(a) Scope of Rule. This Rule applies to an attorney who has been disbarred, suspended indefinitely, suspended for a fixed period longer than six months, or transferred to disability inactive status or who has resigned from the practice of law.
(b) Reinstatement Not Automatic. An attorney subject to this Rule is not automatically reinstated upon expiration of the period of suspension. An attorney is not reinstated until the Supreme Court enters an Order of Reinstatement.
(c) Petition for Reinstatement.
(1) Requirement. An attorney who seeks reinstatement under this Rule shall file a verified petition for reinstatement with the Clerk of the Supreme Court and serve a copy on Bar Counsel. The attorney shall be the petitioner. Bar Counsel shall be the respondent.
(2) Timing Following Order of Suspension or Disbarment.
(A) If the attorney was suspended for a fixed period, the petition may not be filed earlier than 30 days prior to the end of the period of suspension.
(B) If the attorney was suspended for an indefinite period or disbarred, the petition may not be filed earlier than (i) the time specified in the order of suspension or disbarment.
(3) Content. The petition shall be captioned “In the Matter of the Petition for Reinstatement of XXXXX to the Bar of Maryland” and state or be accompanied by the following:
(A) docket references to all prior disciplinary or remedial actions, including all actions pending as of the date of the attorney's disbarment or suspension, to which the attorney was a party;
(B) a copy of the order that disbarred or suspended the attorney, placed the attorney on inactive status, or accepted the resignation of the attorney and any opinion of the Court that accompanied the order;
(C) that the attorney has complied in all respects with the provisions of Rule 19-741 or, if applicable, Rule 19-743, and with any terms or conditions stated in the disciplinary or remedial order;
(D) a description of the conduct or circumstances leading to the order of disbarment, suspension, placement on inactive status, or acceptance of resignation;
(E) facts establishing the attorney's subsequent conduct and reformation, present character, present qualifications and competence to practice law, and ability to satisfy the criteria set forth in section (h) of this Rule; and
(F) a statement that, to the best of the attorney's knowledge, information, and belief, no complaints or disciplinary proceedings are currently pending against the attorney.
(d) Information for Bar Counsel.
(1) Generally. Upon the filing of the petition, the attorney shall separately supply to Bar Counsel, in writing, the following information:
(A) the attorney's current address, e-mail address, if any, and telephone number;
(B) the information specified in subsection (c)(2) or (c)(3) of this Rule, as applicable;
(C) evidence establishing compliance with all applicable requirements set forth in section (h) of this Rule;
(D) a statement of whether the attorney has applied for reinstatement in any other jurisdiction and the current status of each such application; and
(E) any other information that the attorney believes is relevant to determining whether the attorney possesses the character and fitness necessary for reinstatement; and
(2) If Disbarred or Suspended. If the attorney has been disbarred or suspended, the information supplied to Bar Counsel shall include:
(A) the address of each residence of the attorney during the period of discipline, with inclusive dates of each residence;
(B) the name, address, e-mail address, if any, and telephone number of each employer, associate, and partner of the attorney during the period of discipline, together with (i) the inclusive dates of each employment, association, and partnership, (ii) the positions held, (iii) the names of all immediate supervisors, and (iv) if applicable, the reasons for termination of the employment, association, or partnership;
(C) the case caption, general nature, and disposition of each civil and criminal action pending during the period of discipline to which the attorney was a party or in which the attorney claimed an interest;
(D) a statement of monthly earnings and all other income during the period of discipline, including the source;
(E) copies of the attorney's state and federal income tax returns for the three years preceding the effective date of the order of disbarment or suspension and each year thereafter;
(F) a statement of the attorney's assets and financial obligations;
(G) the names and addresses of all creditors;
(H) a statement identifying all other business or occupational licenses or certificates applied for or held during the period of discipline and the current status of each application; and
(I) the name and address of each financial institution at which the attorney maintained or was signatory on any account, safe deposit box, deposit, or loan during the period of discipline and written authorization for Bar Counsel to obtain financial records pertaining to such accounts, safe deposit boxes, deposits, or loans.
