Office of Attorney Ethics Frequently Asked Questions

The frequently asked questions page provides information for the public and for attorneys, such as how to determine whether a New Jersey attorney has been previously disciplined or is now the subject of a public complaint, where to file a complaint against a judge, how to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing or a Certificate of Ethical Conduct and similar questions.

How can I contact the Office of Attorney Ethics?

The OAE's main office telephone number is 609-403-7800.

The mailing address is:
Office of Attorney Ethics
P.O. Box 963
Trenton, NJ 08625

The office is located at:
840 Bear Tavern Road
West Trenton, NJ 08628
just off exit 2 of Route I-295

How can I find out the disciplinary histories of an attorney?

You can search the disciplinary histories page on this site. For other inquiries call the Office of Attorney Ethics at 609-403-7800.

How do I file an ethics grievance against an attorney or dispute fees charged by an attorney?

Call the Office of Attorney Ethics toll-free at 1-800-406-8594. A recording will instruct you to enter the zip code of the office address of the attorney in question. You will then be automatically transferred to one of the district committees to request filing forms.

How do I file a complaint against a judge?

If your complaint deals with a superior court, tax Court, surrogate's court, or municipal court judge, contact:

Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct
Administrative Office of the Courts
Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex
25 W. Market Street
P.O. Box 037
Trenton, NJ 08625
Phone: 609-815-2900 ext.51910

What must I do if I want to engage in the private practice of law in New Jersey?

In order to engage in private practice in New Jersey, you must:

  1. pay the annual assessment;
  2. complete the attorney annual registration statement and keep the data current throughout the year;
  3. fulfill the requirements of R. 1:21-6, including trust and business accounts in an approved New Jersey financial institution;
  4. keep trust accounts IOLTA-compliant (R.1:28A) ; and
  5. maintain required levels of malpractice insurance under Court Rules if practicing in a P.A., P.C., L.L.P., or L.L.C.

Where can I find information about mandatory licensing of In-House Counsel pursuant to the new Rule 1:27-2?

Please visit the Board of Bar Examiners' website, or call 609-815-2911.

How do I change my name?

You can download a name change certification/affidavit from the Board of Bar Examiners' website.

How do I resign without prejudice from the New Jersey Bar?

First, please review court R.1:20-22. In particular, note that you cannot resign if any disciplinary or criminal proceedings are pending in any jurisdiction to which you are admitted. If you qualify, and if you comply with the notice requirements set forth in the form, you may complete the Resignation Without Prejudice form and mail it to:

Resignation Without Prejudice Unit
Office of Attorney Ethics
P.O. Box 963
Trenton, NJ 08625

Please allow approximately four weeks for processing. Final notification of approval will be received from the Supreme Court Clerk's Office.

If your resignation is accepted by the Supreme Court, it will terminate your membership in the bar. To be readmitted, you will have to retake the New Jersey Bar Examination, unless you meet the requirements of R.1:24-4 to be admitted by motion.

How do I obtain a certificate of good standing?

Complete the Request for Certificate of Good Standing. There is a $20 fee for each certificate requested.

How do I obtain a certificate of ethical conduct?

Send your request in writing to:

Office of Attorney Ethics
P.O. Box 963
Trenton, NJ 08625

Include your name, date of birth, Bar I.D. number, date of admission to the N.J. State Bar, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope. There is no cost for this service. Allow 2 to 3 weeks.

Where do I call if I have a question about the amount of the Annual Attorney Registration Fee, or to find out if an attorney is on the ineligible list?

For these matters you may contact the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection at
1-855-533-3863 or go to the Attorney Index.

What are the requirements for admission pro hac vice?

These requirements, including payment of an annual fee, are set forth at the site of the Lawyers Fund For Client Protection.

What are the requirements for a non-New Jersey admitted attorney to engage in Multijurisdictional Practice in New Jersey?

Please read New Jersey Rule of Professional Conduct 5.5(b) and (c) and Rule 1:21-1(a) to see if you qualify. If so, complete the form for Designation of Supreme Court Clerk for Service of Process for Multi-Jurisdictional Practice. Send a check for $212, payable to New Jersey Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection, together with the original and two copies of the completed downloaded form to:

Heather Joy Baker, Clerk of the Supreme Court
P.O. Box 970
Trenton, NJ 08625-0970

The Clerk's office will forward the materials to the New Jersey Lawyers' Fund, which will return a stamped copy of the form to you for your files. If more detailed information is needed, please contact the Supreme Court Clerk's Office at 609-815-2955. For questions about payment, please call the New Jersey Lawyers' Fund at 1-855-533-3863.