December 17, 2010
Supreme Court Seeks Public Comment on Reinstatement Procedure Amendments
The Supreme Court of Ohio will accept public comment until Jan. 11, 2011, on proposed amendments that would allow suspended attorneys, in limited circumstances, to apply for reinstatement while subject to probation or other post-conviction sanction. Justices concurred 7-0 in publishing the proposed amendments for public comment.
Proposed amendments to Rule V, Section 10 for the Government of the Bar of Ohio would allow a respondent who is serving a term suspension of six months to two years to apply for reinstatement to the practice of law before “completing a term of probation, community control, intervention in lieu of conviction, or sanction imposed as part of a sentence for a felony conviction” if the disciplinary order allows it.
A lawyer serving a suspension of more than two years is ordinarily barred from seeking reinstatement to the practice of law while subject to probation or other post-conviction sanction. The proposed amendment permits an indefinitely suspended lawyer to petition for reinstatement if the lawyer can demonstrate compliance with the terms of the court-ordered sanction and can provide evidence sufficient to show by clear and convincing evidence that good cause exists for reinstating the lawyer.
Under the proposed rule, the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline could only recommend early reinstatement if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that good cause exists for waiving the reinstatement requirement. The Supreme Court would review the board’s recommendation and make the final decision as to whether reinstatement is appropriate.
Comments should be submitted in writing to Richard A. Dove, Assistant Administrative Director, Supreme Court of Ohio.