Navigation

THE COURTS

PART V. PROFESSIONAL ETHICS AND CONDUCT

[ 204 PA. CODE CHS. 85, 87, 89, 91 AND 93 ]

Amendments to Rules of Organization and Procedure of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania; Order No. 72

[41 Pa.B. 4202]
[Saturday, August 6, 2011]

 The Rules of Organization and Procedure of the Board have been drafted to restate in full the substance of the Pennsylvania Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement. By Orders dated July 24, 2009, July 29, 2009, March 25, 2010, September 1, 2010, January 3, 2011, March 16, 2011, April 8, 2011, May 26, 2011 and June 14, 2011, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania amended Pa.R.D.E. 208(f)(1), 203, 214, 216, 219, 214, 301, 205, 219, 203 and 209, respectively. By this Order, the Board is making conforming changes to its Rules to reflect the adoption of those amendments.

 The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania finds that:

 (1) To the extent that 42 Pa.C.S. § 1702 (relating to rule making procedures) and Article II of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240), known as the Commonwealth Documents Law, would otherwise require notice of proposed rulemaking with respect to the amendments adopted hereby, those proposed rulemaking procedures are inapplicable because the amendments adopted hereby relate to agency procedure and are perfunctory in nature.

 (2) The amendments to the Rules of Organization and Procedure of the Board adopted hereby are not inconsistent with the Pennsylvania Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement and are necessary and appropriate for the administration of the affairs of the Board.

 The Board, acting pursuant to Pa.R.D.E. 205(c)(12), orders:

 (1) Title 204 of the Pennsylvania Code is hereby amended as set forth in Annex A hereto.

 (2) The Secretary of the Board shall duly certify this Order, and deposit the same with the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts as required by Pa.R.J.A. 103(c).

 (3) The amendments adopted hereby shall take effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

 (4) This Order shall take effect immediately.

By The Disciplinary Board of the
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

ELAINE M. BIXLER, 
Secretary

Annex A

TITLE 204. JUDICIAL SYSTEM GENERAL PROVISIONS

PART V. PROFESSIONAL ETHICS AND CONDUCT

Subpart C. DISCIPLINARY BOARD OF THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA

CHAPTER 85. GENERAL PROVISIONS

§ 85.2. Definitions.

 (a) Subject to additional definitions contained in subsequent provisions of this subpart which are applicable to specific chapters, subchapters or other provisions of this subpart, the following words and phrases, when used in this subpart shall have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the meanings given to them in this section:

*  *  *  *  *

Board [Chairman] Chair—The [Chairman of The] Chair of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

*  *  *  *  *

§ 85.7. Grounds for discipline.

*  *  *  *  *

 (b) Enforcement Rule 203(b) provides that the following shall also be grounds for discipline:

 (1) Conviction of a crime [which under Enforcement Rule 214 (relating to attorneys convicted of crimes) may result in suspension].

*  *  *  *  *

(7) Failure by a respondent-attorney without good cause to respond to Disciplinary Counsel's request (Form DB-7) or supplemental request (Form DB-7A) under § 87.7(b) of these rules for a statement of the respondent-attorney's position.

 (c) Enforcement Rule 203(c) provides that the Board, its hearing committees, special masters and (when administering informal admonitions) Disciplinary Counsel are ''tribunals'' within the meaning of the Disciplinary Rules.

§ 85.9. Immunity.

*  *  *  *  *

 (b) Other persons. Enforcement Rule 209(a) further provides that all communications to the Board, a hearing committee, special master, or Disciplinary Counsel relating to misconduct by a respondent-attorney and all testimony given in a proceeding conducted pursuant to these rules shall be absolutely privileged and the person making the communication or giving the testimony shall be immune from civil suit based upon such communication or testimony[, except that such immunity shall not extend to any action that violates Chapter 93 Subchapter F (relating to confidentiality)].

