Rule 9.120 Conviction of Criminal Offense; Reciprocal Discipline

(A) Notification of the Grievance Administrator and the Attorney Discipline Board.

(1) When a lawyer is convicted of a crime, the lawyer, the prosecutor or other authority who prosecuted the lawyer, and the defense attorney who represented the lawyer must notify the grievance administrator and the board of the conviction. This notice must be given in writing within 14 days after the conviction.

(2)   A lawyer who has been the subject of an order of discipline or transferred to inactive status by any court of record or any body authorized by law or by rule of court to conduct disciplinary proceedings against attorneys, of the United States, or of any state or territory of the United States or of the District of Columbia, or who has resigned from the bar or roster of attorneys in lieu of discipline by, or during the pendency of, discipline proceedings before such court or body shall inform the grievance administrator and board of entry of such order, transfer, or resignation within 14 days of the entry of the order, transfer, or resignation.

(B) Criminal Conviction.

(1) On conviction of a felony, an attorney is automatically suspended until the effective date of an order filed by a hearing panel under MCR 9.115(J). A conviction occurs upon the return of a verdict of guilty or upon the acceptance of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere. The board may, on the attorney’s motion, set aside the automatic suspension when it appears consistent with the maintenance of the integrity and honor of the profession, the protection of the public, and the interests of justice. The board must set aside the automatic suspension if the felony conviction is vacated, reversed, or otherwise set aside for any reason by the trial court or an appellate court.

(2) In a disciplinary proceeding instituted against an attorney based on the attorney’s conviction of a criminal offense, a certified copy of the judgment of conviction is conclusive proof of the commission of the criminal offense.

(3) The administrator may file with the board a judgment of conviction showing that an attorney has violated a criminal law of a state or of the United States, an ordinance, or tribal law pursuant to MCR 2.615. The board shall then order the attorney to show cause why a final order of discipline should not be entered, and the board shall refer the proceeding to a hearing panel for hearing. At the hearing, questions as to the validity of the conviction, alleged trial errors, and the availability of appellate remedies shall not be considered. After the hearing, the panel shall issue an order under MCR 9.115(J).

(4). On a pardon the board may, and on a reversal of the conviction the board must, by order filed and served under MCR 9.118(F), vacate the order of discipline. The attorney’s name must be returned to the roster of Michigan attorneys and counselors at law, but the administrator may nevertheless proceed against the respondent for misconduct which had led to the criminal charge.

(C)   Reciprocal Discipline.

(1)   A certified copy of a final adjudication by any court of record or any body authorized by law or by rule of court to conduct disciplinary proceedings against attorneys by any state or territory of the United States or of the District of Columbia, a United States court, or a federal administrative agency, determining that an attorney, whether or not admitted in that jurisdiction, has committed misconduct or has been transferred to disability inactive status, shall establish conclusively the misconduct or the disability for purposes of a proceeding under subchapter 9.100 of these rules and comparable discipline or transfer shall be imposed in the Michigan proceeding unless the respondent was not afforded due process of law in the course of the original proceedings, the imposition of comparable discipline or transfer in Michigan would be clearly inappropriate, or the reason for the original transfer to disability inactive status no longer exists.

(2)   Upon the filing by the grievance administrator of a certified copy of final adjudication described in paragraph (C)(1) with the board, the board shall issue an order directed to the lawyer and the administrator:

(a)   attaching a copy of the order from the other jurisdiction; and

(b)   directing, that, within 21 days from service of the order, the lawyer and administrator shall inform the board (i) of any objection to the imposition of comparable discipline or disability inactive status in Michigan based on the grounds set forth in paragraph (C)(1) of this rule, and (ii) whether a hearing is requested.

(3)   Upon receipt of an objection to the imposition of comparable discipline or disability inactive status raising one or more of the issues identified in paragraph (C)(1) of this rule, the board shall assign the matter to a hearing panel for disposition. The opposing party shall have 21 days to reply to an objection. If a hearing is requested, and the hearing panel grants the request, the hearing shall be held in accordance with the procedures set forth in MCR 9.115 except as otherwise provided in this rule.

(4)   Papers filed under this rule shall conform as nearly as practicable to the requirements of subchapter 2.100 and shall be filed with the board and served on the opposing party and each member of the hearing panel once assigned.

(5)   The burden is on the party seeking to avoid the imposition of comparable discipline or transfer to disability inactive status to demonstrate that it is not appropriate for one or more of the grounds set forth in paragraph (C)(1). “Comparable” discipline does not mean that the dates of a period of disqualification from practice in this state must coincide with the dates of the period of disqualification, if any, in the original jurisdiction.

(6)   If the 21-day period discussed in paragraph (C)(2)(b) has expired without objection by either party, the respondent is in default, with the same effect as a default in a civil action, and the board shall impose comparable discipline or transfer to disability inactive status unless it appears that one of the grounds set forth in paragraph (C)(1) of this rule requires a different result, in which case the board shall schedule a hearing in accord with paragraph (3) of this rule. An order entered pursuant to this subparagraph may be set aside if the requirements of MCR 2.603(D) are established.

(7)   In the event the discipline or transfer to disability inactive status imposed in the original jurisdiction is stayed, any reciprocal discipline imposed in Michigan shall be deferred until the stay expires.