(3) If Transferred to Disability Inactive Status. If the attorney was transferred to disability inactive status, the information supplied to Bar Counsel shall include:
(A) the name, address, and telephone number of each health care provider or addiction care provider and institution that examined or treated the attorney for incapacity during the period of inactive status; and
(B) a written waiver of any physician-patient privilege with respect to each psychiatrist, psychologist, or psychiatric-mental health nursing specialist named in subsection (d)(3)(A) of this Rule.
(e) Response to Petition.
(1) Generally. Within 30 days after service of the petition, Bar Counsel shall file and serve on the attorney a response. Except as provided in subsection (d)(2) of this Rule, the response shall admit or deny the averments in the petition in accordance with Rule 2-323 (c). The response may include Bar Counsel's recommendations in support of or opposition to the petition and with respect to any conditions to reinstatement.
(2) Consent. If Bar Counsel is satisfied that the attorney has complied fully with the provisions of Rule 19-741 and any requirements or conditions in the order of suspension or disbarment, and there are no known complaints or disciplinary proceedings pending against the attorney, the response may be in the form of a consent to the reinstatement.
(1) Consent by Bar Counsel. If, pursuant to subsection (e)(2) of this Rule, Bar Counsel has filed a consent to reinstatement, the Clerk shall proceed in accordance with Rule 19-751 (e)(1).
(2) Other Cases. In other cases, upon review of the petition and Bar Counsel's response, the Court may (A) without a hearing, dismiss the petition or grant the petition and enter an order of reinstatement with such conditions as the Court deems appropriate, or (B) order further proceedings in accordance with section (g) of this Rule.
(g) Further Proceedings.
(1) Order Designating Judge. If the Court orders further proceedings pursuant to subsection (f)(2)(B) of this Rule, it shall enter an order designating a judge of any circuit court to hold a hearing.
(2) Discovery. The judge shall allow reasonable time for Bar Counsel to investigate the petition and, subject to Rule 19-726, to take depositions and complete discovery.
(3) Hearing. The applicable provisions of Rule 19-727 shall govern the hearing and the findings and conclusions of the judge, except that the attorney shall have the burden of proving the averments of the petition by clear and convincing evidence.
(4) Proceedings in Supreme Court. The applicable provisions of Rules 19-728 and 19-729 (a), (b), and (d) shall govern subsequent proceedings in the Supreme Court. The Court may (A) dismiss the petition, (B) order reinstatement, with such conditions as the Court deems appropriate, or (C) remand for further proceedings.
(h) Criteria for Reinstatement.
(1) Generally. In determining whether to grant a petition for reinstatement, the Supreme Court shall consider the nature and circumstances of the attorney's conduct that led to the disciplinary or remedial order and the attorney's (A) subsequent conduct, (B) current character, and (C) current qualifications and competence to practice law.
(2) Specific Criteria. The Court may order reinstatement if the attorney meets each of the following criteria or presents sufficient reasons why reinstatement should be ordered in the absence of satisfaction of one or more of those criteria:
(A) the attorney has complied in all respects with the provisions of Rule 19-741 or, if applicable, 19-743 and with the terms and conditions of prior disciplinary or remedial orders;
(B) the attorney has not engaged in or attempted or offered to engage in the unauthorized practice of law during the period of disbarment, suspension, or inactive status;
(C) if the attorney was transferred to disability inactive status, the incapacity or infirmity, including alcohol or drug abuse, no longer exists and is not likely to recur in the future;
(D) if the attorney was disbarred or suspended, the petitioner recognizes the wrongfulness and seriousness of the professional misconduct for which discipline was imposed;
(E) the attorney has not engaged in any professional misconduct or, other than minor traffic or municipal infractions, any unlawful activity since the imposition of discipline;
(F) the attorney currently has the requisite honesty and integrity to practice law;
(G) the attorney has kept informed about recent developments in the law and is competent to practice law; and
(H) the attorney has complied with all financial obligations required by these Rules or by court order, including (i) reimbursement of all amounts due to the attorney's former clients, (ii) payment of restitution which, by court order, is due to the attorney's former clients or any other person, (iii) reimbursement of the Client Protection Fund for all claims that arose out of the attorney's practice of law and satisfaction of all judgments arising out of such claims, and (iv) payment of all costs assessed by court order or otherwise required by law.