Official Note: The Note to Enforcement Rule 209 provides that the provisions of this rule recognize that the submission and receipt of complaints against attorneys, and the investigation, hearing decision and disposition of such complaints, are all parts of a judicial proceeding conducted pursuant to the inherent power of the Supreme Court. The immunity from civil suit recognized to exist in this rule is that which exists for all participants in judicial proceedings under Pennsylvania law, so long as their statements and actions are pertinent, material and during the regular course of a proceeding. [Communications made or revealed in violation of the confidentiality requirement of Chapter 93 Subchapter F are not pertinent to the proceeding and, thus, do not entitle the person who publishes them to absolute immunity.]

CHAPTER 87. INVESTIGATIONS AND INFORMAL PROCEEDINGS

Subchapter A. PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

COMPLAINTS

§ 87.7. Notification to respondent-attorney of complaint and duty to respond.

 (a) Condition precedent to recommendation for discipline. Disciplinary Counsel shall not recommend or undertake a disposition of discipline under Enforcement Rule 204 (relating to types of discipline) until the accused attorney has been notified of the allegations and the time for response under § 89.54 (relating to answer), if applicable, has expired.

 (b) Transmission of notice. Except as provided in subsection (a) of this section, the district office shall prepare and forward to the respondent-attorney Form DB-7 (Request for Statement of Respondent's Position), advising the respondent-attorney of:

 (1) the nature of the grievance and if the investigation has not been initiated by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel pursuant to § 87.1(b) (relating to initiation of [investigation] investigations), the name and address of the complainant; and

 (2) the [right to state his position with respect] requirement that the respondent-attorney respond to the allegations against the [attorney] respondent-attorney by filing with the district office a statement of position. Unless a shorter time is fixed by the Chief Disciplinary Counsel in such notice, the respondent-attorney shall have [20] 30 days from the date of such notice within which to file a statement of position in the district office.

The notice requirements of this subdivision (b) shall be applicable to any Form DB-7A (Supplemental Request for Statement of Respondent's Position), in which case the notice shall advise the respondent-attorney of the requirement that the respondent-attorney respond to the supplemental allegations by filing with the district office a statement of position with respect thereto.

(c) Contents of statement of position. All statements of position shall be in writing and sufficiently detailed as to advise Disciplinary Counsel and any reviewing hearing committee member that the Board Secretary may appoint under § 87.32 (relating to action by reviewing hearing committee member) of the nature of any defense. The respondent-attorney should include with the statement any corroborating documentation and may include in the statement mitigating factors and any relevant facts or circumstances that may assist Disciplinary Counsel in determining under § 87.8(b) the action to be taken or the disposition recommended.

(d) Effect of failure to respond. Enforcement Rule 203(b)(7) provides that failure by a respondent-attorney without good cause to respond to a request (Form DB-7) or supplemental request (Form DB-7A) by Disciplinary Counsel for a statement of the respondent-attorney's position shall be grounds for discipline. Failure to respond may also be a violation of Rule of Professional Conduct 8.1(b).

Official Note: If Disciplinary Counsel's request or supplemental request for a statement of position contains a separate request for production of records or documents, the respondent-attorney's nonproduction shall not be a basis for discipline under Enforcement Rule 203(b)(7) but may constitute evidence of non-cooperation with Disciplinary Counsel's inquiry. Disciplinary Counsel may obtain a subpoena to compel production of the records and documents requested in the Form DB-7 or DB-7A, and the respondent-attorney's wilful failure to comply with the subpoena would serve as a basis for discipline under RPC 8.4(d) and various provisions of the Enforcement Rules.

CHAPTER 89. FORMAL PROCEEDINGS

Subchapter D. ACTION BY BOARD AND SUPREME COURT

§ 89.205. Informal admonition or private reprimand following formal hearing.

*  *  *  *  *

 (c) Notice to appear.

*  *  *  *  *

 (3) The Office of the Secretary shall notify the respondent-attorney of the expenses of the proceeding which have been taxed [under] pursuant to subsection (b) by means of Form DB-41 (Notice of Taxation of Expenses), which shall state that if the respondent-attorney fails to pay the taxed expenses on or before the date fixed for the appearance of the respondent-attorney before the Board or Disciplinary Counsel for private reprimand or informal admonition, action will be taken by the Board [under] pursuant to § 93.112 (relating to failure to pay taxed expenses) which will result in the entry of an order [transferring] placing the respondent-attorney [to inactive status] on administrative suspension.

