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The Stark County Bar Association was founded in 1900 and has proudly served the Stark County community for more than 100 years.

Our offices are conveniently located in downtown Canton at the corner of West Tuscarawas Street and Cleveland Avenue in the Courtyard Centre Building. The Stark County Bar Association not only provides services to approximately 735 members of the legal community, but to the community at large.

The purpose of the Stark County Bar Association is to work for the general good of the community, to improve the administration of the law in the interests of the public, to promote good relations among the members of the bar, and to further the professional interests of our members.

The Stark County Bar Association provides the public with access to basic legal resources and services.

  • Ohio LawFacts Pamphlets which can provide information and answers to many of your basic legal questions. (The pamphlets are available at the Bar Office.)

Fee Disputes
Disputed Fee Process

The Constitution of the Stark County Bar Association provides that the Disputed Fee Committee shall investigate complaints coming to it directly or indirectly that are alleging excessive fees by an attorney and attempt to resolve such disputes.

Upon receipt of a dispute/complaint, your letter will be reviewed by the Chairman of the Disputed Fee Committee and a status letter will be sent to you within 1 – 2 weeks.

The Chairman will then assign your complaint to a member of our committee for review.

If necessary, the committee member may obtain additional information from the complainant and the attorney to satisfy himself/herself that all the relevant facts have been received. Upon completion of the investigation, the committee member investigating the complaint will report to the Chairman and to the Disputed Fee Committee at a meeting of said Committee. If the Committee determines that the complaint should be dismissed without further action, the complainant and the attorney shall be notified by a written letter.

If following a review of the preliminary investigation the Committee concludes that a complaint/dispute warrants further consideration, it shall notify the complainant and the attorney involved, but will delay any further action until the expiration of 30 days, during which the parties are urged to exert their best efforts to reach an amicable resolution of their dispute.

If the parties do not themselves settle the dispute within 30 days, the Chairman shall request the complainant to execute a binding arbitration consent, and advise the complainant of his rights to representation by a Committee member. If the complainant fails or refuses to execute such consent, the matter shall be closed.

Upon receipt of the complainant’s consent to binding arbitration, the Chairman shall request the attorney involved for his consent to binding arbitration. At the time this request is submitted to the attorney, the Chairman shall advise him that in the event the attorney fails or refuses to consent to binding arbitration, an arbitration panel to which this matter will be assigned will proceed to conduct an ex parte hearing. If it finds that the complainant’s allegations are justified, the Chairman will direct a member of the assigned panel to represent the complainant to either institute suit for refund of any portion of the fee paid determined to be excessive, or to resist any proceeding by the attorney seeking to collect any portion of the fee not yet paid determined to be excessive.

Filing a Complaint

If you feel you have a fee dispute concerning a fee paid, charged or claimed for legal services rendered by an attorney practicing law in Stark County, you may file a complaint with the Stark County Bar Association. Your complaint must be made in writing to the attention of the Disputed Fee Committee. Include your name, address and daytime phone number along with the name, address and phone number of the attorney. Also, include in your letter, a brief description of the nature of the dispute. If you have paperwork in support of your claim, please send copies of that paperwork with your written complaint. Original documents should never be sent, as the Stark County Bar Association cannot guarantee that the paperwork can be returned to you. Once the Stark County Bar Association reviews your complaint you should receive a status letter within 1 – 2 weeks.

Complaints should be mailed to:

Stark County Bar Association
Attn: Disputed Fee Committee
116 Cleveland Ave., N.W.
400 Courtyard Centre Building
Canton, Ohio 44702

If at any time you have questions regarding the process, please contact the Bar Office at 330-453-0685 or SCB@StarkCtyBar.com.


Grievance Complaints

The Grievance Process

The Stark County Bar Association’s Certified Grievance Committee has been given the authority by the Supreme Court of Ohio to investigate complaints against attorneys and judges who practice law in Stark County. The role of the Certified Grievance Committee is to investigate and prosecute an attorney or judge for ethical misconduct. All complaints against attorneys are reviewed for violations of Disciplinary Rules, which are included in the attorney’s Code of Professional Responsibility. Complaints against judges are reviewed for violations of the Judicial Canons.

When the Stark County Bar Association’s Certified Grievance Committee has reviewed your Complaint Form, and there is credible evidence that misconduct has taken place, the complaint will be investigated by a member of the Certified Grievance Committee. Once the complaint has been investigated, the investigator will present his or her report to the entire Committee. The Committee, after hearing the report, will vote on the recommendation of the investigator. Unless a majority of the quorum of the Certified Grievance Committee determines the complaint is warranted, no complaint shall be filed with the Supreme Court of Ohio. The investigation of a grievance by the Bar Association will normally take from 60 to 90 days.

The only function of the Certified Grievance Committee is to investigate allegations of attorney or judicial misconduct and to either seek sanctions against the attorney or judge in the Ohio Supreme Court or exonerate the attorney or judge when no misconduct is found. Filing a complaint against a lawyer will not result in a recovery of money damages you have lost. If you suffer money damages or out-of-pocket losses as a result of your lawyer’s mistakes or negligence, you may have a legal malpractice claim.

It is important to understand that the Bar Association and our Certified Grievance Committee cannot offer legal advice or represent you. If you have a legal problem, you should consult an attorney and not rely on the Bar Association for legal representation. It is also important to understand that the Certified Grievance Committee cannot interfere with ongoing court proceedings and does not have the authority to overrule any decisions that have been made by a Court. If there is a dispute between you and your attorney over fees, ordinarily that is not a basis for an ethics complaint. The Stark County Bar Association does have a Disputed Fee Committee that can help resolve fee disputes. (Fee disputes are also listed on the Community Service Page).

 The Certified Grievance Committee operates under rules adopted by the Supreme Court of Ohio and consists of attorney and non-attorney members. These rules are designed to protect the public from attorney misconduct and to uphold the integrity of the Bar. Members of the Certified Grievance Committee thoroughly investigate complaints of attorney misconduct in a manner that is fair to both the accused attorney and to the interests of the public.

 Filing a Grievance

If you believe you have a complaint regarding an attorney who practices law in Stark County, you may file a grievance with the Stark County Bar Association. In order to file a grievance, the complaint must be submitted in writing to the Stark County Bar Association. Please print out the following Complaint Form and complete. If you have documents that support the complaint, please send copies only of that paperwork. Original documents should never be sent as we cannot guarantee that they can be returned to you. Once the Stark County Bar Association Grievance Committee receives and reviews your complaint, you should receive a status letter within 1 – 2 weeks.

Complaints should be mailed to:

Stark County Bar Association
Attn: Grievance Committee
116 Cleveland Ave., N.W.
400 Courtyard Centre Building
Canton, Ohio 44702

If at any time you have questions regarding the process please contact the Stark County Bar Association at 330-453-0685 or SCB@StarkCtyBar.com.

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