Rule 9.126 Open Hearings; Privileged, Confidential Files and Records

(A) Investigations. Except as provided in these rules, investigations by the administrator or the staff are privileged from disclosure, confidential, and may not be made public. At the respondent’s option, final disposition of a request for investigation not resulting in formal charges may be made public. In addition, any interested person may inspect the request for investigation and the respondent’s answer thereto if a disciplinary proceeding has been filed.

(B) Hearings. Hearings before a hearing panel and the board must be open to the public, but not their deliberations.

(C) Papers. Formal pleadings, reports, findings, recommendations, discipline, reprimands, transcripts, and orders resulting from hearings must be open to the public. A personal history affidavit filed pursuant to MCR 9.124(B)(1) is a confidential document that is not open to the public. This subrule does not apply to a request for a disclosure authorization submitted to the board or the Supreme Court pursuant to subrules (D)(8) or (E)(8).

(D) Other Records. Other files and records of the board, the commission, the administrator, legal counsel, hearing panels and their members, and the staff of each may not be examined by or disclosed to anyone except

(1) the commission,

(2) the administrator,

(3) the respondent as provided under MCR 9.115(F)(4),

(4) members of hearing panels or the board,

(5) authorized employees,

(6) the Supreme Court, or

(7) other persons who are expressly authorized by the board or the Supreme Court.

If a disclosure is made to the Supreme Court, the board, or a hearing panel, the information must also be disclosed to the respondent, except as it relates to an investigation, unless the court otherwise orders.

(E) Other Information. Notwithstanding any prohibition against disclosure set forth in this rule or elsewhere, the commission shall disclose the substance of information concerning attorney or judicial misconduct to the Judicial Tenure Commission, upon request. The commission also may make such disclosure to the Judicial Tenure Commission, absent a request, and to:

(1) the State Bar of Michigan Client Security Fund,

(2) the State Bar of Michigan:

   (a) Committee on Judicial Qualifications;

   (b) Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program;

   (c) District and Standing Committees on Character and Fitness; or

   (d) Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee,

(3) any court-authorized attorney disciplinary or admissions agency, including any federal district court or federal disciplinary agency considering the licensing of attorneys in its jurisdiction,

(4) the Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel System,

(5) any Michigan court considering the appointment of a lawyer in a pending matter as house counsel, or a standing appointment,

(6) a lawyer representing the respondent in an unrelated disciplinary investigation or proceeding;

(7) law enforcement agencies; or

(8) other persons who are expressly authorized by the board or the Supreme Court.