Bar Rules

Rule 4-201. State Disciplinary Board

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

The powers to investigate and discipline members of the State Bar of Georgia and those authorized to practice law in Georgia for violations of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct set forth in Bar Rule 4-102 are hereby vested in a State Disciplinary Board and a Consumer Assistance Program. The State Disciplinary Board shall consist of two panels. The first panel shall be the Investigative Panel of the State Disciplinary Board (Investigative Panel). The second panel shall be the Review Panel of the State Disciplinary Board (Review Panel). The Consumer Assistance Program shall operate as described in Part XII of these Rules.

  1. The Investigative Panel shall consist of the President-elect of the State Bar of Georgia and the President-elect of the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia, one member of the State Bar of Georgia from each judicial district of the State appointed by the President of the State Bar of Georgia with the approval of the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia, one member of the State Bar of Georgia from each judicial district of the State appointed by the Supreme Court of Georgia, one at-large member of the State Bar of Georgia appointed by the Supreme Court, one at-large member of the State Bar of Georgia appointed by the President with the approval of the Board of Governors, and six public members appointed by the Supreme Court to serve as public members of the Panel.
    1. All members shall be appointed for three-year terms subject to the following exceptions:
      1. any person appointed to fill a vacancy caused by resignation, death, disqualification or disability shall serve only for the unexpired term of the member replaced unless reappointed;
      2. ex-officio members shall serve during the term of their office; and shall not increase the quorum requirement; and
      3. certain initial members as set forth in paragraph (2) below.
    2. It shall be the goal of the initial appointments that one-third (1/3) of the terms of the members appointed will expire annually.
    3. A member may be removed from the Panel pursuant to procedures set by the Panel for failure to attend regular meetings of the Panel. The vacancy shall be filled by appointment of the current President of the State Bar of Georgia.
    4. The Investigative Panel shall annually elect a chairperson, a vice-chairperson, or a vice-chairperson for any subcommittee for which the chairperson is not a member to serve as chairperson for that subcommittee, and such other officers as it may deem proper. The Panel shall meet in its entirety in July of each year to elect a chairperson. At any time the Panel may decide to divide itself into subcommittees or to consolidate after having divided. A majority shall constitute a quorum and a majority of a quorum shall be authorized to act. However, in any matter in which one or more Investigative Panel members are disqualified, the number of members constituting a quorum shall be reduced by the number of members disqualified from voting on the matter.
    5. The Investigative Panel is authorized to organize itself into as many subcommittees as the Panel deems necessary to conduct the expeditious investigation of disciplinary matters referred to it by the Office of General Counsel. However, no subcommittee shall consist of fewer than seven (7) members of the Panel and each such subcommittee shall include at least one (1) of the public members.
  2. The Review Panel shall consist of the Immediate Past President of the State Bar, the Immediate Past President of the Young Lawyers Division or a member of the Young Lawyers Division designated by its Immediate Past President, nine (9) members of the State Bar, three (3) from each of the three (3) federal judicial districts of the State appointed as described below, and four (4) public members appointed by the Supreme Court of Georgia.
    1. The nine (9) members of the Bar from the federal judicial districts shall be appointed for three (3) year terms so that the term of one Panel member from each district will expire each year. The three (3) vacant positions will be filled in odd years by appointment by the President, with the approval of the Board of Governors, and in even years by appointment by the Supreme Court of Georgia.
    2. The Panel members serving at the time this Rule goes into effect shall continue to serve until their respective terms expire. New Panel members shall be appointed as set forth above.
    3. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy caused by resignation, death, disqualification or disability shall serve only for the unexpired term of the member replaced unless reappointed.
    4. Ex-officio members shall serve during the term or terms of their offices and shall not increase the quorum requirement.
    5. The Review Panel shall elect a chairperson and such other officers as it may deem proper in July of each year. The presence of six (6) members of the Panel shall constitute a quorum. Four (4) members of the Panel shall be authorized to act except that a recommendation of the Review Panel to suspend or disbar shall require the affirmative vote of at least six (6) members of the Review Panel, with not more than four (4) negative votes. However, in any case in which one or more Review Panel members are disqualified, the number of members constituting a quorum and the number of members necessary to vote affirmatively for disbarment or suspension, shall be reduced by the number of members disqualified from voting on the case. No recommendation of disbarment or suspension may be made by fewer than four (4) affirmative votes. For the purposes of this Rule the recusal of a member shall have the same effect as disqualification.



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