Rule 11-570. Notice of disability or suspension; return of clients’ property; refund of unearned fees.

(a) Effective date of order; winding up affairs. Each order that imposes delicensure or suspension is effective 28 days after the order’s date, or at such time as the order provides. Each order that transfers a Respondent to disability status is effective immediately, unless the order otherwise provides. After the court enters any order of delicensure, suspension, or transfer to disability status, the Respondent may not accept any new retainer or employment as a Lawyer in any new case or legal matter; except that during any period between the date an order is entered and its effective date, the Respondent may, with the consent of the client after full disclosure, wind up or complete any matters pending on the date the order is entered.

(b) Notice to clients and others. In every case in which a Respondent is delicensed or suspended for more than six months, the Respondent must, within 21 days after the order is entered, accomplish the following acts:

(1) notify each client and any co-counsel in every pending legal matter, litigation, and non-litigation, that the Respondent has been delicensed or suspended from the practice of law and is disqualified from further participation in the matter;

(2) notify each client that, in the absence of co-counsel, the client should obtain a new Lawyer, calling attention to the urgency to seek new counsel, particularly in pending litigation;

(3) deliver to every client any papers or other property to which the client is entitled or, if delivery cannot reasonably be made, make arrangements satisfactory to the client or co-counsel of a reasonable time and place where papers and other property may be obtained, calling attention to any urgency to obtain the same;

(4) refund any part of any fee paid in advance that has not been earned as of the order’s effective date;

(5) in each matter pending before a court, agency, or tribunal, notify opposing counsel or, in the absence of counsel, the adverse party, of the Respondent’s delicensure or suspension and consequent disqualification to further participate as a Lawyer in the matter;

(6) file with the court, agency, or tribunal before which any matter is pending a copy of the notice given to opposing counsel or to an adverse party; and

(7) within 14 days after the effective date of delicensure or suspension, file an unsworn declaration with the OPC showing complete performance of the foregoing requirements. The Respondent must keep and maintain for the OPC’s inspection all records of the steps taken to accomplish the requirements of this rule.

(c) Lien. Any attorney’s lien for services rendered that are not tainted by reason of delicensure or suspension may not be rendered invalid merely because of the order of discipline.

(d) Other notice. If a Respondent is suspended for six months or less, the district court may impose conditions similar to those set out in paragraph (b). In any public disciplinary matter, the district court may also require the Respondent to issue notice to others as it deems necessary to protect the interests of clients or the public.

(e) Compliance. Substantial compliance with the provisions of paragraphs (a), (b) and (d) will be a precondition for reinstatement or relicensure. Willful failure to comply with paragraphs (a), (b) and (d) constitute contempt of court and may be punished as such or by further disciplinary action.

Effective December 15, 2020