Bar Rules

Rule 4-203. Powers and Duties

Ethics & Discipline / Current Rules / Part IV (After January 1 / 2001) - Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct (also includes Disciplinary Proceedings and Advisory Opinion rules) / CHAPTER 2 DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS

  1. In accordance with these rules, the Investigative Panel shall have the following powers and duties:
    1. To receive and evaluate any and all written grievances against members of the State Bar and to frame such charges and grievances as shall conform to the requirements of these rules. A copy of any grievance serving as the basis for investigation or proceedings before the Panel shall be furnished to the respondent by the procedures set forth in Rule 4-204.2;
    2. To initiate grievances on its own motion, to require additional information from a complainant, where appropriate, and to dismiss and reject such grievances as to it may seem unjustified, frivolous, or patently unfounded. However, the rejection of a grievance by the Investigative Panel shall not deprive the complaining party of any right of action he or she might otherwise have at law or in equity against the respondent;
    3. To issue letters of instruction when dismissing a grievance;
    4. To delegate the duties of the Panel enumerated in subparagraphs (1), (2), (11) and (12) hereof to the chairperson of the Panel or chairperson of any subcommittee of the Panel or such other members as the Panel or its chairperson may designate subject to review and approval by the Investigative Panel or subcommittee of the Panel;
    5. To conduct probable cause investigations, to collect evidence and information concerning grievances, to hold hearings where provided for in these rules, and to certify grievances to the Supreme Court for hearings by special masters as hereinafter provided;
    6. To pass upon petitions for protection of the clients of deceased, disappearing or incapacitated members of the State Bar;
    7. To adopt forms for formal complaints, subpoenas, notices, and any other written instruments necessary or desirable under these rules;
    8. To prescribe its own rules of conduct and procedure;
    9. To receive, investigate, and collect evidence and information; and to review and accept or reject such Petitions for Voluntary Discipline which request the imposition of confidential discipline and are filed with the Investigative Panel prior to the time of issuance of a formal complaint by Bar counsel. Each such petition shall contain admissions of fact and admissions of conduct in violation of Part IV, Chapter 1 of these rules sufficient to authorize the imposition of discipline. Bar counsel shall, upon filing of such petition, file with the Panel its recommendations as to acceptance or rejection of the petition by the Panel, giving the reasons therefor, and shall serve a copy of its recommendation upon the respondent presenting such petition;
    10. To sign and enforce, as hereinafter described, subpoenas for the appearance of persons and for the production of things and records at investigations and hearings;
    11. To extend the time within which a formal complaint may be filed;
    12. To issue letters of formal admonition and Investigative Panel Reprimands as hereinafter provided;
    13. To enter a Notice of Discipline providing that unless the respondent affirmatively rejects the notice, the respondent shall be sanctioned as ordered by the Investigative Panel;
    14. To use the investigators, auditors, and/or staff of the Office of the General Counsel in performing its duties.
  2. In accordance with these rules, the Review Panel or any subcommittee of the Panel shall have the following powers and duties:
    1. To receive reports from special masters, and to recommend to the Supreme Court the imposition of punishment and discipline;
    2. To adopt forms for subpoenas, notices, and any other written instruments necessary or desirable under these rules;
    3. To prescribe its own rules of conduct and procedure;
    4. (Reserved).
    5. Through the action of its chairperson or his or her designee and upon good cause shown, to allow a late filing of the respondent's answer where there has been no final selection of a special master within thirty days of service of the formal complaint upon the respondent;
    6. Through the action of its chairperson or his or her designee, to receive and pass upon challenges and objections to special masters.



GO TO Rule 4-202. Receipt of Grievances; Initial Review by Bar Counsel
GO TO Rule 4-203.1. Uniform Service Rule
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