The professional conduct of attorneys is generally regulated by each state's rules of professional conduct—which are often written by the state's highest court, and enforced through the disciplinary process administered by the state's bar association. The professional conduct of attorneys is also referred to as legal ethics and professional responsibility.
Attorneys can be disciplined for a variety of reasons, ranging from the failure to pay their bar dues to misappropriating client funds. The grounds upon which an attorney may be disciplined by the state bar association are generally located in the state bar association's disciplinary rules of professional conduct.
Some attorneys who have been disciplined are no longer eligible to practice law. You should inquire about an attorney’s disciplinary history on the state bar association’s website, or by calling the state bar association.
You should not hire an attorney whose license is been suspended or revoked and who is not eligible to practice law in your state. Each state has a disciplinary organization that receives, investigates, and resolves ethics complaints against attorneys licensed in the state.