Frequently Asked Questions


What is a "classification appeal"? All grievances filed with the State Bar are screened and classified as either an “inquiry” (dismissed) or a “complaint” (upgraded for investigation and further proceedings).  An appeal of that classification decision is called a “classification appeal.” 

Who may file a classification appeal? A complainant (person who filed the grievance) may appeal an inquiry classification to BODA.  A respondent (the lawyer against whom the grievance was filed) may appeal a complaint classification to BODA.

How do I file an appeal?  Mail, fax, or email the appeal form you received from the State Bar Chief Disciplinary Counsel's office to BODA: P.O. Box 12426, Austin TX 78711 (512) 427-4366 (Fax) or  If submitting by email, a photo of the form will suffice.

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.  If you do not have the file number, you should contact the Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s office for help.

How long do I have to file the appeal? An appeal form or letter must be postmarked or transmitted no later than 30 days from the date you received notification of 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 receive my appeal? BODA will send you notice that the appeal was received. 


What will BODA consider in deciding the appeal? BODA will consider the grievance and all supporting documentation, as filed and screened by the State Bar Chief Disciplinary Counsel's office.  We cannot consider any additional information provided by the parties that the CDC did not have when they screened the grievance; this includes any documents, information, or argument filed after the screening decision.  BODA cannot do an independent investigation of the allegations in the grievance.

Who actually reviews and decides the appeal? All classification appeals are randomly assigned to panels composed of three BODA members.  This panel, along with the Executive Director and/or the Deputy Director, will read the grievance and additional documentation submitted before the CDC made its classification decision.  The panel of three BODA members will decide the classification appeal by majority vote.  Classification appeals may be referred to the full Board for en banc decision.

How long will it take to get a decision on the appeal? It generally takes about 8 weeks from the date BODA receives the appeal notice.  When an appeal is filed, BODA requests a copy of the grievance file from the State Bar.  Upon receipt of the grievance file, BODA sets the classification appeal for decision by a panel soon thereafter.  Decision notices are mailed to all parties within days of the panel conference.

Can I appeal the BODA decision on my classification appeal? No. BODA’s decision on classification appeals is conclusive and final, and not subject to appeal.  However, BODA’s decision has no bearing on whether the complainant may file an amended grievance under Texas Rule of Disciplinary Procedure 2.10, or any new grievance.


What is an evidentiary appeal? It is an appeal of the decision of a State Bar of Texas grievance committee evidentiary panel, which heard and decided a disciplinary case. Either the respondent attorney or the Commission for Lawyer Discipline can appeal this judgment to BODA. 

Can I appeal a sanction only? Yes. The appeal may challenge the finding(s) of professional misconduct or the sanction imposed, or both.

Where do I find the rules for appealing an evidentiary judgment to BODA? These procedures are primarily found in Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure 2.23 and 2.25, and in Section 4 of the BODA Internal Procedural Rules. The Rules are available on this website.

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 attorney’s bar card number, address, and fax number, the State Bar file number(s) from the evidentiary hearing, and the date of the judgment being appealed.

When must an appeal be filed? Appeals must be filed within 30 days of the date the judgment is signed, except where a motion for new trial or motion to modify the judgment was timely filed, in which case an appeal must be filed within 90 days of the date of the judgment. 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.

When must the record be filed? The record generally must be filed with BODA within 60 days of the date that the judgment is signed.  If a motion for new trial or motion to modify the judgment was timely filed, the record must be filed within 120 days of the date of the original judgment unless a modified judgment is issued, in which case the record must be filed within 60 days after the modified judgment is signed.  The record may be filed electronically with the Board at

How do I request an extension of time to file something? Email (, mail, or fax a motion to extend the time for filing, consistent with BODA Internal Procedural Rule 1.09 and Part IV of the BODA Internal Procedural Rules.  The motion should explain the grounds for the request and include a certificate of service to all other parties.