(a) Notification. If an attorney is found guilty of a crime or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to a criminal charge in a District of Columbia court, the clerk of that court shall, within ten days from the date of such finding or plea, transmit to this Court and to Disciplinary Counsel a certified copy of the court record or docket entry of the finding or plea. Disciplinary Counsel shall forward the certified copy to the Board. Upon learning that the certified copy has not been timely transmitted by the clerk of the court in which the finding or plea was made, or that an attorney has been found guilty of a crime or has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to a criminal charge in a court outside the District of Columbia or in any federal court, Disciplinary Counsel shall promptly obtain a certified copy of the court record or docket entry of the finding or plea and transmit it to this Court and to the Board. The attorney shall also file with this Court and the Board, within ten days from the date of such finding or plea, a certified copy of the court record or docket entry of the finding or plea.
(b) Serious crimes. The term "serious crime" shall include (1) any felony, and (2) any other crime a necessary element of which, as determined by the statutory or common law definition of such crime, involves improper conduct as an attorney, interference with the administration of justice, false swearing, misrepresentation, fraud, willful failure to file income tax returns, deceit, bribery, extortion, misappropriation, theft, or an attempt or a conspiracy or solicitation of another to commit a "serious crime."
(c) Action by the Court—Serious crimes. Upon the filing with this Court of a certified copy of the record or docket entry demonstrating that an attorney has been found guilty of a serious crime or has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to a charge of serious crime, the Court shall enter an order immediately suspending the attorney, notwithstanding the pendency of an appeal, if any, pending final disposition of a disciplinary proceeding to be commenced promptly by the Board. Upon good cause shown, the Court may set aside such order of suspension when it appears in the interest of justice to do so.
(d) Action by the Board—Serious crimes. Upon receipt of a certified copy of a court record demonstrating that an attorney has been found guilty of a serious crime or has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to a charge of serious crime, or any crime that appears to be a serious crime as defined in subsection (b) of this section, Disciplinary Counsel shall initiate a formal proceeding in which the sole issue to be determined shall be the nature of the final discipline to be imposed. However, if the Court determines under subsection (c) of this section that the crime is not a serious crime, the proceeding shall go forward on any charges under the Rules of Professional Conduct that Disciplinary Counsel may institute. A disciplinary proceeding under this subsection may proceed through the Hearing Committee to the Board, and the Board may hold such hearings and receive such briefs and other documents as it deems appropriate, but the proceeding shall not be concluded until all direct appeals from conviction of the crime have been completed.
(e) Other crimes. Upon the receipt of a certified copy of a court record demonstrating that an attorney has been found guilty of a crime other than a serious crime, or has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to a charge of crime other than a serious crime, Disciplinary Counsel shall investigate the matter and proceed as appropriate under section 8 of this rule.
(f) Proof of criminal convictions. A certified copy of the court record or docket entry of a finding that an attorney is guilty of any crime, or of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere by an attorney to a charge of any crime, shall be conclusive evidence of the commission of that crime in any disciplinary proceeding based thereon.
(g) Reinstatement. An attorney suspended under subsection (c) of this section may file with the Court and the Board, at any time, a certificate demonstrating that the underlying finding or plea or the judgment of conviction based thereon has been reversed, vacated, or set aside. Upon the filing of the certificate, the Court shall promptly enter an order reinstating the attorney, but the reinstatement shall not terminate any formal disciplinary proceeding then pending against the attorney, the disposition of which shall be determined by the Board on the basis of all available evidence.

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