(i) Subsequent Petitions. Except upon order of the Supreme Court, an attorney may not file a petition for reinstatement sooner than one year after the Court denied a prior petition for reinstatement. Absent leave of Court or the consent of Bar Counsel, an attorney may not file more than three petitions for reinstatement.
(j) Conditions to Reinstatement. An order that reinstates an attorney may include, as a condition precedent to reinstatement or as a condition of probation after reinstatement that the attorney:
(1) take the oath of attorneys required by Code, Business Occupations and Professions Article, § 10-212;
(2) pass the Uniform Bar Examination;
(3) successfully complete the Maryland Law Component required for admission to the Maryland Bar;
(4) take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination and earn a score that meets or exceeds the passing score in Maryland established by the Board of Law Examiners;
(5) attend a bar review course approved by Bar Counsel and submit to Bar Counsel satisfactory evidence of attendance;
(6) submit to Bar Counsel evidence of successful completion of a professional ethics course at an accredited law school;
(7) engage an attorney satisfactory to Bar Counsel to monitor the attorney's legal practice for a period stated in the order of reinstatement;
(8) limit the nature or extent of the attorney's future practice of law in the manner set forth in the order of reinstatement;
(9) participate in a program tailored to individual circumstances that provides the attorney with law office management assistance, attorney assistance or counseling, treatment for substance or gambling abuse, or psychological counseling;
(10) demonstrate, by a report of a health care professional or other evidence, that the attorney is mentally and physically competent to resume the practice of law;
(11) issue an apology to one or more persons; or
(12) take any other corrective action that the Court deems appropriate.
(k) Effective Date of Reinstatement Order. An order that reinstates the petitioner may provide that it shall become effective immediately or on a date stated in the order.
(l) Duties of Clerk.
(1) Attorney Admitted to Practice. Promptly after the effective date of an order that reinstates a petitioner, the Clerk of the Supreme Court shall comply with Rule 19-761.
(2) Attorney Not Admitted to Practice. Upon receiving a reinstatement notice authorized by section (e) of this Rule, or on the effective date of an order or notice that reinstates a petitioner not admitted by the Supreme Court to practice law, the Clerk of the Supreme Court shall remove the petitioner's name from the list maintained in that Court of non-admitted attorneys who are ineligible to practice law in this State, and shall certify that fact to the Board of Law Examiners and the clerks of all courts in the State.
(m) Motion to Vacate Reinstatement. Bar Counsel may file a motion to vacate an order that reinstates the petitioner if (1) the petitioner has failed to demonstrate substantial compliance with the order, including any condition of reinstatement imposed under Rule 19-752 (h) or section (j) of this Rule or (2) the petition filed under section (a) of this Rule contains a false statement or omits a material fact, the petitioner knew the statement was false or the fact was omitted, and the true facts were not disclosed to Bar Counsel prior to entry of the order. The petitioner may file a verified response within 15 days after service of the motion, unless a different time is ordered. If there is a factual dispute to be resolved, the court may enter an order designating a judge in accordance with Rule 19-722 to hold a hearing. The judge shall allow reasonable time for the parties to prepare for the hearing and may authorize discovery pursuant to Rule 19-726. The applicable provisions of Rule 19-727 shall govern the hearing. The applicable provisions of Rules 19-728 and 19-740, except section (c) of Rule 19-740, shall govern any subsequent proceedings in the Supreme Court. The Court may reimpose the discipline that was in effect when the order was entered or may impose additional or different discipline.