(a) General Requirement. An attorney may consent to discipline or placement on inactive status in accordance with this Rule.

(b) Consent to Discipline for Misconduct.

(1) Joint Petition. An attorney may consent to disbarment or other discipline by joining with Bar Counsel in a petition for an order disbarring the attorney, suspending the attorney from the practice of law, or reprimanding the attorney. The petition shall be signed by the attorney and Bar Counsel and filed in the Court of Appeals. If a suspension is requested, the petition shall state whether the suspension should be indefinite or for a stated period and shall set forth any conditions that the parties agree should be imposed. If a reprimand is requested, the petition shall state the proposed text of the reprimand and any conditions.

(2) Affidavit Required. A joint petition filed under subsection (b)(1) of this Rule shall be accompanied by an affidavit by the attorney that certifies that the attorney:

(A) is aware that an investigation or proceeding is currently pending involving allegations of professional misconduct, the nature of which shall be specifically set forth;

(B) knows that if a hearing were to be held, sufficient evidence could be produced to sustain the allegations of misconduct;

(C) consents to the disbarment or other discipline stated in the petition;

(D) gives the consent freely and voluntarily without coercion or duress;

(E) is aware of the effects of the disbarment or other discipline to which the attorney is consenting; and

(F) agrees to comply with Rule 19-742 and any conditions stated in the petition that the Court of Appeals may impose.

(3) Order of the Court of Appeals. Upon the filing of the joint petition and the affidavit, the Court of Appeals may enter an order, signed by the Chief Judge or a judge designated by the Chief Judge, disbarring the attorney by consent from the practice of law in the State, suspending the attorney by consent from the practice of law, or reprimanding the attorney by consent and imposing any conditions stated in the petition. The provisions of Rule 19-742 apply to an order entered under subsection (b)(3) of this Rule.

(c) Consent to Placement on Inactive Status.

(1) Joint Petition. If competent to do so, an attorney may consent to placement on inactive status by joining with Bar Counsel in a petition for an order placing the attorney on inactive status. The petition shall be signed by the attorney and Bar Counsel and filed in the Court of Appeals. The petition shall state whether the inactive status should be indefinite or until the occurrence of a specified event and shall set forth any conditions that the parties agree should be imposed.

(2) Affidavit Required. A joint petition filed under subsection (c)(1) of this Rule shall be accompanied by an affidavit by the attorney that certifies that the attorney:

(A) understands and is competent to make the other certifications in subsection (c)(2) of this Rule;

(B) consents to the placement on inactive status;

(C) gives the consent freely and voluntarily without coercion or duress;

(D) is currently incapacitated and unable to render adequate legal service;

(E) knows that if a hearing were to be held, Bar Counsel would have the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the attorney is so incapacitated as to require the attorney to be placed on inactive status;

(F) understands that being placed on inactive status, if ordered by the Court of Appeals, terminates the attorney's privilege to practice law in this State until otherwise ordered by the Court;

(G) agrees to comply with Rule 19-744 and any conditions stated in the petition that the Court of Appeals may impose;

(H) understands that the attorney may not be reinstated to practice law unless the attorney is able to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the attorney has regained the ability to render adequate legal services, that inactive status should be terminated, and that the attorney should be reinstated to active practice;

(I) has disclosed to Bar Counsel the name of every physician, other health care provider, and health care facility by whom or at which the attorney has been examined, evaluated, or treated; and

(J) has furnished Bar Counsel with written consent to the release of such health care information and records as Bar Counsel has requested and waived any privilege as to such information and records.

(3) Order of the Court of Appeals. Upon the filing of the joint petition and affidavit, the Court of Appeals may enter an order, signed by the Chief Judge or a judge designated by the Chief Judge, placing the attorney on inactive status by consent pending further order of the Court and imposing any conditions stated in the petition. The provisions of Rule 19-744 apply to an order entered under subsection (c)(3) of this Rule.

(d) Duty of Clerk. When an attorney has been disbarred, suspended, or placed on inactive status under this Rule, the Clerk of the Court of Appeals shall comply with Rule 19-761.

(e) Effect of Denial. If the Court of Appeals denies a joint petition for discipline or inactive status, the investigation or disciplinary or remedial proceeding shall resume as if no consent had been given. Neither the joint petition nor the affidavit may be admitted in 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