Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Let The Sunshine In

From the web page of the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board:

Over the last decade there has been a steady progression toward greater public access to information in the disciplinary system. The Disciplinary Board is taking another major step in the direction of transparency.

Ever since the founding of the Disciplinary Board, Rule 215 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement has allowed the possibility of disbarment upon consent after a resignation by an attorney. Until now, the resignation statement, which sets forth the factual basis of the action, has remained confidential; only the order disbarring the attorney was public.

The Disciplinary Board has published a proposed amendment to Rule 215 which would delete language providing that the resignation statement is to remain confidential, and simply provide “Upon entry of the order disbarring the attorney on consent, both the order and the resignation statement shall be a matter of public record except in cases where the matter was already public.”

The proposed rulemaking was published on November 6, 2010 at 40 Pa.B. 6387. Comments should be sent to Office of the Secretary, The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, 601 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 5600, PO Box 62625, Harrisburg, PA 17106-2625, facsimile number (717) 231-3382 on or before December10, 2010.

I favor any proposal that increases the availability of information regarding attorney misconduct. (Mike Frisch)

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