Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission
The Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC or Commission) operates under the authority of the Illinois Supreme Court, which has sole authority to regulate the admission and discipline of lawyers in Illinois. Since 1973, administrative responsibility for the registration and discipline of Illinois lawyers has been delegated by the Illinois Supreme Court to the ARDC, composed of seven members appointed by the Court. Four members of the Commission must be members of the Illinois bar, and the other three members must be nonlawyers. The Commissioners serve without compensation for three-year terms. The Commission acts as a board of directors for the disciplinary agency, setting general policy and overseeing its implementation.
With the approval of the Supreme Court, the Commission appoints an Administrator to serve as the principal executive officer of the agency. The Administrator has a staff of more than 100 employees, including 40 lawyers, who oversee registration, conduct investigations, prosecute disciplinary cases, support volunteer board members, and produce publications and programs related to ethics and discipline. The Commission's operations are funded principally by an annual fee assessed against lawyers registered to practice in Illinois.
Registration practices and disciplinary proceedings are governed by rules adopted by the Illinois Supreme Court. The Court has delegated to the Commission authority to make rules for disciplinary proceedings that are not inconsistent with the rules of the Court. Other duties of the Commission include appointment of the members of the Inquiry Board, the Hearing Board, and the Client Protection Review Panel, publication of an annual report, determination of Client Protection awards, collection and administration of the disciplinary fund, and performance of an after-the-fact review of a representative sampling of investigative matters closed by the Administrator without referral to the Inquiry Board.