*  *  *  *  *

CHAPTER 91. MISCELLANEOUS MATTERS

Subchapter B. ATTORNEYS CONVICTED OF CRIMES

§ 91.31. Notification by attorneys convicted of crimes.

 Enforcement Rule 214(a) provides that 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]; and that 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 § 91.32 (relating to notification by clerks of conviction of attorneys).

§ 91.34. Temporary suspension upon conviction of serious crime.

*  *  *  *  *

 (e) Dissolution or modification of temporary suspension. Enforcement Rule 214(d)(4) provides that:

*  *  *  *  *

 (5) upon receipt of the recommendation of the designated Board member and the record relating thereto, the Court shall dissolve or modify its order, if appropriate.

(f) At any time before a plea or verdict or after a guilty plea or verdict of guilt in the criminal proceeding, Disciplinary Counsel and the respon- dent-attorney may file with the Court a joint petition for temporary suspension of the respondent-attorney on the ground that the respondent-attorney's temporary suspension is in the best interest of the respondent and the legal system.

§ 91.35. Institution of formal proceedings upon conviction of serious crime.

 (a) General rule. Enforcement Rule 214(f)(1) provides that upon 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 §  91.34 (relating to temporary suspension upon conviction of serious crime), 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. The Office of the Secretary shall transmit the file to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel by means of Form DB-31 (Reference for Proceedings in Response to Conviction).

 (b) Accelerated disposition. Enforcement Rule 214(f)(2) provides that:

 (1) notwithstanding the provision of subsection (a) 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 § 91.34 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;

*  *  *  *  *

 (c) Evidence of conviction. Enforcement Rule 214(e) provides that a certificate of [a] conviction of an attorney for a [serious] crime [filed under § 91.32 (relating to notification by clerks of conviction of attorneys) or § 91.33 (relating to notification by Office of Disciplinary Counsel of conviction of attorneys)] shall be conclusive evidence of the commission of that crime in any disciplinary proceeding instituted against the attorney based upon the conviction.

§ 91.39. Definition of ''conviction.''

As used in this Subsection 91B, Enforcement Rule 214(j) provides that the term ''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.

Subchapter C. RECIPROCAL DISCIPLINE

§ 91.51. Reciprocal discipline.

 Enforcement Rule 216 provides as follows:

 (1) Upon receipt of a certified copy of an order, judgment or disciplinary directive of another court, a federal government agency or a military tribunal demonstrating that an attorney admitted to practice in this Commonwealth has been disciplined by suspension [or], disbarment, or revocation of license or pro hac vice admission, or has resigned from the bar or otherwise relinquished his or her license to practice while under disciplinary investigation in another jurisdiction, the Supreme Court shall forthwith issue a notice (Form DB-19) (Notice of Reciprocal Discipline) directed to the respondent-attorney containing:

 (i) A copy of said order, judgment or directive from the other [jurisdiction] court, federal government agency or military tribunal.

 (ii) An order directing that the respondent-attorney inform the Court within 30 days from service of the notice, of any claim by the respondent-attorney that the imposition of the identical or comparable discipline in [this] the Commonwealth would be unwarranted, and the reasons therefor. The Office of the Secretary shall cause this notice to be served upon the respondent-attorney by mailing it to the address furnished by the respondent-attorney in the last registration statement filed by such person in accordance with § 93.142(b) (relating to filing of annual statement by attorneys) or, in the case of a foreign legal consultant, by serving it pursuant to the designation filed by the foreign legal consultant under Pennsylvania Bar Admission Rule 341(b)(8) (relating to licensing of foreign legal consultants).

 (2) In the event the discipline imposed in the other [jurisdiction] court, federal government agency or military tribunal has been stayed there, any reciprocal discipline imposed in the Commonwealth shall be deferred until such stay expires.

