Board on Professional Responsibility

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The purpose of the disciplinary system is to protect the public, the courts, and the legal profession from attorneys who do not meet their ethical responsibilities. The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has the ultimate authority for disciplining members of the District of Columbia Bar for violations of the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct. The process is governed by Rule XI of the Rules of the Court of Appeals Governing the Bar, which generally provides that all members of the D.C. Bar, those making limited appearances pro hac vice, and others admitted to practice in the District of Columbia as Special Legal Consultants under Rule 46(c)(4) are subject to the disciplinary rules.

The Board on Professional Responsibility is appointed by the Court and serves as its disciplinary arm, responsible for the adjudication of disciplinary cases and the administration of the attorney discipline system. The Hearing Committees preside over disciplinary hearings and are appointed by the Board.

The Executive Attorney for the Board exercises the authority delegated by the Board pursuant to Rule XI and serves at its pleasure. The Executive Attorney acts as the Board’s legal advisor and administers the Office of the Executive Attorney, which is responsible for assigning formal charges to the Hearing Committees, maintaining records of disciplinary proceedings, and filing Board and Hearing Committee recommendations and cases.

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