DC Bar Disciplinary Rules

(a) Composition and term. Each Hearing Committee appointed by the Board shall consist of two members of the Bar and one person who is not a lawyer. The Board shall designate one of the lawyer members of each Hearing Committee as Chairperson of the Committee. The term of each Hearing Committee member shall be three years. Upon completion of a member's term, that member shall continue to serve until a successor is appointed. No person shall serve more than two consecutive terms as a Hearing Committee member, but a person who has served two consecutive terms may be reappointed after the expiration of one year.
(b) Quorum and Acting Chairperson. Two members of a Hearing Committee shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of hearings. If a member cannot be present for a hearing, alternate Hearing Committee members previously selected by the Board may serve upon designation by the Executive Attorney. If the absent member is the Chairperson of the Hearing Committee, the other attorney member shall serve as Acting Chairperson. Each Hearing Committee shall act only with the concurrence of a majority of its members.
(c) Powers and duties of Hearing Committees. Hearing Committees shall have the power and duty:

(1) Upon assignment by the Executive Attorney, to conduct hearings on formal charges of misconduct, a proposed negotiated disposition, or a contested petition for reinstatement and on such other matters as the Court or Board may direct.

(2) To submit their findings and recommendations on formal charges of misconduct to the Board, together with the record of the hearing.

(3) To submit their findings and recommendations to approve a negotiated disposition and their findings and recommendations in a contested reinstatement to the Court, together with the record of the hearing.

(d) Duties of Contact Members. A Contact Member designated under section 4(e)(5) of this rule shall have the power and duty to review and approve or suggest modifications of recommendations by Disciplinary Counsel for dismissals, informal admonitions, the institution of formal charges, and the deferral or abatement of disciplinary investigations pending the outcome of related criminal or civil litigation. In the event of a disagreement between Disciplinary Counsel and the Contact Member regarding the disposition recommended by Disciplinary Counsel, the matter shall be referred by the Executive Attorney to the Chairperson of a Hearing Committee other than that of the Contact Member for decision. The decision of the Hearing Committee Chairperson to whom the matter is referred shall be final.
(e) Recusal of Contact Members. No Hearing Committee member shall take part in any formal disciplinary proceeding regarding a matter which that member reviewed as a Contact Member.

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.