(a) Discipline by consent before the matter is submitted to a screening panel. A Respondent against whom a Complaint has been filed may, before the matter is submitted to a screening panel, tender a proposal for discipline by consent, including a conditional admission to the Complaint or portions thereof in exchange for a disciplinary sanction and final disposition of the Complaint. The proposal must include a waiver of right to a screening panel hearing. The Respondent must submit the proposal to the OPC, who will forward the proposal to the Committee chair with a recommendation in favor of or opposed to the proposal and a statement of the basis for such recommendation. If the Committee chair approves the proposal, the sanction will be imposed as provided in this rule. If the proposal is rejected by the Committee chair, the proposal and admission will be withdrawn and cannot be used against the Respondent in subsequent proceedings.
(b) Discipline by consent after filing an Action. A Respondent against whom an Action has been filed may tender a conditional admission to the allegations in the OPC’s complaint or to a particular count thereof in exchange for a stated form of discipline and final disposition of the Action. The proposal must be submitted to the OPC, who will then forward the proposal to the district court with a recommendation favoring or opposing the proposal and a statement of the basis for such recommendation. The district court will either approve or reject the proposal. If the district court approves the proposal and the stated form of discipline includes public discipline, it will enter the appropriate disciplinary order as provided in paragraph (d). If the district court rejects the proposal, the proposal and conditional admission will be withdrawn and cannot be used against the Respondent in subsequent proceedings.
(c) Order of discipline by consent. The final order of discipline by consent will be predicated on:
(1) the Complaint and Notice if no Action has been filed;
(2) the Action, if filed;
(3) the approved proposal for discipline by consent; and
(4) an unsworn declaration of consent by the Respondent to be disciplined.
(d) Unsworn declaration of consent. A Respondent whose proposal for discipline by consent has been approved, must submit an unsworn declaration to the Committee chair or the district court as appropriate, consenting to the approved disciplinary sanction and affirming that:
(1) the consent is freely and voluntarily entered;
(2) the Respondent is not acting under coercion or duress;
(3) the Respondent is fully aware of the implications of submitting the consent;
(4) the Respondent is aware that there is presently pending an investigation into, or proceeding involving, allegations that there exist grounds for discipline, the nature of which must be specifically set forth;
(5) for purposes of disciplinary proceedings, the Respondent acknowledges that the material facts so alleged are true; and
(6) the Respondent submits consent because the Respondent knows that if the Complaint or Action were predicated on the allegations under investigation were filed, or the pending Action were prosecuted, the Respondent could not successfully defend against the charges upon which the discipline is based.
Effective December 15, 2020