Frequently Asked Questions

Filing Classification Appeals What is a "classification appeal"? All grievances filed with the State Bar are screened and "classified" as either an inquiry (dismissed) or a complaint (set for an evidentiary hearing).

How do I file an appeal? Email, mail or fax the appeal form you received from the State Bar Chief Disciplinary Counsel's office to BODA: P.O. Box 12426, Austin, Texas 78711 (512) 427-4130 (Fax) or classificationappeals@txboda.org

Can I still appeal if I've lost the appeal form? If you have lost the appeal form you may appeal by mailing or faxing to BODA a letter stating your name, the other party's name, and the State Bar file number. How long do I have to file the appeal? Your appeal form or letter must be postmarked no later than 30 days from the date you received the decision from the State Bar Chief Disciplinary Counsel's office. Emailed or faxed appeals are considered filed the same business day if received by 5:00 p.m.

How will I know if you received my appeal? BODA does not send confirmations for appeal notices. You may confirm receipt of your appeal by calling our office at (512) 427-1578.

Deciding Appeals

Will BODA consider any additional information for the appeal? BODA can only consider the complaint as originally filed and screened by the State Bar Chief Disciplinary Counsel's office. We cannot consider any information that the CDC did not have when they screened the complaint. BODA cannot do an independent investigation of the allegations in the complaint.

Who actually reviews the complaint and decides the appeal? All classification appeals are randomly assigned to panels composed of three BODA members. This panel along with either the Executive Director or the Deputy Director will read the complaint.

How long will it take to get a decision on the appeal? About three to four weeks from the date BODA received the appeal notice. BODA requests a copy of the complaint from the State Bar the same day that the appeal is received. When BODA receives the complaint, it is scheduled for a panel conference the following week. Decision notices are mailed to all parties the day after the panel conference.

Can I appeal the BODA decision on my complaint? No. The BODA decision on classification appeals or transfer requests is final.

Evidentiary Appeals

What is an evidentiary appeal? It is an appeal of the decision of a State Bar of Texas grievance committee evidentiary panel. After a grievance is classified as a complaint, the attorney may elect to have the matter heard in district court or by a grievance committee. If the attorney elects to remain in the SBOT grievance system, an evidentiary hearing is held and the matter is either dismissed or the attorney is given a sanction. The attorney respondent or the CDC can appeal this judgment to BODA.

Where do I find the rules for appealing an evidentiary judgment to BODA? These procedures are in TRDP 2.21 and Section 4 of the BODA Internal Procedural Rules. The Internal Rules are available on this Web site and in the West Texas Rules of Court - State publication.

Is there a certain appeal form or filing fee? No. The appeal notice may be in pleading or letter form and should contain at a minimum the Respondent's bar card number, address, and fax number, the State Bar file number(s) from the evidentiary hearing, the date of the judgment being appealed, and the date that the respondent received the judgment. Appeals must be postmarked within 30 days of the date that the respondent receives the judgment of the committee. Faxed or emailed appeals are considered filed the same business day received if received before 5:00 p.m.

How do I file the record from the evidentiary hearing with BODA? The State Bar Chief Disciplinary Counsel's office will file the clerk's record from the evidentiary hearing with BODA after receiving our acknowledgment that an appeal has been filed. It is the appealing party's responsibility to order, pay for, and file the reporter's record from the hearing. The appellant should contact the CDC to obtain the court reporter's name. The record must be filed with BODA within 30 days of the date that the appeal notice is filed.

How do I request an extension of time to file something? Email, mail or fax a motion to extend the time for filing explaining the grounds for the request to BODA with a certificate of service to the State Bar Chief Disciplinary Counsel.

Can I appeal a sanction only? Yes. TRDP 2.21 allow an appeal from any "findings, conclusions, or Sanctions imposed by an evidentiary panel."