Rule 14-515. Accessto disciplinary information.
(a) Confidentiality.Prior to the filing of a formal complaint or the issuance of a public reprimandpursuant to Rule 14-510 in a discipline matter, OPC Counsel, OPC employees, theCommittee, Committee volunteers, Committee staff, Committee employees, specialcounsel appointed pursuant to Rule 14-517(f), and special counsel employees orassistants, shall keep the proceeding confidential, except that the pendency,subject matter, and status of an investigation may be disclosed by OPC counselif the proceeding is based upon allegations that have been disseminated throughthe mass media, or include either the conviction of a crime or reciprocalpublic discipline. The proceeding shall not be deemed confidential to theextent:
(a)(1) the respondenthas given an express written waiver of confidentiality;
(a)(2) there is aneed to notify another person or organization, including the Bar's Lawyer'sFund for Client Protection, in order to protect the public, the administrationof justice, or the legal profession; or
(a)(3) theinformation is required in a subsequent lawyer sanctions hearing;
(a)(4) a referral ismade to the Professionalism Counseling Board pursuant to Rule 14-510 (a)(4) or(b)(6)(C ). In the event of such a referral, OPC counsel, members of theCommittee and of any screening panel, and members of the ProfessionalismCounseling Board may share all information between and among them with theexpectation that such information will in all other respects be subject toapplicable confidentiality rules or exceptions.
(b) Publicproceedings. Upon the filing of a formal complaint in a discipline matter, thefiling of a petition for reinstatement, or the filing of a motion or petitionfor interim suspension, the proceeding is public, except as provided inparagraph (d) below.
(c) Proceedingsalleging disability. Proceedings for transfer to or from disability status areconfidential. All orders transferring a respondent to or from disability statusare public.
(d) Protective order.In order to protect the interest of a complainant, witness, third party, orrespondent, the district court may, upon application of any person and for goodcause shown, issue a protective order prohibiting the disclosure of specificinformation and direct that the proceedings be conducted so as to implement theorder, including requiring that the hearing be conducted in such a way as topreserve the confidentiality of the information that is the subject of theapplication.
(e) Request fornonpublic information. Nonpublic information shall be confidential, other thanas authorized for disclosure under paragraph (a), unless:
(e)(1) the requestfor information is made by the Board, any Bar committee, a committee orconsultant appointed by the Supreme Court or the Board to review OPCoperations, or the executive director, and is required in the furtherance oftheir duties; or
(e)(2) the requestfor information is approved by OPC counsel and there is compliance with theprovisions of paragraphs (f) and (g) of this rule.
(f) Notice to therespondent. Except as provided in paragraph (g), if the Committee decides toprovide nonpublic information requested pursuant to paragraph (e), and if therespondent has not signed an express written waiver permitting the partyrequesting the information to obtain the nonpublic information, the respondentshall be notified in writing at the respondent's last known designated mailingaddress as shown by Bar records of that information which has been requestedand by whom, together with a copy of the information proposed to be released.The notice shall advise the respondent that the information shall be releasedat the end of 21 days following mailing of the notice unless the respondentobjects to the disclosure. If the respondent timely objects to the disclosure,the information shall remain confidential unless the requesting party obtains acourt order authorizing its release.
(g) Release withoutnotice. If a requesting party as outlined in paragraph (e)(2) has not obtainedan express written waiver from the respondent to obtain nonpublic information,and requests that the information be released without giving notice to therespondent, the requesting party shall certify that:
(g)(1) the request ismade in furtherance of an ongoing investigation into misconduct by therespondent;
(g)(2) theinformation is essential to that investigation; and
(g)(3) disclosure ofthe existence of the investigation to the respondent would seriously prejudicethat investigation.
(h) OPC counsel candisclose nonpublic information without notice to the respondent if:
(h)(1) disclosure ismade in furtherance of an ongoing OPC investigation into misconduct by therespondent; and
(h)(2) theinformation that is sought through disclosure is essential to thatinvestigation.
(i)Duty of participants. OPC Counsel, OPC employees, the Committee, Committeevolunteers, Committee staff, Committee employees, special counsel appointedpursuant to Rule 14-517(f), and special counsel employees or assistants in aproceeding under these rules shall conduct themselves so as to maintainconfidentiality. Except as authorized by other statutes or rules, personsreceiving private records under paragraph (e) will not provide access to therecords to anyone else.
Effective November 1,2019