responses received within the specified timeframe must be considered by the Commissioner. Responses received after the due date may be considered at the Commissioner’s discretion.
Usually a lawyer’s response will be provided to the client for comment.
This investigation process occurs as part of the the larger misconduct complaint process managed by the Commissioner's office.