General Counsel receives and evaluates written grievances against attorneys. The grievant may be asked for additional information or copies of documents.
In most cases, the respondent attorney will be given an opportunity to voluntarily respond to the grievance at this early stage.
Once all the material has been reviewed, General Counsel will evaluate the matter and determine whether it should be docketed and processed further.
Matters that are not docketed are kept for two years from the date of initial receipt and then destroyed, as required by a New Hampshire Supreme Court Rule.
After the grievance has been docketed, it is called a complaint. If the respondent has not already responded, he or she is required to file a written response to the complaint. Failure to respond to a docketed matter can result in Rule 8.1(b) charges for failure to respond to a disciplinary authority.
Docketed cases are investigated further. Thereafter, General Counsel may either dismiss the matter or bring it before the Complaint Screening Committee.
A request for reconsideration of a decision by General Counsel, either not to docket a matter or to dismiss a docketed matter, must be made in writing within 10 days of the date of the written notice of the decision. Requests for reconsideration are submitted to General Counsel but it is the Complaint Screening Committee that considers and acts on the requests.