October 02, 2020 Feature

Understanding Discipline and Reporting Requirements for Lawyer DUIs

By Mark A. Webster

I. Introduction

Alcohol abuse and addiction are significant and well-documented problems in the legal profession. A recent joint research project by the American Bar Association and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation found that 20.6% of lawyers screened positive for problematic drinking, as compared to 11.8% of the rest of the “highly educated” workforce.1 Beyond the obvious mental and physical health concerns related to alcohol abuse, impaired lawyers may miss important deadlines, make other critical mistakes, and act inappropriately around clients and colleagues. More to the immediate point, lawyers who abuse alcohol may engage in related criminal behavior, such as driving under the influence of alcohol (“DUI”). Lawyers who drive drunk not only risk criminal consequences and administrative penalties, such as the restriction or loss of their driving privileges, but their poor choices may also raise difficult professional responsibility issues.

Model Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4(b) states that it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to “commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.”2 Determining whether a criminal act—such as a DUI arrest—reflects upon a lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness to practice law is not always a straightforward task. Whether good or bad, courts’ interpretation and enforcement of Rule 8.4(b) varies by jurisdiction.

Model Rule 8.3(a), which mirrors much of the language of Model Rule 8.4(b), is also pertinent to alcohol-related criminal offenses because it requires a lawyer to report misconduct by another lawyer that raises a “substantial question” as to the other lawyer’s “honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.”3 The decision to report a fellow lawyer to professional authorities can be particularly difficult, especially when the lawyers involved are friends or colleagues. Indeed, lawyers are often hesitant to report colleagues’ and friends’ misconduct for fear of retaliation, ostracization, or other negative consequences.

Together, Rules 8.4(b) and 8.3(a) raise thorny questions with respect to lawyer DUI offenses. Does a single DUI reflect adversely on a lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer? And if it does, must the DUI be reported (or even self-reported) to disciplinary authorities? This Article examines the professional discipline and reporting requirements that stem from lawyer DUI offenses. Part II of this Article surveys the treatment of lawyer DUIs by courts and disciplinary authorities under Rule 8.4(b). Part III then addresses the duty to report lawyer DUI offenses under Model Rule 8.3(a). Part IV concludes with recommendations for managing these sensitive matters.

II. Rule 8.4(b) and Discipline for DUI

Under what circumstances do DUI offenses reflect adversely on a lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer, thereby violating Model Rule 8.4(b) and necessitating professional discipline? Most courts that have considered the question have only disciplined lawyers in the event of a DUI when one or more aggravating factors are present: (a) multiple DUI offenses; (b) additional non-DUI offenses; (c) behavior which negatively affects clients; or (d) injury or death caused by impaired driving. Except for one Colorado decision, a single instance of a misdemeanor DUI—without any additional offenses or aggravating factors—has not historically been sufficient to violate Model Rule 8.4(b).

A. Multiple DUI Offenses

Most of the cases disciplining lawyers for DUIs do so only in the event of a lawyer’s second, third, or even fourth DUI offense. For example, in State ex rel. Oklahoma Bar Ass’n v. McBride,4 the Oklahoma Supreme Court explained that while a single DUI conviction does not “facially demonstrate a lawyer’s unfitness to practice law,” repeated violations of DUI laws and other alcohol-related offenses violate the mandatory provisions of Oklahoma’s versions of Model Rules 8.4(b) and 8.4(d).5 In McBride, the lawyer was convicted of multiple DUIs, along with public drunkenness and possession of drug paraphernalia. The court publicly reprimanded the lawyer and suspended him for two years.6 Similarly, the Arkansas Supreme Court concluded that a lawyer’s fourth DUI—an automatic felony in Arkansas—constituted a “serious crime” and thus “serious misconduct” that warranted disbarment.7 The Illinois Supreme Court likewise suspended an attorney’s license for two years (but stayed the suspension based on probationary conditions) after he committed two DUIs and drove with a suspended license.8

B. Additional Non-DUI Offenses

Many of the cases which discipline lawyers for DUI involve additional offenses.9 For instance, in King v. Kentucky Bar Ass’n,10 the lawyer had been convicted of multiple offenses, including a third DUI offense, driving on a suspended license, and endangering the welfare of a minor.11 Based on the cumulative effect of these offenses, the court easily found violations of Rule 8.4(b), publicly reprimanded the lawyer, and imposed two years of probation.12 Consistent with this outcome, the Iowa Supreme Court handed down a two-year suspension in connection with a lawyer’s convictions for DUI, domestic abuse assault, and several violations of a no-contact order.13 Similarly, a New York court publicly censured a lawyer based on a single DUI and two related counts of child endangerment.14

C. Behavior Which Negatively Affects Clients

Courts considering discipline for DUI offenses also frequently focus on whether the offending lawyer’s conduct negatively affected clients. In McBride, for example, the Oklahoma Supreme Court explained that discipline imposed in cases involving alcohol-related crimes has ranged from “severe, when coupled with harm to clients, to censure, when no clients were involved.”15 In another case, the Colorado Supreme Court suspended a lawyer from the practice of law for three years after the lawyer pled guilty to two DUIs.16 In handing down the suspension, the court focused on the fact that, in addition to the two DUIs, the lawyer had failed to attend his client’s hearing. The lawyer’s failure to appear resulted in an award being entered against the client with no opportunity to appeal.17 In the same vein, the South Carolina Supreme Court, upon disbarring a lawyer after his receipt of a third DUI, indicated that the lawyer’s failure to adequately handle multiple client matters and failure to account for client funds heavily influenced its decision.18

D. Injury or Death Caused by Impaired Driving

Tragically, some of the DUI disciplinary cases involve situations where the lawyer’s reckless actions injure or even kill someone. In In re Cairns,19 a lawyer pled guilty to a misdemeanor count of DUI and vehicular assault after falling asleep at the wheel and injuring another driver in a collision.20 The Delaware Supreme Court’s Board on Professional Responsibility determined that causing injury while driving under the influence clearly violated Delaware’s version of Rule 8.4(b), because it contravened the lawyer’s duties to “the public, to the legal system, and to the legal profession.”21 The Board considered various aggravating factors (including the fact that the lawyer had caused a prior accident while driving under the influence) and mitigating factors (including the lawyer’s absence of a prior disciplinary record, voluntary disclosure to the disciplinary board, and good character and reputation) in recommending a 21-month suspension.22 The Delaware Supreme Court accepted the Board’s findings and recommendations.

In a recent Colorado Supreme Court disciplinary case, a lawyer drove under the influence of drugs and alcohol, resulting in the death of two people and earning the lawyer a 12-year jail sentence.23 The court observed that lawyers who injure others while driving under the influence may receive a wide variety of discipline, depending on the aggravating or mitigating factors present in each case. The relatively mild punishment of censure, for instance, requires the existence of significant mitigating factors.24 In the case at hand, however, the court reasoned that the resultant deaths, the attendant 12-year prison sentence, and the lawyer’s “extensive prior discipline” were significant aggravating factors that necessitated a three-year suspension of the lawyer’s license to practice.25

E. People v. Miller

Despite the overwhelming majority of lawyer DUI cases in which courts have required aggravating circumstances to impose discipline, a contrary 2017 Colorado decision, People v. Miller,26 stands out. In Miller, a Hearing Board convened by a Presiding Disciplinary Judge of the Colorado Supreme Court held that a lawyer violated Colorado’s version of Rule 8.4(b) based on a conviction for a single misdemeanor DUI offense, even though the lawyer caused no actual harm to others and committed no additional criminal offenses or professional misconduct.27 The lawyer, Dan Miller, had voluntarily pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of DUI—his first DUI conviction.28 He had also self-reported his DUI conviction and agreed to undergo an alcohol evaluation by a psychologist.29 Based on these mitigating factors, Miller argued that he did not violate Colorado’s version of Rule 8.4(b) – particularly since the Colorado Supreme Court had never held that a single DUI conviction, standing alone, amounted to a violation of the Rule.30

The Hearing Board agreed that a DUI conviction was not a “per se” rule violation but explained that, upon “reading the case law as a whole,” it interpreted the “general tenor” of the Colorado Supreme Court’s holdings as “reflecting a perspective that DUI often reflects negatively on a lawyer’s fitness to practice.”31 Accordingly, the Hearing Board found that Miller’s single misdemeanor DUI violated Rule 8.4(b).32

To support its finding, the Hearing Board noted that Miller’s blood alcohol content at the time of arrest was “strikingly high,” and opined that this signaled “a degree of callousness to the public and our body of criminal laws that casts doubt on a lawyer’s commitment to faithfully respect the welfare of others and the interests of the legal system.”33 The Hearing Board further claimed that, according to some estimates, an average person will have driven drunk “roughly eighty times” before being arrested for a DUI.34 The Hearing Board admitted that it was not aware of any cases in Colorado or any other states in which courts disciplined lawyers under the same circumstances, but rather relied almost exclusively on cases35 where courts disciplined lawyers for first-time DUI offenses that caused injury or “potential injury.”36 While the Hearing Board admitted that DUI offenses had not been previously deemed in Colorado to “seriously” adversely reflect on a lawyer’s fitness to practice law, it concluded that the lawyer’s decision to drive while intoxicated posed a “risk of significant harm to the public.” Further, the Hearing Board stated that the legal profession “cannot ignore conduct representing this degree of indifference to fundamental legal obligations and to the public good.”37 Following this rationale, the Hearing Board publicly censured Miller.

In a sharp dissent, one Hearing Board member stated that despite “extensive research” of disciplinary case law involving DUI convictions, the Hearing Board was unable to identify any public case in Colorado or any other jurisdiction in which a lawyer was held to have violated Rule 8.4(b) under circumstances analogous to this case.38 The dissent made clear that there was no finding that the lawyer was unfit to practice law; rather, the lawyer’s clients were satisfied with his representation during his 42 years of practice, during which he had no disciplinary history and had never had an alcohol violation.39 The dissent continued: “If a Colo. RPC 8.4(b) violation can be premised solely on a single misdemeanor conviction, the plain language of the rule will be rendered superfluous and low-level misdemeanor offenses of any type will always form the basis for discipline,” thereby leading to a slippery slope that will result in “unlimited areas of lawyer regulation.”40

Miller appears to be an outlier. Again, most states have been unwilling to impose discipline for a single misdemeanor DUI. Some states arguably permit discipline in such a circumstance—for instance, New York explicitly states that an attorney is automatically subject to discipline for any “crime or misdemeanor”—but in the event of a first-time misdemeanor or lesser offense, suspension is unlikely without aggravating circumstances.41

Some courts have also imposed discipline for first-offense DUIs in instances where the offending lawyer submitted a joint petition for consent discipline.42 Because of the limited information available in these cases, however, it is impossible to know whether the DUI offenses included additional aggravating factors, or if additional offenses and charges were excluded from the consent petitions through negotiation. It is also unclear whether the offending lawyers received effective legal representation and guidance before they consented to discipline.

III. Rule 8.3(a) and the Duty to Report

In most jurisdictions, lawyers are required to report misconduct by other lawyers, and may be disciplined if they fail to do so. Model Rule 8.3(a) states that a “lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, shall inform the appropriate professional authority.”43 This language essentially tracks the “honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer” verbiage used in Model Rule 8.4(b).

A. Reporting Another Lawyer

Lawyers who are aware of another lawyer’s DUI offense may wonder if they are required to make a report to professional disciplinary authorities. While some professional misjudgments clearly implicate a lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness to practice and therefore necessitate reporting (e.g., perjury, fraud, theft, etc.), and others clearly do not, there is a “vast, ambiguous middle ground where little definitive guidance can be provided.”44 Non-felony alcohol-related offenses arguably fall within that middle ground. Neither the Model Rules nor available authorities directly discuss reporting lawyers for single misdemeanor DUIs, but because Model Rule 8.4(b) so closely tracks the “honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer” language of Model Rule 8.3(a), the case law concerning Model Rule 8.4(b) provides guidance for would-be reporters of lawyer misconduct. The fact that most courts are unwilling to discipline lawyers for a single misdemeanor DUI, without any aggravating factors, makes it unlikely that Model Rule 8.3(a) imposes a duty on a lawyer to report a fellow lawyer for such a violation. Even the Miller court, which imposed discipline for a lawyer’s single, non-aggravated misdemeanor DUI, admitted that DUI offenses typically do not seriously adversely reflect on a lawyer’s fitness to practice law.45

In some cases, however, a lawyer may be concerned that another lawyer’s single DUI arrest involves significant additional aggravating factors or is a possible indicator of a more extensive underlying issue. If a lawyer then struggles with the idea that reporting the other lawyer to disciplinary authorities may be necessary, there are a few concepts related to Model Rule 8.3(a) that the lawyer should keep in mind.

First, even if a lawyer knows46 about another lawyer’s DUI, Model Rule 8.3(a) only attaches to ethics violations that raise a substantial question about a lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer. The term “substantial” refers to the seriousness of the possible offense and not the quantum of evidence of which the lawyer is aware.47 The comments to Model Rule 8.3 clarify that lawyers need not report every violation, explaining that “[i]f a lawyer were obliged to report every violation of the Rules, the failure to report any violation would itself be a professional offense.”48 Because a lawyer’s reporting obligation is limited “to those offenses that a self-regulating profession must vigorously endeavor to prevent,” a “measure of judgment” is required to comply with the rule.49

Second, lawyers must consider whether the DUI offense is a one-time mistake related to an evening of enthusiastic celebration or if it evidences a more serious pattern of misconduct. Although a single act by a lawyer may occasionally evidence a lack of fitness, in most cases a pattern of conduct is required to demonstrate that a lawyer is not meeting the obligations imposed by the Model Rules.50 Comment [1] to Model Rule 8.3 states that lawyers must consider whether an “apparently isolated violation may indicate a pattern of misconduct that only a disciplinary investigation can uncover,”51 and some states have indicated that an isolated incident need only be reported when there are “reasonable grounds” that it is indicative of a pattern of misconduct.52 Lawyers will likely need to draw on their knowledge of the offending lawyer’s personality, professional track record, interactions with clients, and conduct history to effectively make such a determination.

Third, a lawyer must assess whether the DUI is evidence of significant lawyer impairment. An impaired lawyer is considered “unfit” under Rule 8.3(a) if the lawyer’s condition materially affects the lawyer’s ability to represent clients.53 ABA Formal Opinion 03-431 suggests that a lawyer need not act on rumors or conflicting reports about another lawyer’s impairment, and even knowing that another lawyer is drinking heavily or evidencing impairment in social settings “is not itself enough to trigger a duty to report under Rule 8.3.”54 Before making a report, the lawyer must know that a condition is “materially impairing” an affected lawyer’s representation of clients.55 This may be evidenced by a variety of behaviors, including repeatedly missing deadlines, failing to perform agreed-upon tasks, or failing to raise issues that competent counsel would be expected to raise.56 Id. Because lawyers are not healthcare professionals, they cannot always discern severe impairment, but a lawyer is not permitted to “shut his eyes to conduct reflecting generally recognized symptoms of impairment.”57

Finally, in addition to the duty to report under Model Rule 8.3(a), some observers have noted that lawyer impairment may also give rise to a duty under Model Rule 5.1, which requires partners and lawyers with managerial authority to make reasonable efforts to ensure that lawyers in a firm conform to the Model Rules.58 Because lawyers have a duty to prevent impaired lawyers from violating the Model Rules, any failure to report awareness of substantial lawyer impairment could arguably violate both Model Rule 8.3(a) and Model Rule 5.1.59

B. The Duty to Self-Report

Model Rule 8.3(a) concerns misconduct of “another lawyer” and does not require lawyers to report their own ethical lapses to professional authorities.60 Many states’ versions of the rule follow suit, thereby freeing lawyers from a duty to self-report a DUI. In Louisiana, for example, a lawyer has no legal or ethical obligation to self-report a disciplinary violation—including for a DUI or other misdemeanor.61 A few states, however, require lawyers to self-report misconduct. Kansas, for instance, has modified Rule 8.3(a) to require a lawyer with knowledge of “any” misconduct—including a lawyer’s own misconduct—to inform the appropriate professional authority.62 Other states require lawyers to self-report certain criminal offenses. California directs a lawyer to self-report any felony indictment or conviction, any misdemeanor conviction for a crime “committed in the course of the practice of law” or in which the client was the victim, or any misdemeanor conviction for a crime that involves “dishonesty or moral turpitude.”63 Georgia likewise requires members to report any felony conviction to the State Bar of Georgia, as well as any “misdemeanor involving moral turpitude where the underlying conduct relates to the lawyer’s fitness to practice law.”64 One author defined “moral turpitude” as an act which is “contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good morals,” and which includes crimes like bank fraud, wire fraud, bribery, and obstruction of justice.65 Based on available authority, a single misdemeanor DUI, without more, does not appear to fall under the moral turpitude umbrella.

Colorado uses broader self-reporting language, requiring every lawyer to self-report all criminal convictions “except those misdemeanor traffic offenses or traffic ordinance violations, not including the use of alcohol or drugs . . . . ”66 Because the “use of alcohol” is explicitly carved out of the misdemeanor traffic offense exception, it appears that any misdemeanor DUI offense—no matter how benign—must be self-reported in Colorado. Considering the wide variance in state self-reporting requirements, lawyers must be sure to review applicable state laws and regulations to ensure that they properly comply with self-reporting obligations.

IV. Conclusion

Alcohol abuse is a problem in law firms, and it leads to serious consequences. In addition to the toll taken on lawyers’ health and the harm inflicted on clients, many lawyers commit alcohol-related offenses that lead to both criminal and disciplinary actions. DUIs are among the most common of such offenses. Based on available authority, a lawyer’s single misdemeanor DUI—without aggravating factors—should not trigger professional discipline. Where DUIs lead to injury, harm to clients, or additional criminal conduct, however, courts have not hesitated to censure, suspend, or even disbar offending lawyers.

Deciding whether to report a fellow lawyer for alcohol-related offenses can be difficult, particularly in a profession where alcohol consumption is pervasive. Certainly, not every alcohol-related offense raises a substantial question about a lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness to practice law, and would-be reporting lawyers are entitled to exercise a measure of judgment in each case. Based on the weight of authority interpreting Model Rules 8.4(b) and 8.3(a), it does not appear that a single, first-offense misdemeanor DUI or alcohol-related offense necessitates reporting, particularly if a lawyer has no reason to believe that it indicates a potential pattern of troubling conduct. If a lawyer is concerned that the offense is a symptom of a larger issue, or if the lawyer knows of a material impairment that impedes a lawyer’s ability to represent clients, reporting may be required. A lawyer’s duty to self-report misconduct, on the other hand, varies by state.

In the end, lawyers must carefully consider the Model Rules, state requirements, and case law when weighing whether to reporting a lawyer’s alcohol-related misconduct to disciplinary authorities. The need for a measure of judgment here is substantial.

Endnotes

1. Patrick R. Krill et al., The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys, 10 J. Addiction Medicine 46, 48–51 (2016).

2. Model Rules of Prof’l Conduct R. 8.4(c) (2019).

3. Model Rules of Prof’l Conduct R. 8.3(a) (2019).

4. 175 P.3d 379 (Okla. 2007).

5. Id. at 385.

6. Id. at 380–82, 390.

7. Ligon v. Stewart, 255 S.W.3d 435, 440–41, 443–44 (Ark. 2007).

8. In re Kunz, 524 N.E.2d 544, 545 (Ill. 1988).

9. See, e.g., Wickersham v. Ky. Bar Ass’n, 585 S.W.3d 766, 766–68 (Ky. 2019) (involving consent discipline predicated on charges of first degree wanton endangerment of a child, public intoxication, and DUI).

10. 377 S.W.3d 541 (Ky. 2012).

11. Id. at 542.

12. Id. at 542–43.

13. Iowa Sup. Ct. Att’y Disciplinary Bd. v. Sears, 933 N.W.2d 214, 223–26 (Iowa 2019).

14. In re O’Brien, 765 N.Y.S.2d 71, 72 (App. Div. 2003).

15. State ex rel. Okla. Bar Ass’n v. McBride, 175 P.3d 379, 387 (Okla. 2007).

16. People v. Madigan, 914 P.2d 346, 347–48 (Colo. 1996).

17. Id.

18. In re Dumas, 419 S.E.2d 791, 793 (S.C. 1992).

19. No. 34, 2016, 2016 Del. LEXIS 57 (Del. Feb. 5, 2016).

20. Id. at *3.

21. Id. at *12–13.

22. Id. at *15–21, 26–27.

23. People v. Smith, No. 18PDJ050, 2019 Colo. Discipl. LEXIS 16, at *6–7 (Colo. Apr. 9, 2019).

24. Id. at *17–18.

25. Id. at *18–19.

26. 409 P.3d 667 (Colo. 2017).

27. Id. at 678.

28. Id. at 668.

29. Id. at 669.

30. Id. at 672.

31. Id. at 673 (footnote omitted).

32. Id.

33. Id. at 673–74.

34. Id. at 673.

35. All but one of the referenced cases involved accidents resulting in injury or death. Id. at 674. The lone exception was In re Bratton, 33 N.Y.S.3d 743 (App. Div. 2016), in which the court found that a lawyer engaged in conduct that adversely reflected on his fitness as a lawyer, warranting public censure. Id. at 744. The lawyer there drove the wrong direction down a parkway while intoxicated, leading to DUI and reckless endangerment convictions.

36. People v. Miller, 409 P.3d 667, 674-77 (Colo. 2017).

37. Id. at 675, 677.

38. Id. at 678 (Rogers, T., dissenting).

39. Id. at 679 (Rogers, T., dissenting).

40. Id. at 679–80 (Rogers, T., dissenting).

41. N.Y. Judiciary Law § 90(2) (2019); Barbara F. Smith, Going Up River: Lawyer Discipline, Lawyer Assistance and the Legal Profession’s Response to Lawyer Alcoholism, 12 Gov’t Law & Policy J., Fall 2010, at 78.

42. See, e.g., In re Henry, 245 So. 3d 1041, 1041 (La. 2018) (ordering a one-year deferred suspension after the submission of a petition for consent discipline admitting to a first-offense DUI and a violation of Rules 8.4(a) and 8.4(b)).

43. Model Rules of Prof’l Conduct R. 8.3(a) (2019).

44. Saul Jay Singer, Speaking of Ethics: To Report or Not to Report: That is the Question, Wash. Law., at 1 (Nov. 2011), https://www.dcbar.org/bar-resources/publications/washington-lawyer/articles/november-2011-speaking-of-ethics.cfm.

45. People v. Miller, 409 P.3d 667, 675 (Colo. 2017).

46. Mere suspicion of misconduct is insufficient to trigger a duty to report; some level of knowledge that allows a reasonable lawyer to conclude that the conduct has (or more than likely has) occurred is required. Douglas R. Richmond, The Duty to Report Professional Misconduct: A Practical Analysis of Lawyer Self-regulation, 12 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 175, 185–86 (1999) [hereinafter Richmond, The Duty to Report].

47. Model Rules of Prof’l Conduct R. 8.3 cmt. 3 (2019).

48. Id.

49. Id.

50. ABA Comm. on Ethics & Prof’l Responsibility, Formal Op. 03-431, at 2 (2003) [hereinafter ABA Formal Op. 03-431].

51. Model Rules of Prof’l Conduct R. 8.3 cmt. 1 (2019).

52. Ariz. State Bar Comm. on the Rules of Prof’l Conduct Op. 90-13, at 4 (1990).

53. Douglas R. Richmond, Law Firm Partners as Their Brothers’ Keepers, 96 Ky. L.J. 231, 260 (2007/2008) (citing Model Rule 1.16(a)(2)).

54. ABA Formal Op. 03-431, supra note 50, at 3.

55. Id.

56. Id.

57. Id.

58. Lennes N. Omuro, Lawyer Impairment and Related Ethical Considerations, Haw. Bar J., Feb. 2017, at 13, 13.

59. Id.

60. Model Rules of Prof’l Conduct R. 8.3(a) (2019); Richmond, supra note 46, at 201.

61. Dane S. Ciolini, Must I Self-Report My Own Misconduct?, La. Legal Ethics (July 13, 2015), https://lalegalethics.org/must-i-report-my-own-misconduct/; see also Ky. Bar Ass’n Comm. on Ethics & Unauthorized Practice of Law Op. E-430, at 22 (2010) (stating that Kentucky does not generally require a lawyer to self-report professional misconduct).

62. Kan. Rules of Prof’l Conduct R. 8.3(a) (2019).

63. Guidelines for Attorney Mandatory Reportable Actions, State Bar of Cal., http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/Conduct-Discipline/Self-Reporting-FAQ (last visited Oct. 9, 2019) (citing Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 6068(o)(4)–(5) (2019)).

64. Ga. Rules of Prof’l Conduct R. 9.1(a) (2019).

65. Joyce E. Peters, The Perils of Misdemeanors: Serious Crimes and Moral Turpitude, Wash. Law., June 2004, at 2 https://www.dcbar.org/bar-resources/publications/washington-lawyer/articles/june-2004-bar-counsel.cfm.

66. C.R.C.P. § 251.20(b) (2019).

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By Mark A. Webster

Vice President, Aon Professional Services, Kansas City, Mo. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author.