Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Changes Proposed In DC BPR Rules

The District of Columbia Board on Professional Responsibility has given notice and the opportunity to comment (editor's note: Bravo!) of several proposed changes/additions to its present rules.

One new proposed rule of note

Rule 2.5 (Deferral of Docketing Determinations Regarding Declared Candidates in Upcoming Elections)

If a complaint raises allegations of misconduct against a declared candidate for public office in an election to be held in any jurisdiction within 90 days of the filing of the complaint, Disciplinary Counsel shall defer its docketing determination under Rule 2.4 until after the election in question has concluded. Disciplinary Counsel shall promptly notify the complainant of the deferral.

Editor's note: Did not know that Disciplinary Counsel was the functional equivalent of the United States Department of Justice in election matters; some comfort to future election deniers.

Proposed new Rule 2.6

After making its docketing determination, Disciplinary Counsel shall provide complainant with a notification that includes: the criteria for docketing set forth in Rule 2.4; its conclusion as to whether the allegation(s) in the complaint satisfy those docketing criteria and, if applicable: (1) a statement that the complaint is under investigation; (2) a statement that the subject matter of the complaint against the attorney involves materially identical factual allegations of misconduct as those in a complaint previously received and screened against the same attorney; (3) a statement that the determination to investigate a matter is not a determination that any violation has occurred; and (4) an explanation of the procedures involved in any future disciplinary proceedings, including the right of respondent to a fair hearing
on the allegation(s) of misconduct, should Disciplinary Counsel decide to bring formal charges. In instances where Disciplinary Counsel has determined not to docket a complaint against an attorney, and the complaint is not related to the subject matter of an existing investigation against the same attorney, in its notification to the complainant Disciplinary Counsel may provide further explanation as to why a complaint does not meet the criteria set forth in Rule 2.4.

Editor's note: Glad I'll never write one of these letters again.

The remaining changes appear to be more technical than substantive. (Mike Frisch)


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