Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

• No statutes or acts will be found at this website.

The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 53 Pa.B. 7346 (November 25, 2023).

Pennsylvania Code



Subchapter A. PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS


Rule


101.    Title and citation of Rules.
102.    Definitions.
103.    Authority for Enforcement Rules.
104.    Filings with the Supreme Court.

Rule 101. Title and citation of Rules.

 These rules shall be known as the Pennsylvania Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement and may be cited as ‘‘Pa. R.D.E.’’

Rule 102. Definitions.

 (a)  General rule. Subject to additional definitions contained in subsequent provisions of these rules which are applicable to specific provisions of these rules, the following words and phrases when used in these rules shall have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the meanings given to them in this rule:

   Absent attorney—An attorney or formerly admitted attorney for whom a conservator has been sought or appointed under these rules.

   ‘‘Active status.’’ The license status of an attorney who is admitted in Pennsylvania and is registered as active under Enforcement Rule 219 (relating to annual registration and assessment). An attorney on active status is eligible to practice law in Pennsylvania.

   Administrative office—The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.

   Administrative suspension—The license status of an attorney, after Court order under Enforcement Rule 219(g), who: failed to pay the annual assessment and file the form required by subdivisions (b) and (c) of Enforcement Rule 219; failed to satisfy the requirements of the Pennsylvania Rules for Continuing Legal Education and was reported to the Court by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board under Rule 111(b), Pa.R.C.L.E.; failed to pay any costs and fees pursuant to Enforcement Rule 208(g); or failed to meet the requirements for maintaining a limited law license as a Limited In-House Corporate Counsel, a foreign legal consultant, an attorney participant in defender or legal services programs, a military attorney, or attorney spouse of an active-duty service member. An attorney on administrative suspension status is ineligible to practice law in Pennsylvania.

   Attorney—Includes any person subject to these rules.

   ‘‘Attorney participant in defender or legal services programs.’’ An attorney or the license status of an attorney holding a limited admission to practice under Pennsylvania Bar Admission Rule 311 (relating to limited admission of participants in defender or legal services programs).

   Attorney Registration Office—The administrative division of the Disciplinary Board which governs the annual registration of every attorney admitted to, or engaging in, the practice of law in this Commonwealth, with the exception of attorneys admitted to practice pro hac vice under Pennsylvania Bar Admission Rule 301.

   ‘‘Attorney spouse of an active-duty service member.’’ An attorney or the license status of an attorney holding a limited admission to practice under Pennsylvania Bar Admission Rule 304 (relating to limited admission of spouses of active-duty members of the United States Uniformed Services).

   Board—The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

   Censure—Public censure by the Supreme Court under Enforcement Rule 204(a)(3) (relating to types of discipline).

   Conservator—A conservator appointed under Enforcement Rule 321 (relating to appointment of conservator to protect interests of clients of absent attorney).

   Court—The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

   ‘‘Court Prothonotary.’’ The Prothonotary of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

   ‘‘Disability inactive status.’’ The license status of an attorney who: has been transferred to this status by order of the Court under Enforcement Rule 301(c) after having been judicially declared incapacitated by another court; has been declared incapacitated by order of the Court under Enforcement Rule 301(d) from continuing the practice of law; is transferred to disability inactive status by order of the Court under Enforcement Rule 301(e) after contending during a pending disciplinary proceeding that he or she is suffering from a disability by reason of physical or mental infirmity or illness that makes it impossible for the attorney to prepare an adequate defense; or has been placed on disability inactive status in another jurisdiction and is transferred to disability inactive status by reciprocal order of the Court under Enforcement Rule 216. The term ‘‘disability inactive status’’ includes any transfer to inactive status based on disability under Rule 216 or 301. An attorney on disability inactive status is ineligible to practice law in Pennsylvania.

   ‘‘Disbarment.’’ A type of discipline in which the Court withdraws the offending attorney’s privilege to practice law for an unspecified period of at least five years with no basis for an expectation to resume the practice of law.

