Rule 17

Model Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement

  1. Notice to Disciplinary Agencies. Disciplinary counsel shall transmit notice of public discipline, transfers to or from disability inactive status, reinstatements, readmissions, and certified copies of judgments of conviction to the disciplinary enforcement agency of every other jurisdiction in which the respondent is admitted.

  2. Public Notice of Discipline Imposed. Disciplinary counsel shall cause notices of suspension, disbarment, reinstatement, readmission, and transfers to or from disability inactive status to be published in the journal of the state bar and in a newspaper of general circulation in each judicial district in which the lawyer maintained an office for the practice of law.

  3. Notice to the Courts. Disciplinary counsel shall promptly transmit a certified copy of the order of suspension, disbarment, reinstatement, and transfer to or from disability inactive status to all courts in this state. In addition, disciplinary counsel shall request the presiding judge of the court of the judicial district in which a respondent transferred to disability inactive status or otherwise unable to comply with the requirement of Rule 27 maintained an office for the practice of law to take such action under the provision of Rule 28 as may be indicated in order to protect the interests of the respondent and the respondent's clients.

    Commentary
    Broad dissemination of information concerning public discipline serves several important purposes. Notification to disciplinary agencies outside the jurisdiction where a sanction has been imposed facilitates appropriate action, such as reciprocal discipline, in jurisdictions where the lawyer is admitted or is seeking admission to practice. Transmittal of notice concerning criminal convictions provides disciplinary agencies with information that may form the basis of a petition for interim suspension. Publication in state bar journals and newspapers of general circulation helps protect the public and the legal community from being misled concerning the lawyer's eligibility to provide representation. In addition, public awareness of sanctions also enhances confidence in the disciplinary system as an effective means of responding to lawyer misconduct.

    When a limitation on a lawyer's license has been removed through reinstatement, readmission or transfer to active status, publication and notification help the lawyer avoid a potential burden involved in correcting misunderstandings concerning his or her eligibility to practice. It is fair and reasonable to give notice of reinstatements, readmissions, and transfers to active status in the same manner as notice of public sanctions.


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