Bar Rules

Rule 4-102. Disciplinary Action; Levels of Discipline; Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct.

Ethics & Discipline / Current Rules / Part IV (After January 1 / 2001) - Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct (also includes Disciplinary Proceedings and Advisory Opinion rules) / CHAPTER 1 GEORGIA RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT AND ENFORCEMENT THEREOF

  1. The Rules of Professional Conduct to be observed by the members of the State Bar of Georgia and those authorized to practice law in Georgia are set forth herein and any violation thereof; any assistance or inducement directed toward another for the purpose of producing a violation thereof; or any violation thereof through the acts of another, shall subject the offender to disciplinary action as hereinafter provided.
  2. The levels of discipline are set forth below. The power to administer a more severe level of discipline shall include the power to administer the lesser:
    1. Disbarment: A form of public discipline removing the respondent from the practice of law in Georgia. This level of discipline would be appropriate in cases of serious misconduct. This level of discipline includes publication as provided by Rule 4-219(b).
    2. Suspension: A form of public discipline which removes the respondent from the practice of law in Georgia for a definite period of time or until satisfaction of certain conditions imposed as a part of the suspension. This level of discipline would be appropriate in cases that merit more than a public reprimand but less than disbarment. This level of discipline includes publication as provided by Rule 4-219(b).
    3. Public Reprimand: A form of public discipline which declares the respondent's conduct to have been improper but does not limit the right to practice. A public reprimand shall be administered by a judge of a superior court in open court. This level of discipline would be appropriate in cases that merit more than a review panel reprimand but less than suspension.
    4. Review Panel Reprimand: A form of public discipline which declares the respondent's conduct to have been improper but does not limit the right to practice. A Review Panel Reprimand shall be administered by the Review Panel at a meeting of the Review Panel. This level of discipline would be appropriate in cases that merit more than an investigative panel reprimand but less than a public reprimand.
    5. Investigative Panel Reprimand: A form of confidential discipline which declares the respondent's conduct to have been improper but does not limit the right to practice. An Investigative Panel Reprimand shall be administered by the Investigative Panel at a meeting of the Investigative Panel. This level of discipline would be appropriate in cases that merit more than a formal admonition but less than a review panel reprimand.
    6. Formal Admonition: A form of confidential discipline which declares the respondent's conduct to have been improper but does not limit the right to practice. A formal admonition shall be administered by letter as provided in Rules 4-205 through 4-208. This level of discipline would be appropriate in cases that merit the lowest form of discipline.
    1. The Supreme Court of Georgia may impose any of the levels of discipline set forth above following formal proceedings against a respondent; however, any case where discipline is imposed by the Court is a matter of public record despite the fact that the level of discipline would have been confidential if imposed by the Investigative Panel of the State Disciplinary Board.
    2. As provided in Part IV, Chapter 2 of the State Bar Rules, the Investigative Panel of the State Disciplinary Board may impose any of the levels of discipline set forth above provided that a respondent shall have the right to reject the imposition of discipline by the Investigative Panel pursuant to the provisions of Rule 4-208.3;
  3. The Table of Contents, Preamble, Scope, Terminology and Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct are as follows:

Contents

Preamble, Scope and Terminology

Rules:    Client-Lawyer Relationship
               
1.0                                    Terminology
1.1                                    Competence
1.2                                    Scope of Representation and Allocation of Authority Between Client and Lawyer
1.3                                    Diligence
1.4                                    Communication
1.5                                    Fees
1.6                                    Confidentiality of Information
1.7                                    Conflict of Interest: General Rule
1.8                                    Conflict of Interest: Prohibited Transactions
1.9                                    Conflict of Interest: Former Client
1.10                                  Imputed Disqualification: General Rule
1.11                                  Successive Government and Private Employment
1.12                                  Former Judge or Arbitrator
1.13                                  Organization as Client   
1.14                                  Client With Diminished Capacity
1.15(I)                               Safekeeping Property - General
1.15(II)                              Safekeeping Property - Trust Account and IOLTA
1.15(III)                             Record Keeping; Trust Account Overdraft Notification; Examination of Records
1.16                                  Declining or Terminating Representation
1.17                                  Sale of Law Practice

                Counselor

2.1                                    Advisor
2.2                                    (This Rule is Reserved)
2.3                                    Evaluation for Use by Third Persons
2.4                                    Lawyer Serving as a Third Party Neutral

                Advocate

3.1                                    Meritorious Claims and Contentions   
3.2                                    Expediting Litigation
3.3                                    Candor toward the Tribunal
3.4                                    Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel
3.5                                    Impartiality and Decorum of the Tribunal
3.6                                    Trial Publicity
3.7                                    Lawyer as Witness
3.8                                    Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor
3.9                                    Advocate in Nonadjudicative Proceedings

                Transactions with Persons Other Than Clients
 
4.1                                    Truthfulness in Statements to Others
4.2                                    Communication with Person Represented by Counsel
4.3                                    Dealing with Unrepresented Person
4.4                                    Respect for Rights of Third Persons

                Law Firms and Associations

5.1                                    Responsibilities of a Partner or Supervisory Lawyer
5.2                                    Responsibilities of a Subordinate Lawyer
5.3                                    Responsibilities Regarding Nonlawyer Assistants
5.4                                    Professional Independence of a Lawyer
5.5                                    Unauthorized Practice of Law: Multijurisdictional Practice of Law
5.6                                    Restrictions on Right to Practice
5.7                                    Responsibilities Regarding Law-related Services

                 Public Service

6.1                                    Voluntary Pro Bono Publico Service
6.2                                    Accepting Appointments
6.3                                    Membership in Legal Services Organization
6.4                                    Law Reform Activities Affecting Client Interests

                 Information About Legal Services

7.1                                    Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services
7.2                                    Advertising
7.3                                    Direct Contact with Prospective Clients
7.4                                    Communication of Fields of Practice
7.5                                    Firm Names and Letterheads

                Maintaining the Integrity of the Profession

8.1                                    Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters
8.2                                    Judicial and Legal Officials
8.3                                    Reporting Professional Misconduct
8.4                                    Misconduct
8.5                                    Disciplinary Authority; Choice of Law

                Miscellaneous

9.1                                    Reporting Requirements
9.2                                    Restrictions on Filing Disciplinary Complaints
9.3                                    Cooperation with Disciplinary Authorities
9.4                                    Jurisdiction and Reciprocal Discipline
9.5                                    Lawyer as a Public Official



GO TO Rule 4-101. Enforcement of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct.
Return to handbook browser.