(a) Purpose of sanctions. The purpose of imposing Lawyer sanctions is to ensure and maintain the high standard of professional conduct required of those who undertake the discharge of professional responsibilities as Lawyers, and to protect the public and the administration of justice from Lawyers who have demonstrated by their conduct that they are unable or likely to be unable to discharge properly their professional responsibilities.
(b) Public nature of sanctions. The ultimate disposition of Lawyer discipline will be public in cases of delicensure, suspension, and reprimand; and nonpublic in cases of admonition.
(c) Purpose of the sanctions rules. These rules are designed for use in imposing a sanction or sanctions following a determination that a member of the legal profession has violated a provision of the Rules of Professional Conduct or Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Rules of Professional Conduct. Descriptions in these rules of substantive disciplinary offenses are not intended to create grounds for determining culpability independent of the Rules of Professional Conduct or Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Rules of Professional Conduct. The rules constitute a system for determining sanctions, permitting flexibility and creativity in assigning sanctions in particular cases of Lawyer misconduct. The rules are designed to promote:
(1) consideration of all factors relevant to imposing the appropriate level of sanction in an individual case;
(2) consideration of the appropriate weight of such factors in light of the stated goals of Lawyer discipline; and
(3) consistency in the imposition of disciplinary sanctions for the same or similar offenses within and among jurisdictions.
Effective December 15, 2020