   ‘‘Disciplinary Counsel.’’—The Chief Disciplinary Counsel and disciplinary counsel within the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

   Disciplinary Rules—The provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility as adopted by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania May 20, 1970, 438 Pa. XXV, as amended from time to time by special order of the Court and governing lawyer conduct occurring or beginning on or before March 31, 1988 as well as the provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct as adopted by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on October 16, 1987, 515 Pa. LXIX, and effective on April 1, 1988, as amended from time to time by special order of the Court.

   ‘‘Emeritus status.’’ The license status of an attorney admitted in Pennsylvania who has elected emeritus status, pursuant to Enforcement Rule 403, in order to provide the type of pro bono services authorized by Rule 403 and is current on all registration requirements under that rule.

   Enforcement Rules—The provisions of these rules.

   ‘‘Experienced hearing committee member.’’—An attorney who at the time is a member of the panel of hearing committee members in a disciplinary district and who has served on at least one hearing committee that has conducted a hearing into formal charges of misconduct by a respondent-attorney or a hearing on a petition for reinstatement from discipline by a petitioner-attorney.

   Foreign legal consultant—A person or the license status of a person who holds a current license as a foreign legal consultant issued under Pennsylvania Bar Admission Rule 341 (relating to the licensing of foreign legal consultants).

   ‘‘Formal proceedings.’’—Proceedings that commence with the filing of a petition for discipline. A formal proceeding does not include any of the submissions or documents generated during an informal proceeding unless they are made part of the record at the formal proceeding by motion, by stipulation, or by admission as an exhibit during a hearing. Pursuant to Enforcement Rule 402(a), formal proceedings are open to the public, except as provided in Enforcement Rules 402(b) and 402(k).

   Formerly admitted attorney—A disbarred, suspended, temporarily suspended, administratively suspended, permanently resigned, retired, inactive, or disability inactive attorney.

   Hearing Committee—A hearing committee appointed under Enforcement Rule 206 (relating to hearing committees and special masters).

   ‘‘Inactive status.’’ The license status of an attorney who is admitted in Pennsylvania and has either elected inactive status under Enforcement Rule 219 (relating to annual registration and assessment) or has sold his or her practice by reason of disability pursuant to Rule 1.17(f) of the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct. An attorney on inactive status is ineligible to practice law in Pennsylvania.

   Informal admonition—A type of private discipline administered by Disciplinary Counsel.

   ‘‘Informal proceedings.’’—Proceedings that commence with the submission of a complaint to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel or an investigation initiated by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel. An informal proceeding includes all proceedings up to the filing of a petition for discipline. Informal proceedings are not open to the public.

   ‘‘Judge status.’’ The license status of a justice or judge serving on the following Pennsylvania courts of record: Supreme, Superior, Commonwealth, Common Pleas, and Philadelphia Municipal; and a justice or judge serving on the following federal courts: Supreme, Court of Appeals, Bankruptcy, and District Court, including full-time and part-time magistrate judges not otherwise engaged in the practice of law. This status includes a justice or judge who served on one of these courts and is granted senior status. An attorney on judge status is exempt from annual registration under Enforcement Rule 219(a)(2).

   ‘‘Legal Counsel.’’ Counsel to the Board and Special Counsel.

   ‘‘Limited In-House Corporate Counsel.’’ An attorney or the license status of an attorney holding a limited admission to practice under Pennsylvania Bar Admission Rule 302 (relating to limited admission of in-house corporate counsel).

   Military attorney—An attorney or the license status of an attorney holding a limited admission to practice under Pennsylvania Bar Admission Rule 303 (relating to limited admission of military attorneys).

   ‘‘Permanent resignation.’’ The license status of an attorney who has elected to permanently resign from the Pennsylvania bar under Enforcement Rule 404. An attorney on permanent resignation status is ineligible to practice law in Pennsylvania.

   Petitioner-attorney—Includes any person subject to these rules who has filed a petition for reinstatement to the practice of law.

   Practice of law—Includes the provision of legal services as a foreign legal consultant, military attorney, attorney spouse of an active-duty service member, attorney participant in defender or legal services programs, or pursuant to a Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License.

   Private reprimand—A type of private discipline imposed by the Board.

