[ 204 PA. CODE CH. 83 ]

Amendment of Rule 214 of the Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement; No. 91 Disciplinary Rules

[40 Pa.B. 5292]
[Saturday, September 18, 2010]

Per Curiam

And Now, this 1st day of September, 2010, upon the recommendation of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania; the proposal having been published for comment in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, 40 Pa.B. 1066 (February 27, 2010):

It Is Ordered pursuant to Article V, Section 10 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania that Rule 214 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement is amended in the following form.

 This Order shall be processed in accordance with Pa.R.J.A. No. 103(b), and shall be effective in sixty days.

Annex A





Subchapter B. MISCONDUCT

Rule 214. Attorneys convicted of crimes.

 (a) An attorney convicted of a serious crime shall report the fact of such conviction within 20 days to the Secretary of the Board [within 20 days after the date of sentencing]. The responsibility of the attorney to make such report shall not be abated because the conviction is under appeal or the clerk of the court has transmitted a certificate to Disciplinary Counsel pursuant to subdivision (b).

*  *  *  *  *

 (f) (1) Upon the receipt of a certificate of conviction of an attorney for a serious crime, the Court shall, in addition to any order of suspension it may enter in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (d), also refer the matter to the Board for the institution of a formal proceeding before a hearing committee in the appropriate disciplinary district in which the sole issue to be determined shall be the extent of the final discipline to be imposed, except that a disciplinary proceeding so instituted shall not be brought to hearing until sentencing and all appeals from the conviction are concluded.

 (2) Notwithstanding the provision of paragraph (1) that a hearing shall not be held until sentencing and all appeals from a conviction have been concluded, a respondent-attorney who has been temporarily suspended pursuant to this rule shall have the right to request an accelerated disposition of the charges which form the basis for the temporary suspension by filing a notice with the Secretary of the Board and Disciplinary Counsel requesting accelerated disposition. Within 30 days after filing of such a notice, Disciplinary Counsel shall file a petition for discipline, if such a petition has not already been filed, and the matter shall be assigned to a hearing committee for accelerated disposition. The assignment to a hearing committee shall take place within seven (7) days after the filing of such a notice or the filing of a petition for discipline, whichever occurs later. Thereafter the matter shall proceed and be concluded by the hearing committee, the Board and the Court without appreciable delay. If a petition for discipline is not timely filed or assigned to a hearing committee for accelerated disposition under this paragraph, the order of temporary suspension shall be automatically dissolved, but without prejudice to any pending or further proceedings under this rule.

Official Note: The ''without appreciable delay'' standard of subdivision (f)(2) of the rule is derived from Barry v. Barchi, 443 U. S. 55, 66 (1979). Appropriate steps should be taken to satisfy this requirement, such as continuous hearing sessions, procurement of daily transcript, [filing] fixing of truncated briefing schedules, conducting special sessions of the Board, etc.

 (g) Upon receipt of a certificate of a conviction of any attorney for a crime other than a serious crime, the Court shall take such action as it deems warranted. The Court may in its discretion take no action with respect to convictions for minor offenses.

Official Note: The actions the Court may take under subdivision (g) include reference of the matter to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel for investigation and possible commencement of either a formal or informal proceeding, or reference of the matter to the Board with direction that it institute a formal proceeding.

 (h) An attorney suspended under the provisions of subdivision (d) may be reinstated immediately upon the filing by the Board with the Court of a certificate demonstrating that the underlying conviction has been reversed, but the reinstatement will not terminate any formal proceeding then pending against the attorney.

 (i) As used in this rule, the term ''serious crime'' means a crime that is punishable by imprisonment for one year or upward in this or any other jurisdiction.

(j) For the purposes of this rule, Rule 203(b)(1) and Rule 402, ''conviction'' means any guilty verdict, whether after trial by judge or jury, or finding of guilt, and any plea of guilty or nolo contendere that has been accepted by the court, whether or not sentence has been imposed.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 10-1748. Filed for public inspection September 17, 2010, 9:00 a.m.]

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