(a) Hearing Committee report. Within 120 days after the conclusion of its hearing, the Hearing Committee shall in every case submit to the Board a report containing its findings and recommendation, together with a record of its proceedings and the briefs of the parties, if any were submitted. The record shall include a transcript of the hearing.
(b) Proceedings before the Board. Exceptions to the report of a Hearing Committee may be filed in accordance with rules promulgated by the Board. If no exceptions are filed, the Board shall decide the matter on the basis of the Hearing Committee record. If exceptions are filed, the Executive Attorney shall schedule the matter for submission of briefs and oral argument to the Board.
(c) Disposition by the Board. Promptly after the conclusion of oral argument or, if there is no argument, promptly after reviewing the Hearing Committee record, the Board shall either adopt or modify the recommendation of the Hearing Committee, remand the case to the Hearing Committee for further proceedings, direct Disciplinary Counsel to issue an informal admonition, or dismiss the petition.
(d) Report of the Board. Unless the Board dismisses the petition or remands the case, or unless the matter is concluded by a reprimand or a direction for an informal admonition, the Board shall promptly prepare a report containing its findings and recommendation. The Executive Attorney shall submit the report of the Board, together with the entire record, to the Court and shall serve a copy thereof on the attorney.
(e) Exceptions to the report. The attorney or Disciplinary Counsel, or both, may file with the Court exceptions to the report of the Board within twenty days from the date of service of a copy thereof. The Court, for good cause shown, may grant an additional period for filing exceptions, not to exceed twenty days.
(f) Exceptions when no report is filed. If the Board issues a reprimand, directs Disciplinary Counsel to issue an informal admonition, or dismisses the petition, the attorney or Disciplinary Counsel, or both, may file with the Court exceptions to the Board's decision within twenty days from the date of service of a copy thereof. The Court, for good cause shown, may grant an additional period for filing exceptions, not to exceed twenty days.
(g) Suspension pending final action by the Court.

(1) Upon receipt of a report from the Board recommending discipline in the form of disbarment, suspension requiring proof of fitness as a condition of reinstatement, or suspension of one year or more without a fitness requirement, the Court shall order the attorney to show cause within thirty days why the Court should not enter an order of suspension pending final action on the Board's recommendation. The attorney shall be required to show cause even if the Board recommends as discipline a partial (but not an entire) stay of the suspension in favor of probation. Unless the Court requests, Disciplinary Counsel need not reply to the attorney's response. To prevent suspension under this subsection, the attorney shall have the burden of demonstrating a substantial likelihood of success with respect to the exceptions the attorney has taken to the Board's report.
(2) If the attorney does not make the showing required by subsection (g)(1) of this section, or if the attorney has not responded to the show cause order in the time required, the Court shall impose interim discipline as follows pending final action on the Board's recommendation:

(a) If the Board has recommended disbarment or suspension requiring proof of fitness to practice law as a condition of reinstatement, the Court shall enter an order suspending the attorney from the practice of law in the District of Columbia.(b) If the Board has recommended suspension of one year or more without requiring proof of fitness as a condition of reinstatement, the Court shall enter an order imposing the discipline recommended by the Board.

(3) Any suspension imposed under this subsection will not limit the authority of the Court to impose greater or lesser discipline than that recommended by the Board.
(4) Suspension under this subsection shall take effect as provided in subsection 14 (f), and an attorney suspended under this subsection shall comply with the requirements of section 14 of this rule.

(h) Proceedings before the Court.

(1) Upon the filing of exceptions under subsection (e) or subsection (f) of this section, and in all cases arising under section 8 in which the Board's recommended sanction includes a requirement that the attorney make a showing of fitness before reinstatement, the Court shall schedule the matter for consideration in accordance with applicable court procedures. If the matter has come before the Court under subsection (f) of this section, the Court may order the Board to file a report setting forth its findings of fact and the reasons for its decision. Upon conclusion of the proceedings, or upon consideration of the report if no exceptions are filed, the Court shall enter an appropriate order as soon as the business of the Court permits. In determining the appropriate order, the Court shall accept the findings of fact made by the Board unless they are unsupported by substantial evidence of record, and shall adopt the recommended disposition of the Board unless to do so would foster a tendency toward inconsistent dispositions for comparable conduct or would otherwise be unwarranted. Unpublished opinions in disciplinary cases decided on or after April 1, 1991, shall not be deemed binding precedent by the Court except as to appropriateness of sanctions.
(2) Other than as provided in subsection (g) of this section, if no exceptions are filed to the Board's report, the Court will enter an order imposing the discipline recommended by the Board upon the expiration of the time permitted for filing exceptions.

(i) Counsel in disciplinary matters before the Court. Proceedings before the Board and the Court shall be conducted by Disciplinary Counsel. If Disciplinary Counsel disagrees with the findings or recommendation of the Board, the position of the Board may be presented before the Court, upon request of the Board, by the Executive Attorney or other counsel. The Court in its discretion may appoint an attorney to present the views of a minority of the Board.
(j) Court review of final actions by the Board. In any disciplinary proceeding in which a dismissal, an informal admonition, or a reprimand is contemplated or effected, the Court shall have the right to review the matter on its own motion and to enter an appropriate order, including an order directing further proceedings.

Attorney Grievance defense attorney specializes in defending lawyers in disciplinary proceedings before the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission and the D.C. Bar's Board on Professional Responsibility involving professional misconduct, legal ethics, disbarment, suspensions of law licenses, petitions for disciplinary action, reprimands and sanctions for unethical conduct. If you receive a letter from Bar Counsel Lydia Lawless, Disciplinary Counsel Hamilton Fox, or from any attorney disciplinary board in Maryland or the District of Columbia, retain experienced attorneys with expertise in lawyer discipline and breach of ethics cases to avoid sanctions for professional misconduct. We help lawyers avoid disbarment, suspension, reprimands, censure and informal admonitions by drafting responses to client grievances and ethical complaints; representing lawyers in peer reviews, evidentiary hearings, and oral arguments before the BPR and the Court of Appeals; filing petitions to reinstate an attorney's license to practice law; conducting law firm ethical compliance audits; and drafting legal ethics opinions to protect lawyers from ethics charges. In many cases, disciplinary proceedings may be dismissed, dismissed with a warning, or result in a conditional diversion agreement with Bar Counsel to rectify misconduct. Lawyers may need help in managing their law firm attorney escrow IOLTA trust account and complying with attorney trust accounting rules to avoid charges of ethical misconduct. Do not represent yourself in responding to an attorney grievance, law firm client complaint, or other allegation of ethical impropriety. Attorney grievance defense counsel may help you comply with legal ethics rules, avoid sanctions like suspension or disbarment, and avoid future attorney grievances.

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By The Lawyer's Lawyers | Kramer & Connolly and  who are responsible for the content of this informational website.   This website is designed for lawyers faced with attorney grievances. As cases do differ, past performance does not guarantee future results.
 

NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMMISSION OF MARYLAND
OR THE BOARD ON PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE D.C. BAR