RULE 9.4: JURISDICTION AND RECIPROCAL 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 1 GEORGIA RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT AND ENFORCEMENT THEREOF
- Jurisdiction. Any lawyer admitted to practice law in this jurisdiction, including any formerly admitted lawyer with respect to acts committed prior to resignation, suspension, disbarment, or removal from practice on any of the grounds provided in Rule 4-104 of the State Bar, or with respect to acts subsequent thereto which amount to the practice of law or constitute a violation of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct or any Rules or Code subsequently adopted by the court in lieu thereof, and any Domestic or Foreign Lawyer specially admitted by a court of this jurisdiction for a particular proceeding and any Domestic or Foreign Lawyer who practices law or renders or offers to render any legal services in this jurisdiction, is subject to the disciplinary jurisdiction of the State Bar of Georgia State Disciplinary Board.
- Reciprocal Discipline. Upon being suspended or disbarred in another jurisdiction, a lawyer admitted to practice in Georgia shall promptly inform the Office of General Counsel of the State Bar of Georgia of the discipline. Upon notification from any source that a lawyer within the jurisdiction of the State Bar of Georgia has been suspended or disbarred in another jurisdiction, the Office of General Counsel shall obtain a certified copy of the disciplinary order and file it with the Clerk of the State Disciplinary Board. Nothing in the Rule shall prevent a lawyer suspended or disbarred in another jurisdiction from filing a petition for voluntary discipline under Rule 4-227.
- Upon receipt of a certified copy of an order demonstrating that a lawyer admitted to practice in Georgia has been disbarred or suspended in another jurisdiction, the Clerk of the State Disciplinary Board shall docket the matter and forthwith issue a notice directed to the lawyer containing:
- A copy of the order from the other jurisdiction; and
- A notice approved by the Review Panel that the lawyer must inform the Office of General Counsel and the Review Panel, within thirty days from service of the notice, of any claim by the lawyer predicated upon the grounds set forth in paragraph (b)(3) below, that the imposition of the substantially similar discipline in this jurisdiction would be unwarranted and the reasons for that claim.
- In the event the discipline imposed in the other jurisdiction has been stayed there, any reciprocal discipline imposed in this jurisdiction shall be deferred until the stay expires.
- Upon the expiration of thirty days from service of the notice pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (b)(1), the Review Panel shall recommend to the Georgia Supreme Court substantially similar discipline, or removal from practice on the grounds provided in Rule 4-104, unless the Office of General Counsel or the lawyer demonstrates, or the Review Panel finds that it clearly appears upon the face of the record from which the discipline is predicated, that:
If the Review Panel determines that any of those elements exists, the Review Panel shall make such other recommendation to the Georgia Supreme Court as it deems appropriate. The burden is on the party seeking different discipline in this jurisdiction to demonstrate that the imposition of the same discipline is not appropriate.
- The procedure was so lacking in notice or opportunity to be heard as to constitute a deprivation of due process; or
- There was such infirmity of proof establishing the misconduct as to give rise to the clear conviction that the court could not, consistent with its duty, accept as final the conclusion on that subject; or
- The discipline imposed would result in grave injustice or be offensive to the public policy of the jurisdiction; or
- The reason for the original disciplinary status no longer exists; or
- the conduct did not occur within the state of Georgia; and,
- the discipline imposed by the foreign jurisdiction exceeds the level of discipline allowed under these Rules.
- the discipline would if imposed in identical form be unduly severe or would require action not contemplated by these Rules.
- The Review Panel may consider exceptions from either the Office of General Counsel or the Respondent on the grounds enumerated at Part (b)(3) of this Rule, and may in its discretion grant oral argument. Exceptions in briefs shall be filed with the Review Panel within 30 days from notice of the Notice of Reciprocal Discipline. The responding party shall have 10 days after service of the exceptions within which to respond.
- In all other aspects, a final adjudication in another jurisdiction that a lawyer, whether or not admitted in that jurisdiction, has been guilty of misconduct, or has been removed from practice on any of the grounds provided in Rule 4-104 of the State Bar, shall establish conclusively the misconduct or the removal from practice for purposes of a disciplinary proceeding in this state.
- Discipline imposed by another jurisdiction but of a lesser nature than disbarment or suspension may be considered in aggravation of discipline in any other disciplinary proceeding.
- For purposes of this Rule, the word "jurisdiction" means any state, territory, country or federal court.
The maximum penalty for a violation of this Rule is disbarment.
 If a lawyer suspended or disbarred in one jurisdiction is also admitted in another jurisdiction and no action can be taken against the lawyer until a new disciplinary proceeding is instituted, tried, and concluded, the public in the second jurisdiction is left unprotected against a lawyer who has been judicially determined to be unfit. Any procedure which so exposes innocent clients to harm cannot be justified. The spectacle of a lawyer disbarred in one jurisdiction yet permitted to practice elsewhere exposes the profession to criticism and undermines public confidence in the administration of justice.
 The imposition of discipline in one jurisdiction does not mean that Georgia and every other jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted must necessarily impose discipline. The Review Panel has jurisdiction to recommend reciprocal discipline on the basis of public discipline imposed by a jurisdiction in which the respondent is licensed.
 A judicial determination of misconduct by the respondent in another jurisdiction is conclusive, and not subject to relitigation in the forum jurisdiction. The Review Panel should recommend substantially similar discipline unless it determines, after review limited to the record of the proceedings in the foreign jurisdiction, that one of the grounds specified in paragraph (b)(3) exists. This Rule applies whether or not the respondent is admitted to practice in the foreign jurisdiction. See also, Rule 8.5, Comment .
 For purposes of this Rule, the suspension or placement of a lawyer on inactive status in another jurisdiction because of want of sound mind, senility, habitual intoxication or drug addiction, to the extent of impairment of competency as an attorney shall be considered a disciplinary suspension under the Rules of the State Bar of Georgia.
GO TO RULE 9.3 COOPERATION WITH DISCIPLINARY AUTHORITY GO TO RULE 9.5 LAWYER AS A PUBLIC OFFICIAL Return to handbook browser.