AttorneyGrievances.com

Rule 19-715. Dismissal of Complaint; Termination of Disciplinary or Remedial Proceeding

(a) Recommendation by Bar Counsel or Peer Review Panel. Bar Counsel, upon completion of an investigation, or a Peer Review Panel, after a meeting of the Panel, may recommend to the Commission that:

(1) a complaint be dismissed because the evidence fails to show that the attorney has engaged in professional misconduct or is incapacitated; or

(2) a disciplinary or remedial proceeding be (A) terminated, with or without a warning, because any professional misconduct on the part of the attorney was not sufficiently serious to warrant discipline and is not likely to be repeated, or (B) terminated, without a warning, because any incapacity on the part of the attorney is not sufficiently serious or long-lasting to warrant remedial action or, if resolved, is not likely to recur.

(b) Action by Commission. If satisfied with the recommendation of Bar Counsel or the Peer Review Panel, the Commission shall dismiss the complaint or terminate the disciplinary or remedial proceeding, as appropriate. If the recommendation includes a warning, the matter shall proceed as provided in section (c) of this Rule.

(c) Termination Accompanied by Warning.

(1) Recommendation by Bar Counsel or Peer Review Panel. Bar Counsel or the Peer Review Panel may recommend to the Commission that the termination of a disciplinary or remedial proceeding be accompanied by a warning upon their respective conclusion that such a warning would be helpful to ensure that the conduct that led to the proceeding is not repeated.

(2) Action by Commission.

(A) If satisfied that termination of the disciplinary or remedial proceeding should be accompanied by a warning, the Commission shall mail to the attorney a notice that states (i) that on or after 30 days from the date of the notice, the Commission intends to terminate the disciplinary or remedial proceeding and accompany the termination with a warning, (ii) the content of the proposed warning, and (iii) that the attorney may reject the proposed warning by filing a written rejection with the Commission no later than 25 days after the date of the notice.

(B) If the warning is not timely rejected, the Commission shall issue the warning when it dismisses the disciplinary or remedial proceeding.

(C) If the warning is timely rejected, the warning shall not be issued, but Bar Counsel or the Commission may take any other action permitted under this Chapter.

(3) Nature and Effect of Warning. A warning does not constitute discipline.

(d) Disclosure of Termination or Warning.

(1) Disclosure of Dismissal or Termination.

(A) Except as provided in subsection (d)(2) of this Rule, a dismissal or a termination under this Rule, with or without a warning, shall not be disclosed by the Commission or Bar Counsel in response to any request for information as to whether an attorney has been the subject of a disciplinary or remedial proceeding.

(B) The nature and existence of a proceeding terminated under this Rule, including any investigation by Bar Counsel that led to the proceeding, need not be disclosed by an attorney in response to a request for information as to whether the attorney has been the subject of a disciplinary or remedial proceeding.

(2) Disclosure of Warning.

(A) The fact that a warning was issued in conjunction with the termination of a complaint shall be disclosed to the complainant.

(B) The fact that a warning was issued and the facts underlying the warning may be disclosed in a subsequent proceeding against the attorney when relevant to a complaint alleging similar conduct by the attorney.

(C) Neither the fact that a warning was proposed or rejected nor the contents of a warning that was not issued is admissible into evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding.