Navigation

THE COURTS

Title 204--JUDICIAL SYSTEM GENERAL PROVISIONS

PART V.  PROFESSIONAL ETHICS AND CONDUCT

[204 PA. CODE CH. 83]

Amendment to the Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement Relating to Confidentiality of Information Obtained by the Lawyers Fund for Client Security

[33 Pa.B. 2857]

   Notice is hereby given that The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is considering recommending to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that it amend the Pennsylvania Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement as set forth in Annex A to make clear that the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security may use information obtained during an investigation to pursue subrogated claims.

   The Lawyers Fund for Client Security routinely receives information from the Office of Disciplinary Counsel regarding claims received by the Fund for losses caused by dishonest lawyers. The Fund is bound by the confidentiality requirements of Pa.R.D.E. 402 with respect to that information. See Pa.R.D.E. 521(a). In addition to reviewing the information provided by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, the Fund conducts its own investigation of claims and makes a determination as to whether an award from the Fund should be made.

   When the Fund pays a claim, it acquires certain rights of subrogation. See Pa.R.D.E. 521(e)(1). Although the Fund develops a significant amount of information outside of the information it receives from the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, there remains the possibility that pursuit of a subrogation claim by the Fund may disclose information received from the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

   If a proceeding against the lawyer whose conduct caused a claim results in public discipline, the confidentiality requirements of Pa.R.D.E. 402 cease to apply. However, if the proceeding against a lawyer is concluded by the resignation of the lawyer, the confidentiality requirements continue to apply. The proposed amendment to Pa.R.D.E. 402 set forth in Annex A is intended to make clear that pursuit of subrogation claims by the Fund in cases where public discipline has not been imposed will not violate the confidentiality requirements of Pa.R.D.E. 402.

   Interested persons are invited to submit written comments regarding the proposed amendment to the Office of the Secretary, The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, First Floor, Two Lemoyne Drive, Lemoyne, PA 17043, on or before July 7, 2003.

By the Disciplinary Board of the
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

ELAINE M. BIXLER,   
Executive Director and Secretary

Annex A

TITLE 204.  JUDICIAL SYSTEM
GENERAL PROVISIONS

PART V.  PROFESSIONAL ETHICS AND CONDUCT

Subpart B.  DISCIPLINARY ENFORCEMENT

CHAPTER 83.  PENNSYLVANIA RULES OF DISCIPLINARY ENFORCEMENT

Subchapter D.  MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Rule 402.  Confidentiality

*      *      *      *      *

   (b)  This rule shall not be construed to:

*      *      *      *      *

   (3)  Prevent the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security from utilizing information obtained during any investigation to pursue subrogated claims.

*      *      *      *      *

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 03-1167. Filed for public inspection June 20, 2003, 9:00 a.m.]



No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.

This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Bulletin full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.


Navigation

webmaster@PaBulletin.com