Supreme Court of the United States Virgin Islands
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Attorney Discipline

Virgin Islands lawyers are bound by strict ethical rules in all of their professional dealings pursuant to Rule 203 of the Rules of the Supreme Court.  Members of the public who believe that a lawyer has engaged in misconduct should contact the Office of Disciplinary Counsel and complete a Grievance Form. 

Attorney conduct is regulated within a three-part disciplinary system and is governed by Supreme Court Rule 207: 

   1) Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands   

The Supreme Court governs the admission of all attorneys to the Virgin Islands Bar and has exclusive jurisdiction over members of the legal profession.  The Court regulates the conduct of attorneys by overseeing the Virgin Islands Bar Association and approving the rules governing the discipline of attorneys and the practice of law in the Virgin Islands. In addition, where an attorney faces serious discipline, a Petition for Discipline will be filed in the Supreme Court by the Ethics and Grievance Committee, and the Court will determine the appropriate sanction.   

   2) The Virgin Islands Bar Association   

The Virgin Islands Bar Association and its standing Ethics and Grievance Committee work alongside the Supreme Court and the Office of Disciplinary Counsel to regulate the practice of law.  The Ethics and Grievance Committee considers whether a complaint involves attorney misconduct, conducts hearings, and may impose sanctions on attorneys who have violated their professional duties.  The Committee may reprimand or admonish an attorney and may order the payment of restitution.  Where the recommended sanction is probation, suspension or disbarment, the Committee submits its recommendation to the Supreme Court.   

   3) Office of Disciplinary Counsel   

Disciplinary Counsel is employed by the Supreme Court and is responsible for investigating and prosecuting complaints against attorneys.  With respect to attorney discipline, Disciplinary Counsel receives and screens grievances, conducts investigations, notifies parties about the status of pending cases, and makes recommendations to the Ethics and Grievance Committee of the Virgin Islands Bar Association regarding the disposition of pending cases.  

 

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