*  *  *  *  *

 (5) An attorney who has been disciplined in another court or by a federal government agency or a military tribunal by suspension [or], disbarment, or revocation of license or pro hac vice admission, or who has resigned from the bar or otherwise relinquished his or her license to practice while under disciplinary investigation in another jurisdiction shall report the fact of such suspension [or], disbarment, revocation or resignation to the Secretary of the Board within 20 days after the date of the order, judgment or directive imposing or confirming the discipline.

Subchapter D. DISABILITY

§ 91.75. Effect of raising defense of disability in formal proceedings.

 (a) General rule. Enforcement Rule 301(e) provides that if, during the course of a disciplinary proceeding, the respondent contends that the respondent is suffering from a disability by reason of mental or physical infirmity or illness, or because of addiction to drugs or intoxicants, which make it impossible for the respondent to prepare an adequate defense, the respondent shall complete and file with the Court a certificate of admission of disability. The certificate shall:

(1) identify the precise nature of the disability and the specific or approximate date of the onset or initial diagnosis of the disabling condition;

(2) contain an explanation of the manner in which the disabling condition makes it impossible for the respondent to prepare an adequate defense;

(3) have appended thereto the opinion of at least one medical expert that the respondent is unable to prepare an adequate defense and a statement containing the basis for the medical expert's opinion; and

(4) contain a statement, signed by the respondent, that all averments of material fact contained in the certificate and attachments are true upon the respondent's knowledge or information and belief and made subject to the penalties of 18 Pa.C.S. § 4904 relating to unsworn falsification to authorities.

The respondent may attach to the certificate affidavits, medical records, additional medical expert reports, official records, or other documents in support of the existence of the disabling condition or the respondent's contention of lack of physical or mental capacity to prepare an adequate defense.

Upon receipt of the certificate, the Supreme Court thereupon shall enter an order immediately transferring the respondent to inactive status until a determination is made of the capacity of the respondent to aid effectively in the preparation of a defense or to continue to practice law in a proceeding instituted in accordance with the provisions of § 91.74 (relating to petition by Board for determination of professional competency)[; and that if], unless the Court finds that the certificate does not comply with the requirements of Enforcement Rule 301(e), in which case the Court may deny the request for transfer to disability inactive status or enter any other appropriate order. Before or after the entry of the order transferring the respondent to inactive status under Enforcement Rule 301(e), the Court may, upon application by disciplinary counsel and for good cause shown, take or direct such action as the Court deems necessary or proper to a determination of whether it is impossible for the respondent to prepare an adequate defense, including a direction for an examination of the respondent by such qualified medical experts as the Court shall designate. In its discretion, the Court may direct that the expense of such an examination shall be paid by the respondent.

The order transferring the attorney to disability inactive status under Enforcement Rule 301(e) shall be a matter of public record. The certificate of admission of disability and attachments to the certificate shall not be publicly disclosed or made available for use in any proceeding other than a subsequent reinstatement or disciplinary proceeding except:

(i) upon order of the Supreme Court;

(ii) pursuant to an express written waiver by the attorney; or

(iii) upon a request by the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security Board pursuant to Enforcement Rule 521(a) (relating to cooperation with Disciplinary Board).

If the Court shall determine at any time that the respondent is able to aid effectively in the preparation of a defense or is not incapacitated from practicing law, it shall take such action as it deems proper and advisable including a direction for the resumption of the disciplinary proceeding against the respondent.

 (b) Procedure. Whenever a respondent makes a contention within the scope of subsection (a) of this section, the [Office of Disciplinary Counsel shall forward] respondent shall complete and file a certificate thereof [to] with the Prothonotary of the Supreme Court by means of Form DB-21 (Certificate of Admission of Disability by Attorney). The certificate shall be available to the bar through the Office of the Secretary to the Board. The respondent shall serve a copy of the certificate on the Board and disciplinary counsel.

Subchapter G. EMERGENCY PROCEEDINGS

§ 91.151. Emergency temporary suspension orders and related relief.

