(a) Notice to clients in non-litigated matters. An attorney ordered to be disbarred or suspended shall promptly notify by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, all clients on retainer and all clients being represented in pending matters other than litigated or administrative matters or proceedings pending in any court or agency, of the order of disbarment or suspension and of the attorney's consequent inability to act as an attorney after the effective date of the order, and shall advise such clients to seek legal advice elsewhere.

(b) Notice to clients in litigated matters. An attorney ordered to be disbarred or suspended shall promptly notify, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, all clients involved in litigated matters or administrative proceedings in any court of the District of Columbia, or in pending matters before any District of Columbia government agency, of the order of disbarment or suspension and of the attorney's consequent inability to act as an attorney after the effective date of the order. The notice shall advise the prompt substitution of another attorney or attorneys. If the client fails to obtain substitute counsel before the effective date of the order, the disbarred or suspended attorney shall move pro se in the court or agency in which the proceeding is pending for leave to withdraw.

(c) Notice to adverse parties. An attorney ordered to be disbarred or suspended shall promptly notify, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, the attorney or attorneys for every adverse party in litigated matters or administrative proceedings in any court of the District of Columbia, or in pending matters in any District of Columbia administrative agency, of the order of disbarment or suspension and of the attorney's consequent inability to act as an attorney after the effective date of the order. The notice shall state the mailing address of each client of the disbarred or suspended attorney who is a party in the pending matter or proceeding.

(d) Delivery of client papers and property. An attorney ordered to be disbarred or suspended shall promptly deliver to all clients being represented in pending matters any papers or other property to which the clients are entitled, or shall notify the clients and any co-counsel of a suitable time when and place where the papers and other property may be obtained, calling attention to any urgency for obtaining the papers or other property.

(e) Imposition of discipline pendente lite. The Court, sua sponte or on motion, may order that the discipline recommended by the Board shall take effect pending the Court's determination of the merits of the case.

(f) Effective date of discipline. Except as provided in sections 10, 11, and 13 of this rule, and in subsection (e) of this section, an order of disbarment or suspension shall be effective thirty days after entry unless the Court directs otherwise. The disbarred or suspended attorney, after entry of the order, shall not accept any new retainer or engage as attorney for another in any new case or legal matter of any nature. However, during the period between the date of entry of the order and its effective date, the attorney may conclude other work on behalf of a client on any matters which were pending on the date of entry. If such work cannot be concluded, the attorney shall so advise the client so that the client may make other arrangements.

(g) Required affidavit and registration statement. Within ten days after the effective date of an order of disbarment or suspension, the disbarred or suspended attorney shall file with the Court and the Board an affidavit:

(1) Demonstrating with particularity, and with supporting proof, that the attorney has fully complied with the provisions of the order and with this rule;
(2) Listing all other state and federal jurisdictions and administrative agencies to which the attorney is admitted to practice;and (3) Certifying that a copy of the affidavit has been served on Disciplinary Counsel.
The affidavit shall also state the residence or other address of the attorney to which communications may thereafter be directed. The Board may require such additional proof as it deems necessary. In addition, for five years following the effective date of a disbarment or suspension order, a disbarred or suspended attorney shall continue to file a registration statement in accordance with Rule II, stating the residence or other address to which communications may thereafter be directed, so that the attorney may be located if a complaint is made about any conduct of the attorney occurring before the disbarment or suspension. See also section 16(c).

(h) Required records. An attorney ordered to be disbarred or suspended, other than an attorney suspended under section 13(a) or 13(c), shall keep and maintain records of the various steps taken under this section, so that in any subsequent proceeding proof of compliance with this section and with the disbarment or suspension order will be available. The Court may require the attorney to submit such proof as a condition precedent to the granting of any petition for reinstatement. In the case of an attorney suspended under section 13(a) or 13(c), the Court shall enter such order as may be required to compile and maintain all necessary records. See also sections 15(a) and 15(f).

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