Appendix C: Notice to the Bar

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The Board on Professional Responsibility of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals has recently sought the guidance of the Court concerning the confidentiality requirements in Rule XI, Section 23, of the Rules Governing the Bar of the District of Columbia as these may apply to requests from the Trustees of the Client Security Funds for access to Bar Counsel's confidential files.
The Court, in the exercise of its supervisory power over the disciplinary system, pursuant to its inherent powers over members of the legal profession and District of Columbia Code § 11-2501 (1981), hereby directs Bar Counsel to make available confidential files of the Office of Bar Counsel to the Trustees of the Client Security Fund. Such files shall be made available upon written request by a Trustee stating why the file is needed, and identifying the particular case at issue before the Client Security Fund Committee. No disclosure shall be made until after Bar Counsel has given 14 days written notice to the respondent mailed by regular mail to the address given in the most recent registration statement filed by the attorney with the Bar pursuant to Rule II, Section 2(1). If the respondent files an objection in writing with the Board within ten days of the date of the notice stating with particularity the reasons for thr objection, the Board shall promptly determine the matter subject to discretionary review by this Court upon petition therefore, which must be filed with this Court within 10 days of the Board's determination. There shall be a presumption in favor of disclosure unless good cause is shown by the respondent why disclosure should not be made.

The Court also directs the Board to consider whether other issues concerning the sharing of confidential information by Bar Counsel with other law enforcement agencies, bar groups, and disciplinary authorities are implicated by the present directive being issued to the Board, and to report to the Court on whether further disclosure is required.