Code of conduct - Legal profession - Disciplinary system - Survey. The statistics about the number of disciplinary proceedings undertaken against practising attorneys and the types of punishments meted out by the forensic authorities have come in for some bitter criticism in recent years, occasioning such extensive discussion about the shortcomings of the disciplinary system as a whole as to raise the question of their potential consequences for the future of the bar, above all in terms of the independence of the bar associations, of the self-government of their councils and of the preservation of their professional monopoly. This article starts by briefly illustrating the regulatory sources and the structure of forensic disciplinary proceedings in Italy, before examining the disciplinary activities taken against attorneys by the Council of the Milan Bar Association between 1990 and 2009. Lastly, it draws some tenta- tive conclusions both about the efficiency of the formal control exerted over how the members of the Bar Association practice and about the impact of sanctions on maintaining the professional standards expected of attorneys. Although the investigation makes no claim to general applicability, the situation of the Milan Bar Association may certainly constitute a fair cross-section of how disciplinary control is exerted in practice, so provide elements for understanding the pathological problems that are said to beset disciplinary decisions made against attorneys.