Bar Rules

Rule 4-227. Petitions for Voluntary Discipline

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) A petition for voluntary discipline 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.

(b) Prior to the issuance of a formal complaint, a respondent may submit a petition for voluntary discipline seeking any level of discipline authorized under these rules.


(1) Those petitions seeking private discipline shall be filed with the Office of General Counsel and assigned to a member of the Investigative Panel. The Investigative Panel of the State Disciplinary Board shall conduct an investigation and determine whether to accept or reject the petition as outlined at Bar Rule 4-203(a)(9).

(2) Those petitions seeking public discipline shall be filed directly with the Clerk of the Supreme Court. The Office of General Counsel shall have 30 days within which to file a response. The court shall issue an appropriate order.


(c) After the issuance of a formal complaint a Respondent may submit a petition for voluntary discipline seeking any level of discipline authorized under these rules.


(1) The petition shall be filed with the Special Master who shall allow bar counsel 30 days within which to respond. The Office of General Counsel may assent to the petition or may file a response, stating objections and giving the reasons therefore. The Office of General Counsel shall serve a copy of its response upon the respondent.

(2) The Special Master shall consider the petition, the Bar's response and, the record as it then exists and may accept or reject the petition for voluntary discipline.

(3) The Special Master may reject a petition for such cause or causes as seem appropriate to the Special Master. Such causes may include but are not limited to a finding that:


(i) the petition fails to 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;

(ii) the petition fails to request appropriate discipline;

(iii) the petition fails to contain sufficient information concerning the admissions of fact and the admissions of conduct;

(iv) the record in the proceeding does not contain sufficient information upon which to base a decision to accept or reject.


(4) The Special Master's decision to reject a petition for voluntary discipline does not preclude the filing of a subsequent petition and is not subject to review by either the Review Panel or the Supreme Court. If the Special Master rejects a petition for voluntary discipline, the disciplinary case shall proceed as provided by these rules.

(5) If the Special Master accepts the petition for voluntary discipline, s/he shall enter a report making findings of fact and conclusions of law and deliver same to the Clerk of the State Disciplinary Board. The Clerk of the State Disciplinary Board shall file the report and the complete record in the disciplinary proceeding with the Clerk of the Supreme Court. A copy of the Special Master's report shall be served upon the respondent. The Court shall issue an appropriate order.

(6) Pursuant to Bar Rule 4-210(e), the Special Master may in his or her discretion extend any of the time limits in these rules in order to adequately consider a petition for voluntary discipline.
 



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