Discipline Definitions

FORMS OF DISCIPLINE

Please Note: The Supreme Court of Georgia may impose any of the levels of discipline set forth below following formal proceedings against an attorney; however, any case where discipline is imposed by the Supreme Court is a matter of public record despite the fact that the level of discipline would have been confidential (like an Investigative Panel Reprimand or a Formal Letter of Admonition); therefore, discipline that would have otherwise been confidential may be made public by order of the Supreme Court..

Disbarment: A form of public discipline where the attorney is removed from the practice of law in Georgia. This level of discipline would be appropriate in cases of serious misconduct.

Suspension: A form of public discipline where the attorney is removed 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.

Public Reprimand: A form of public discipline which declares the attorney's conduct to have been improper but does not limit his right to practice. A public reprimand shall be administered by a judge of a superior court in open court.

Review Panel Reprimand: A form of public discipline which declares the attorney's conduct to have been improper but does not limit his right to practice. A Review Panel Reprimand shall be administered by the Review Panel of the State Disciplinary Board at a meeting of the Review Panel.

Investigative Panel Reprimand: A form of private discipline which declares the attorney's conduct to have been improper but does not limit his right to practice. An Investigative Panel Reprimand shall be administered by the Investigative Panel of the State Disciplinary Board 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.

Formal Letter of Admonition: A form of private discipline which declares the attorney's conduct to have been improper but does not limit his right to practice. A formal admonition shall be administered by letter as provided in Bar Rules 4-205 through 4-208. This level of discipline would be appropriate in cases that merit the lowest form of discipline.


OTHER DISCIPLINARY MATTERS

Receivership: Upon a final determination by the Supreme Court of Georgia that an attorney has disappeared, died, or become physically or mentally incapacitated, or poses a substantial threat of harm to his clients or the public, and that no partner, associate or other appropriate representative is available to notify his clients of this fact the Supreme Court may order that a member or members of the State Bar of Georgia be appointed as receiver to take charge of the attorney's files and records. Such receiver shall review the files, notify the attorney's clients and take such steps as seem indicated to protect the interests of the clients, the attorney and the public.

Interim Suspension: A temporary suspension of an attorney’s right to practice law based on the attorney’s failure to respond to a grievance pending with the Investigative Panel of the State Disciplinary Board.

Interim Suspension Lifted/Interim Suspension Reinstatement: The reinstatement of an attorney who has been temporarily suspended for failure to respond to a grievance pending with the Investigative Panel of the State Disciplinary Board.

Out of State Discipline: A member of the State Bar of Georgia, who has been publicly disciplined in another jurisdiction. 

Please call the Office of the General Counsel at 404-527-8720 for an explanation regarding the following terms: Reinstatement Granted, Reinstatement Denied, Other, and Dismissed.