(a) Scope. This Rule does not apply to a reprimand that is to be issued upon successful termination of a Conditional Diversion Agreement.
Cross reference: See Rule 19-716 (c)(3)(A)(ix).
(1) Service on Attorney. If Bar Counsel determines after completion of an investigation, or the Peer Review Panel determines after a Panel meeting, that an attorney has engaged in professional misconduct and that the appropriate sanction for the misconduct is a reprimand, Bar Counsel or the Panel shall serve on the attorney a written offer of a reprimand and a waiver of further disciplinary or remedial proceedings that is contingent upon acceptance of the reprimand by the attorney and approval of the reprimand by the Commission.
(2) Content. The offer shall include the text of the proposed reprimand, the date when the offer will expire, a contingent waiver of further disciplinary or remedial proceedings, and advice that the offer, if accepted, is subject to approval by the Commission. The text of the proposed reprimand shall summarize the misconduct for which the reprimand is to be imposed and include a reference to any rule, statute, or other law allegedly violated by the attorney.
(c) Response. The attorney may accept the offer by signing the stipulation, endorsing the proposed reprimand, and delivering both documents to Bar Counsel or the Panel within the time stated in the notice or otherwise agreed to by Bar Counsel or the Panel. The attorney may (1) reject the offer expressly or by declining to return the documents timely, or (2) propose amendments to the proposed reprimand, which Bar Counsel or the Panel may accept, reject, or negotiate.
(d) Submission to Commission. If the attorney agrees to the proposed reprimand, Bar Counsel or the Panel shall submit the proposed reprimand to the Commission for approval, together with any explanatory material that the attorney or Bar Counsel believes relevant and any further information that the Commission requests.
(e) Action by Commission.
(1) Generally. After consideration, the Commission may:
(A) approve the reprimand, if satisfied that it is appropriate under the circumstances, in which event Bar Counsel shall promptly administer the reprimand to the attorney and terminate the disciplinary or remedial proceeding;
(B) disapprove the reprimand, if not satisfied that it is appropriate under the circumstances and direct Bar Counsel to proceed in another manner; or
(C) recommend amendments to the reprimand as a condition of approval.
(2) Upon Commission Recommendations. The parties may accept or reject the Commission's proposed amendments. If the parties accept the amendments, they shall notify the Commission of the acceptance, and the Commission shall then approve the reprimand. If either party rejects a proposed amendment, the reprimand shall be deemed disapproved by the Commission.
(f) Effect of Rejection or Disapproval. If a reprimand is proposed and rejected or if a reprimand to which the parties have stipulated is not approved by the Commission, the proceeding shall resume as if no reprimand had been proposed, and neither the fact that a reprimand was proposed, rejected, or not approved nor the contents of the reprimand or stipulation may be admitted into evidence.
(g) Effect of Reprimand. A reprimand constitutes discipline.