Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission

Each year, the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission appoints lawyers and nonlawyer members to its Inquiry and Hearing Boards.  The Commission receives letters from individuals who are interested in serving on the Boards, and typically, the Commission uses those letters when looking to fill vacancies. The Commission would like to expand the pool of potential candidates, and in furtherance of that goal, I ask that you assist us in recruiting both lawyer and nonlawyer candidates for appointment by informing your members of volunteer positions on these boards.

The Inquiry Board determines whether to authorize the filing of formal disciplinary charges against attorneys. The Hearing Board acts as the trier of fact and makes recommendations of what discipline should be imposed when misconduct has been found. Both the Inquiry Board and the Hearing Board are made up of lawyer and nonlawyer members who serve in panels of three, two lawyers and one public member.

Inquiry Board panels are preset; the same three members serve together throughout the year. The Inquiry panels typically meet once a month on dates set by the panel members. Inquiry panels act in a capacity akin to a grand jury. They consider largely written submissions to determine whether there is evidence sufficient to warrant the filing of formal disciplinary charges against an attorney. No formal charges can be filed without the authority of an Inquiry panel. The panels also have authority in certain circumstances to place attorneys in diversion programs.

Hearing Board panels are assigned by random rotation once the hearing date has been set, and they serve only if available for the preset date. Otherwise, they decline and another member will be randomly selected. Hearings are typically concluded in one day, though some take longer. The hearings are conducted under the rules of evidence governing civil matters.  At the conclusion of the hearing, the Hearing panels make findings of fact and, if they have found misconduct, recommendations of what discipline should be imposed. The Hearing panels issue reports stating their findings and recommendations, with research and drafting assistance from staff attorneys who work exclusively with the Hearing Board.

There is no compensation paid to the panel members, but expenses, including travel and parking, are reimbursed. Although members would be authorized to serve in either location, the Commission typically assigns Board members to serve at either the Chicago ARDC office (which handles cases involving lawyers whose business address is north of I-80) or the Springfield ARDC office (which handles cases involving lawyers whose business address is south of I-80).

The process of reviewing candidates is now underway. Anyone who would like to be considered for appointment should send a resume, curriculum vitae or other biographical information by December 31, 2016, to:

Daniel N. Malato

Director of Adjudication Services

Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission

130 E.Randolph Dr., Ste. 800

Chicago, IL 60601


Applicants should indicate whether they wish to be considered for either or both Boards, and whether they would prefer to serve in Springfield or Chicago. Additional information about the ARDC and the procedures followed at the Inquiry and Hearing Boards, including the rules governing both Boards, can be found at the ARDC web site at