   Probation—Probation by the Supreme Court under supervision provided by the Board.

   Public reprimand—A type of discipline imposed by the Board.

   Respondent-attorney—Includes any person subject to these rules.

   ‘‘Retired status.’’ The license status of an attorney admitted in Pennsylvania who elects this status after having ceased the practice of law in Pennsylvania. An attorney on retired status is ineligible to practice law in Pennsylvania.

   ‘‘Senior hearing committee member.’’—An attorney who at the time is a member of the panel of hearing committee members in a disciplinary district and who has served either (i) as a member of the Board, or (ii) on at least two hearing committees that have conducted hearings into formal charges of misconduct by respondent-attorneys or hearings on petitions for reinstatement from discipline by petitioner-attorneys.

   Special Master—Assigned under Enforcement Rule 206 (relating to hearing committees and special masters), includes former Board members, former or retired justices or judges not on senior status, Special Counsel, and former senior hearing committee members.

   ‘‘Suspension.’’ A type of discipline in which the Court withdraws the offending attorney’s privilege to practice law for a period not exceeding five years. A suspended attorney may resume the practice of law only upon the entry of an order of the Court reinstating the attorney to active status.

   Verified statement—A document filed with the Board or the Court under these rules containing statements of fact and a statement by the signatory that it is made subject to the penalties of 18 Pa.C.S. §  4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to authorities).

 (b)  Number; tense. In these rules the singular shall include the plural, and the plural, the singular; and words used in the past or present tense shall include the future.

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 102 amended October 10, 1980, effective February 8, 1981, 10 Pa.B. 4029; amended October 16, 1987, effective April 1, 1988, 17 Pa.B. 4509; amended December 6, 1989, effective December 23, 1989, 19 Pa.B. 5421; amended September 9, 2004, effective September 25, 2004, 34 Pa.B. 5244; amended March 17, 2005, effective September 1, 2005, 35 Pa.B. 1972; amended June 26, 2007, effective immediately, 37 Pa.B. 3218; amended April 16, 2009, effective May 1, 2009, 39 Pa.B. 2193; amended May 17, 2012, effective in 30 days, 42 Pa.B. 3127; amended April 18, 2019, effective in 30 days, 49 Pa.B. 2209; amended October 2, 2019, effective in 30 days, 49 Pa.B. 6063; amended October 29, 2020, efective in 30 days, 50 Pa.B. 6353; amended March 22, 2022, effective in 30 days, 52 Pa.B. 1974; amended July 19, 2023, effective September 1, 2023, 53 Pa.B. 4385; amended July 25, 2023, effective immediately, 53 Pa.B. 4405. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (409751) to (409754).

Rule 103. Authority for Enforcement Rules.

 The Supreme Court declares that it has inherent and exclusive power to supervise the conduct of attorneys who are its officers (which power is reasserted in Section 10(c) of Article V of the Constitution of Pennsylvania) and in furtherance thereof promulgates these rules.

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 103 amended February 2, 1984, effective February 18, 1984, 14 Pa.B. 510. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (70253).

Rule 104. Filings with the Supreme Court.

 (a)  General rule. Rules 121 through 124 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Appellate Procedure shall be applicable to all filings with the Supreme Court under these rules.

 (b)  Exception. Notwithstanding subdivision (a), an express procedural requirement in these rules shall be controlling over the applicable provision of the Rules of Appellate Procedure.

 (c)  Centralized filing. All filings with the Supreme Court under these rules shall be made only with the Court Prothonotary, and the person making a filing shall not distribute copies to the members of the Court.

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 104 adopted October 3, 1990, effective October 27, 1990, 20 Pa.B. 5364; amended April 4, 1995, effective immediately, 25 Pa.B. 1513; amended October 26, 2005, effective immediately upon publication of this Order in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and shall apply to all matters thereafter commenced and to those matters pending at the time in which a petition for discipline or a petition for reinstatement has not been filed, 35 Pa. B. 6226; amended April 18, 2019, effective in 30 days, 49 Pa.B. 2209. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (361732).



No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.


This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Code full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.