Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings, Rule 7
Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings, Rule 7 is when a lawyer tenders a plea guilty and the Judgment and Sentence is sent by the Clerk of the Court to the Supreme Court of Oklahoma.
RGDP Rule 7In the past, before November 2015, when an attorney was charged/convicted of a crime, the OBA General Counsel would generally take action on felony pleas only. Only on a few misdemeanor cases where there were more egregious facts would they notify the Supreme Court.
Since November 2015, the Supreme Court decided that all pleas where a J&S would be filed shall be brought before the Supreme Court. The Lumpkin form now has a place asking whether this Defendant is a practicing attorney. The Court Clerk then shall send the J&S to the Supreme Court for their review.
Rule 7.3 of the Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings provides:
“Upon receipt of the certified copies of Judgement and Sentence on a plea of guilty, order deferring judgement and sentence, indictment or information and the judgement and sentence, the Supreme Court SHALL BY ORDER IMMEDIATELY SUSPEND THE LAWYER FROM THE PRACTICE OF LAW UNTIL FURTHER ORDER OF THE COURT.
In every case, once the J&S is received, the Supreme Court will open an SCBD, or Supreme Court Bar Docket case, and within a matter of days the Chief Justice will file an order as to whether the case should be dismissed with no further discipline, to ask the attorney to brief as to why they shouldn’t receive an interim suspension, or immediately interim suspend the lawyer.
Grievances - Lawyer Diversion ProgramLawyer grievances which do not necessarily end in discipline for a lawyer could result in the lawyer entering into a diversion program at the Oklahoma Bar Association. If a lawyer is placed into a diversion program as a result of a grievance, the OBA General Counsel and the Professional Responsibility Commission may order you to attend classes. The classes they offer at the Oklahoma Bar Center are: Ethics, Trust Accounting, Law Practice Management, Professionalism, and Communications & Client Neglect. These are taught by the current ethics counsel Joe Balkenbush. Additionally, you may be required to allow Jim Calloway to come to your office to assess your needs when it comes to law office practice management, billing, and technical issues. He is in charge of the Management Assistance Program.
The lawyer is required to pay for those classes. The cost is $150 per class, unless the OBA determines the lawyer is eligible for a hardship. The lawyer does not receive CLE credit for taking these required diversion classes.
A diversion program can also include other requirements:
1. a drug and alcohol assessment;
2. frequent UA’s;
3. attend classes, like NA or AA;
4. gamblers anonymous;
5. referral to Lawyers Helping Lawyers, LHL;
6. anger management classes.