 (a) General rule. Enforcement Rule [208(f)(1)] 208(f) provides that:

 (1) Disciplinary Counsel, with the concurrence of a reviewing member of the Board, whenever it appears by an affidavit demonstrating facts that the continued practice of law by a person subject to the Enforcement Rules is causing immediate and substantial public or private harm because of the misappropriation of funds by such person to his or her own use, or because of other egregious conduct, in manifest violation of the Disciplinary Rules or the Enforcement Rules, may petition the Supreme Court for injunctive or other appropriate relief;

 (2) a copy of the petition shall be personally served upon the respondent-attorney by Disciplinary Counsel[;]. If Disciplinary Counsel cannot make personal service after reasonable efforts to locate and serve the respondent-attorney, Disciplinary Counsel may serve the petition by delivering a copy to a clerk or other responsible person at the office of the respondent-attorney, and if that method of service is unavailable, then by mailing a copy of the petition by regular and certified mail addressed to the addresses furnished by the respondent-attorney in the last registration statement filed by the respondent-attorney pursuant to Enforcement Rule 219(d). Service is complete upon delivery or mailing, as the case may be;

 (3) the Court, or any justice thereof, may enter a rule directing the respondent-attorney to show cause why the respondent-attorney should not be placed on temporary suspension, which rule shall be returnable within ten days; and

 (4) the Court, or any justice thereof, may, before or after issuance of the rule, issue such orders to the respondent-attorney, and to such financial institutions or other persons, as may be necessary to preserve funds, securities or other valuable property of clients or others which appear to have been misappropriated or mishandled in manifest violation of the Disciplinary Rules[.];

(5) an order directing the president judge of the court of common pleas in the judicial district where the respondent-attorney maintains his or her principal office for the practice of law or conducts his or her primary practice, to take such further action and to issue such further orders as may appear necessary to fully protect the rights and interests of the clients of the respondent-attorney when:

(i) the respondent-attorney does not respond to a rule to show cause issued after service of the petition pursuant to Enforcement Rule 208(f)(1); or

(ii) Disciplinary Counsel's petition demonstrates cause to believe that the respondent-attorney is unavailable to protect the interests of his or her clients for any reason, including the respondent-attorney's disappearance, abandonment of practice, incarceration, or incapacitation from continuing the practice of law by reason of mental infirmity or illness or because of addiction to drugs or intoxicants.

 (b) Order of temporary suspension. Enforcement Rule 208(f)(2) provides that if a rule to show cause has been issued under subsection (a) of this section, and the period for response has passed without a response having been filed, or after consideration of any response, the Court may enter an order requiring temporary suspension of the practice of law by the respondent-attorney pending further definitive action under the Enforcement Rules.

(1) Where the Court enters an order under Enforcement Rule 208(f)(1)(ii), the Board shall promptly transmit a certified copy of the order to the president judge, whose jurisdiction and authority under this rule shall extend to all client matters of the respondent-attorney.

(2) Where the Court enters an order under Enforcement Rule 208(f)(1)(i) or (ii) before the issuance of a rule or before the entry of an order of temporary suspension under paragraph (f)(2), the Prothonotary shall serve a certified copy of the Court's order on the respondent-attorney by regular mail addressed to the address furnished by the respondent-attorney in the last registration statement filed by the respondent-attorney and to an address where the respondent-attorney is located if that address is known.

*  *  *  *  *

CHAPTER 93. ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION

Subchapter B. THE DISCIPLINARY BOARD

§ 93.23. Powers and duties.

 (a) General rule. Enforcement Rule 205(c) provides that the Board shall have the power and duty:

 (1) To consider [and investigate] the conduct of any person subject to the Enforcement Rules [and may initiate any such investigation on its own motion or may undertake the same upon complaint by any person] after investigation by Disciplinary Counsel pursuant to Enforcement Rule 207(b)(1). Complaints filed directly with the Board shall be forwarded to the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel for assignment to a district office.

Official Note: In order to avoid the commingling of prosecutorial and adjudicative functions, which would be a violation of due process, see Lyness v. Com. of Pa., State Board of Medicine, 529 Pa. 535, 605 A.2d 1204 (1992), the Office of Disciplinary Counsel is charged with the duty of investigating and prosecuting all disciplinary matters subject to adjudication by the Board. See Enforcement Rule 208(a)(1), (a)(2)(iv). Under Enforcement Rule 208(d)(1), Board Members appointed in a matter to review Disciplinary Counsel's charging decisions or recommended disposition are precluded from further participation in that matter.

