Bar Rules

Rule 4-209. Docketing by Supreme Court; Appointment of Special Master; Challenges to Special Master

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

(a) Upon receipt of a finding of Probable Cause, a petition for appointment of a Special Master and a formal complaint from the Investigative Panel, the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Georgia shall file the matter in the records of the Court, give the matter a Supreme Court docket number and notify the Coordinating Special Master that appointment of a Special Master is appropriate. In those proceedings where a Notice of Discipline has been filed, the finding of Probable Cause need not be filed.

(b) Within a reasonable time after receipt of a petition/motion for appointment of a Special Master or notification that a Special Master previously appointed has been disqualified, the Coordinating Special Master will appoint a Special Master to conduct formal disciplinary proceedings in such complaint. The Coordinating Special Master shall select as Special Masters experienced members of the State Bar of Georgia who possess a reputation in the Bar for ethical practice;
provided, that a Special Master may not be appointed to hear a complaint against a Respondent who resides in the same circuit as that in which the Special Master resides.

(c) Upon being advised of appointment of a Special Master by the Coordinating Special Master, the Clerk of the Court shall return the original Notice of Discipline, rejection of Notice of Discipline, if applicable, formal complaint, Probable Cause finding, petition for appointment of Special Master and the signed order thereon to the Office of the General Counsel of the State Bar of Georgia. Upon notification of the appointment of a Special Master, the Office of the General Counsel shall immediately serve the Respondent with the order of appointment of a Special Master and with its formal complaint as hereinafter provided.

(d) Within ten days of service of the notice of appointment of a Special Master, the Respondent and the State Bar of Georgia shall lodge any and all objections or challenges they may have to the competency, qualifications or impartiality of the Special Master with the chairperson of the Review Panel. The party filing such objections or challenges must also serve a copy of the objections or challenges upon the opposing counsel, the Coordinating Special Master and the
Special Master, who may respond to such objections or challenges. Within a reasonable time the chairperson of the Review Panel shall consider the challenges, the responses of Respondent, the State Bar of Georgia, the Coordinating Special Master and the Special Master, if any, determine whether the Special Master is disqualified and notify the parties, the Coordinating Special Master and the Special Master of the chairperson’s decision. Exceptions to the chairperson’s
denial of disqualification are subject to review by the entire Review Panel and, thereafter, by the Supreme Court of Georgia when exceptions arising during the evidentiary hearing and exceptions to the report of the Special Master and the Review Panel are properly before the Court. In the event of disqualification of a Special Master by the chairperson of the Review Panel, said chairperson shall notify the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Georgia, the Coordinating Special
Master, the Special Master, the State Bar of Georgia and the Respondent of the disqualification and appointment of a successor Special Master shall proceed as provided in this rule.



GO TO Rule 4-208.4. Formal Complaint Following Notice of Rejection of Discipline
GO TO Rule 4-209.1. Coordinating Special Master
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