DC Bar Disciplinary Rules

(a) Disciplinary proceedings. Except as otherwise provided in this rule or as the Court may otherwise order, all proceedings involving allegations of misconduct by an attorney shall be kept confidential until either a petition has been filed under section 8 (c) or an informal admonition has been issued. All proceedings before the Hearing Committee and the Board shall be open to the public, and the petition, together with any exhibits introduced into evidence, any pleadings filed by the parties, and any transcript of the proceeding, shall be available for public inspection. If an informal admonition is issued, the letter of admonition from Disciplinary Counsel informing the attorney of the grounds for the admonition shall be available for public inspection. Disciplinary Counsel's files and records, however, shall not be available for public inspection except to the extent that portions thereof are introduced into evidence in a proceeding before the Hearing Committee.
(b) Disability proceedings. All proceedings involving allegations of disability on the part of an attorney shall be kept confidential unless and until the Court enters an order suspending the attorney under section 13 of this rule.
(c) Informal admonitions. Disciplinary Counsel may disclose information pertaining to proceedings resulting in informal admonitions to any court, to any other judicial tribunal or disciplinary agency, to any duly authorized law enforcement officer or agency conducting an investigation, to any representative of a public agency considering an attorney for judicial or public employment or appointment, or to any representative of another bar considering the application of an attorney for admission to such bar. Disciplinary Counsel may also make such disclosure to a duly authorized representative of the District of Columbia Bar with respect to any person whom the Bar is considering for possible employment, appointment to a Bar position related to attorney discipline or legal ethics, or recommendation to this Court for appointment to any board, committee, or other body.
(d) Protective orders. To protect the interests of the complainant or of any other person, the Board may, upon application and for good cause shown, and upon notice to the attorney and an opportunity to be heard, issue a protective order prohibiting the disclosure of confidential or privileged information or of any documents listed in the order, including subpoenas and depositions, and directing that any proceedings before the Board or a Hearing Committee be so conducted as to implement the order.
(e) Limited disclosure on motion. The Court on motion, filed ex parte and under seal by Disciplinary Counsel, may authorize disclosure of otherwise confidential information to a duly constituted grand jury for use in the performance of its official duties. Disciplinary Counsel's motion shall be filed only in response to grand jury subpoena. For good cause shown, the Court on motion may authorize disclosure of otherwise confidential information through discovery or appropriate processes in any civil, criminal, or administrative action, subject to such protective order as the Court may deem appropriate, or may authorize disclosure of otherwise confidential information to local, state or federal governmental agencies not associated with law enforcement or attorney discipline subject to appropriate protections of confidentiality.
(f) Cooperation with law enforcement and other disciplinary authorities. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Rule, Disciplinary Counsel may file a written request with the Board for permission to communicate information about any disciplinary matter to law enforcement agencies, the Committee on Admissions, the Committee on Unauthorized Practice, the Clients' Security Trust Fund, or a state or federal attorney disciplinary agency, board, or committee that has a legitimate interest in such matter. Permission to communicate such information may be granted, in writing, by the Chairperson of the Board or the Chairperson's designated Board member upon good cause shown and subject to any limitations or conditions the Board may impose, including appropriate protections of confidentiality. Communication under this provision may be made either during the course of Disciplinary Counsel's investigation or following such investigation.

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.


By The Lawyer's Lawyers | Kramer & Connolly and Irwin R. Kramer 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.