*  *  *  *  *

 (5) To assign formal charges or the conduct of an investigatory hearing to a hearing committee or special master, and to assign a reinstatement petition to a hearing committee. The assignment to a hearing committee of formal charges or the conduct of an investigatory hearing, or a reinstatement petition may be delegated by the Board to its Secretary.

 (6) To review the conclusions of hearing committees and special masters with respect to formal charges or petitions for reinstatement, and to prepare and forward its own findings and recommendations, together with the record of the proceeding before the hearing committee or special master, to the Supreme Court.

 (7) To assign periodically, through its Secretary, senior or experienced hearing committee members within each disciplinary district to:

 (i) review and approve or modify recommendations by Disciplinary Counsel for dismissals, informal admonitions, private reprimands and institution of formal charges;

 (ii) hear and determine attacks on the validity of subpoenas issued pursuant to § 91.2 (relating to subpoenas and investigations), as provided in § 91.3(2) (relating to determination of validity of subpoena); or

 (iii) consider a petition for reinstatement to active status from retired or inactive status, or administrative suspension, under [§ 89.273(a)(7)] § 89.273(b) (relating to procedures for reinstatement).

 (8) To review, through a designated panel of three members, and approve or modify a determination by a reviewing hearing committee member that a matter should be concluded by dismissal, private informal admonition, private reprimand or the institution of formal charges before a hearing committee.

 (9) To review, through a designated panel of three members, and approve or reject a joint petition in support of discipline on consent filed with the Board pursuant to Enforcement Rule 215(d).

(10) To review, through a single member designated by the Board Chair, and approve or reject a certification filed by Disciplinary Counsel under Enforcement Rule 218(d)(2)(ii) indicating that Disciplinary Counsel has determined that there is no impediment to reinstatement of the petitioner, and to issue the report and recommendation required by subdivision (d) of Enforcement Rule 218.

(11) To administer private reprimands to attorneys for misconduct.

[(10)] (12) To adopt rules of procedure not inconsistent with the Enforcement Rules. Such rules may provide for the delegation to the [Chairman] Board Chair or the [Vice-Chairman] Vice Chair of the power to act for the Board on administrative and procedural matters.

[(11)] (13) To cause testimony relating to the conduct of formerly admitted attorneys to be perpetuated.

[(12)] (14) To petition the Court under § 91.74 (relating to petition by Board for determination of professional competency) to determine whether an attorney is incapacitated from continuing the practice of law by reason of mental infirmity or illness or because of addiction to drugs or intoxicants, and to retain counsel other than Disciplinary Counsel to represent the Board in such proceedings when the Board considers such separate representation to be appropriate.

[(13)] (15) To recommend the temporary suspension of a respondent-attorney pursuant to Enforcement Rule 208(f)(5) (relating to emergency temporary suspension orders and related relief).

[(14)] (16) To exercise the powers and perform the duties vested in and imposed upon the Board by law.

 (b) Consultations with local bar associations. Enforcement Rule 205(d) provides that the Board shall, to the extent it deems feasible, consult with officers of local bar associations in the counties affected concerning any appointment which it is authorized to make under the Enforcement Rules.

Subchapter G. FINANCIAL MATTERS

ANNUAL ASSESSMENT OF ATTORNEYS

§ 93.141. Annual assessment.

 (a) General rule. Enforcement Rule 219(a) provides that every attorney admitted to practice law in this Commonwealth, shall pay an annual fee under such rule of [$140.00] $135.00; that the annual fee shall be collected under the supervision of the Attorney Registration Office, which shall send and receive, or cause to be sent and received, the notices and forms provided for in this [subchapter] Subchapter, and that the fee shall be used to defray the costs of disciplinary administration and enforcement under the Enforcement Rules, and for such other purposes as the Board shall, with the approval of the Supreme Court, from time to time determine.

