The Grievance Process in New York: What It Is and How to Avoid It

(450 Ratings)

Produced on: February 25, 2017

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 74 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Ethics courses in law school for the most part fail to explain to students how our profession self regulates. Students do not understand the process by which the grievance committees and the Appellate Divisions address allegations of professional misconduct.

Similarly, law school ethics courses tend to teach theory based upon improbable ethics scenarios, while failing to address the real world errors by which most lawyers actually come before the courts and the committees.

This course will provide an overview of the grievance system in New York; the various levels and types of professional discipline; the most common causes of discipline; and, practical guidance on how lawyers can best protect themselves.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Identify the various components of the grievance system in New York and the rules and regulations by which they operate
  2. Assess the more common grievances filed against solo lawyers and small firms
  3. Discuss self protective practice techniques
  4. Provide practical advice should a grievance be received

This course originally appeared as a part of our February 2017 Bridge the Gap Event.


Chris McDonough

McDonough & McDonough, LLP

Chris McDonough is an attorney who has spent his 25 plus year legal career practicing and educating exclusively in the field of professional ethics. Admitted in 1988 in New York and Colorado he was appointed to the position of Assistant Counsel to the Grievance Committee for the Tenth Judicial District in 1989. During his thirteen years with the Committee he prosecuted numerous attorney disciplinary proceedings, and briefed appeals to the Appellate Divisions, the Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. He began the private practice of law in January 2003, with primary offices in Nassau County. He practices throughout New York State and has appeared before all four Appellate Divisions and the Court of Appeals. 

Mr. McDonough’s practice is focused on matters involving attorney and judicial disciplinary defense, character and fitness/admission matters, law school discipline, bar exam issues, and risk management. He is on retainer to a number of law firms, from solo practices to multiple lawyer law firms, to provide professional evaluation and guidance to assist clients in avoiding malpractice and misconduct situations. He has been certified as an expert on professional ethics and the practice of law by various courts throughout the state.

Mr. McDonough has taught as an Adjunct Professor of Ethics. He has authored numerous articles for various law reviews, law journals, and other publications. He is a regular CLE instructor for local law schools, local and regional bar associations, attorney groups, etc. He sits as an Executive Sub-Committee member for the Professional Ethics Committee of the Nassau County Bar Association and is a member of the New York State Bar Association. Select a print and blog articles are available at 


Christine V.

So practical as to be useful.

Karl O.

Contains much practical information.

Laura V.

Excellent, very informative program

Kenneth T G.

Comprehensive and practical.

Joanna S.

One of the best lectures in the bundle. Fantastic speaker. The lecture covered a very serious topic. His delivery was light and relaxed, which was a good approach given that these are heavy issues for a lawyer. Very engaging speaker.

Angela R.

for a dull subject, presenter was excellent, he kept my attention

joseph b.

Excellent Presentation.

Maryalice K.

I liked Mr. McDonough's down to earth approach

Skylar B.

Might be the best ethics course I've ever taken

Roy B.

A most engaging speaker.

Allen H.

He did a great job!

Linus W.

very good course, unusual for an ethics course

Mohammad S.


Rebecca R.

Very knowledgeable speaker.

Lisa P.

EXCELLENT! Mr. MacDonough was very knowledgeable, engaging and opened my eyes on how to protect myself. I’m actually going to listen to his lecture again! Well done! Thank you.

April C.

Great instructor - practical advice, well organized, clear and easy to follow delivery.

Andrea R.

Excellent speaker imparting his knowledge in a straightforward, personal manner. I would like to hear additional courses from him.

Michael W.

Interesting and well-presented.

Alan Z.

Instructor was excellent, high recommend!

William F.


Shane S.

Excellent and super informative!! Thank you.

robert s.


Sharmila N.


Brian O.

Great job.

Jonathan S.

Great lawyer. Very helpful.

Marguerite M.

Good overview.

Brian F.


Lucia C.

Very enjoyable and knowledgeable speaker

Ronald S.

very good teacher and advice - should be longer

Linda R.


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$ 89 Ethics and Bridge the Gap In Stock


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