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Disbarred lawyers can't appear at admin. proceedings.

Rules that would clarify that disbarred, suspended, and lawyers who resigned in lieu of disciplinary proceedings may not appear in administrative proceedings and what civic or community service is expected of suspended lawyers when they apply for Bar reinstatement have been presented to the Bar Board of Governors.

Disciplinary Procedure Committee Chair Andy Sasso presented three rule amendments and one Standing Board Policy amendment to the board in March. All will come back to the board for final action at its May gathering.

One rule affecting disbarred and suspended attorneys would add a subsection to Rule 3-6.1, which deals with the employment of those individuals. The rule already prohibits them from practicing law or having direct contact with any client if employed by a law firm.

The new sections would prohibit those former attorneys or suspended attorneys from acting as nonlawyer agents representing individuals before municipal, county, state, or federal administrative agencies.

Sasso noted the proposal raised a question of whether the Supreme Court continued to have jurisdiction over disbarred lawyers or lawyers who resigned subject to disciplinary resignation, and the committee determined that under case law the court did.

The second change affecting disbarred, suspended, and disciplinary resigned lawyers was proposed for Rule 3-7.10 to clarify the comment about what types of community or civic service needs to be demonstrated when disbarred lawyers apply for readmission or attorneys suspended for 91 days or longer apply for reinstatement. (Lawyers suspended for 90 days or less are automatically reinstated.)

Sasso said the change was prompted by concern about what constituted community service. The proposed language explains that caring for one's own family does not count as community service and that what counts is "service is donated service or activity that is performed by someone or a group of people for the benefit of the public or its institutions."

Sasso also presented an amendment to Rule 3-7.1, which allows Bar members to waive confidentiality on pending grievance investigations so that information can be provided to the Board of Legal Specialization and Education as part of the board certification process.

In addition, he presented an amendment to Standing Board Policy 15.90, which reduces from 90 to 30 days the time after which fees for diversions in the grievance process or fee arbitration awards are considered delinquent.
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Title Annotation:Notice
Publication:Florida Bar News
Date:Apr 15, 2011
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