*  *  *  *  *

§ 93.142. Filing of annual form by attorneys.

 (a) Transmission of form. Enforcement Rule 219(c) provides that on or before May 15 of each year the Attorney Registration Office shall transmit by ordinary mail to all persons required by the rule to pay an annual fee a form required by subsection (b) of this section.

 (b) Filing of annual form. Enforcement Rule 219(d) provides that on or before July 1 of each year all persons required by the rule to pay an annual fee shall file with the Attorney Registration Office a signed form prescribed by the Attorney Registration Office in accordance with the following procedures:

 (1) The form shall set forth:

 (i) The date on which the attorney was admitted to practice, licensed as foreign legal consultant, granted limited admission as an attorney participant in defender and legal services programs pursuant to Pa.B.A.R. 311, or issued a Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License, and a list of all courts (except courts of this Commonwealth) and jurisdictions in which the person has ever been license` to practice law, with the current status thereof.

 (ii) The current residence and office addresses of the attorney, each of which shall be an actual street address or rural route box number, and the Attorney Registration Office shall refuse to accept a form that sets forth only a post office box number for either required address. A preferred mailing address different from those addresses may also be provided on the form and may be a post office box number. The attorney shall indicate which of the addresses, the residence, office or mailing address, will be accessible through the website of the Board (http://www.padisciplinaryboard.org/) and by written or oral request to the Board.

Official Note: The Note to Enforcement Rule 219(d)(1)(ii) explains that public web docket sheets will show the attorney's address as entered on the court docket.

 (iii) The name of each financial institution in Pennsylvania in which the attorney on May 1 of the current year or at any time during the preceding 12 months held funds of a client or a third person subject to Rule 1.15 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct. The form shall include the name and account number for each account in which the lawyer holds such funds, and each IOLTA Account shall be identified as such. The form provided to a person holding a Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License or a Foreign Legal Consultant License need not request the information required by this subparagraph.

 (iv) A certification reading as follows: ''I certify that all Trust Accounts that I maintain are in financial institutions approved by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for the maintenance of such accounts pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Disciplinary Enforcement 221 (relating to mandatory overdraft notification) and that each Trust Account has been identified as such to the financial institution in which it is maintained.''

 (v) A statement that any action brought against the attorney by the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security for the recovery of monies paid by the Fund as a result of claims against the attorney may be brought in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny, Dauphin or Philadelphia County.

 (vi) Whether the attorney is covered by professional liability insurance on the date of registration in the minimum amounts required by Rule of Professional Conduct 1.4(c). Rule 1.4(c) does not apply to attorneys who do not have any private clients, such as attorneys in full-time government practice or employed as in-house corporate counsel.

Official Note: The Disciplinary Board will make the information regarding insurance available to the public upon written or oral request and on its website. The requirement of Rule 219(d)(3) that every attorney who has filed an annual registration form must notify the Attorney Registration Office in writing of any change in the information previously submitted within 30 days after such change will apply to the information regarding insurance.

(vii) Such other information as the Attorney Registration Office may from time to time direct.

 (2) Payment of the annual fee shall accompany the form. Where a check in payment of the annual fee has been returned to the Board unpaid, the annual fee shall not be deemed to have been paid until a collection fee shall also have been paid. The amount of the collection fee shall be established by the Board annually after giving due regard to the direct and indirect costs incurred by the Board during the preceding year for checks returned to the Board unpaid. On or before July 1 of each year the Office of the Secretary shall publish in the Pennsylvania Bulletin a notice of the collection fee established by the Board for the coming assessment year.

 (3) Every person who has filed such a form shall notify the Attorney Registration Office in writing of any change in the information previously submitted within 30 days after such change.

 (4) Upon original admission to the bar of this Commonwealth, licensure as a Foreign Legal Consultant, issuance of a Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License, or limited admission as an attorney participant in defender and legal services programs pursuant to Pa.B.A.R. 311, a person shall concurrently file a form under this subsection for the current assessment year, but no annual fee shall be payable for the assessment year in which originally admitted or licensed.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 11-1312. Filed for public inspection August 5, 2011, 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