(A) Answer. Within 21 days after being served with a request for investigation under MCR 9.112(C)(1)(b) or such further time as permitted by the administrator, the respondent shall file with the administrator a written answer signed by respondent in duplicate fully and fairly disclosing all the facts and circumstances pertaining to the alleged misconduct. Misrepresentation in the answer is grounds for discipline. Respondent’s signature constitutes verification that he or she has read the document. The administrator shall provide a copy of the answer and any supporting documents, or documents related to a refusal to answer under MCR 9.113(B)(1), to the person who filed the request for investigation. If the administrator determines that there is cause for not disclosing some or all of the answer or documents supporting the answer, then the administrator need not provide those portions of the answer or the supporting documents to the person who filed the request for investigation.
(B) Refusal or Failure to Answer.
(1) A respondent may refuse to answer a request for investigation on expressed constitutional or professional grounds.
(2) The failure of a respondent to answer within the time period required under these rules other than as permitted in subrule (B)(1), or as further permitted by the administrator is misconduct. See MCR 9.104(A)(7).
(3) If a respondent refuses to answer under subrule (B)(1), the refusal may be submitted under seal to a hearing panel for adjudication. If a panel finds that the refusal was not proper, it shall direct the attorney to answer the request for investigation within 21 days after its order.
(C) Attorney-Client Privilege. A person who files a request for investigation of an attorney irrevocably waives any attorney-client privilege that he or she may have as to matters relating to the request for the purposes of the commission’s investigation.
(D) Representation by Attorney. The respondent may be represented by an attorney.