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Rule14-515. Access to disciplinary information.

(a) Confidentiality. Prior to thefiling of a formal complaint or the issuance of a public reprimand pursuant toRule 14-510 in a discipline matter, the proceeding is confidential, except thatthe pendency, subject matter, and status of an investigation may be disclosedby OPC counsel if the proceeding is based upon allegations that have beendisseminated through the mass media, or include either the conviction of acrime or reciprocal public discipline. The proceeding shall not be deemedconfidential to the extent:

(a)(1) the respondent has givenan express written waiver of confidentiality;

(a)(2) there is a need to notifyanother person or organization, including the Bar's Lawyer's Fund for ClientProtection, in order to protect the public, the administration of justice, orthe legal profession; or

(a)(3) the information isrequired in a subsequent lawyer sanctions hearing;

(a)(4) a referral is made to theProfessionalism Counseling Board pursuant to Rule 14-510 (a)(4) or (b)(6)(C ).In the event of such a referral, OPC counsel, members of the Committee and ofany screening panel, and members of the Professionalism Counseling Board mayshare all information between and among them with the expectation that suchinformation will in all other respects be subject to applicable confidentialityrules or exceptions.

(b) Public proceedings. Upon thefiling of a formal complaint in a discipline matter, the filing of a petitionfor reinstatement, or the filing of a motion or petition for interimsuspension, the proceeding is public, except as provided in paragraph (d)below.

(c) Proceedings allegingdisability. 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 toprotect the interest of a complainant, witness, third party, or respondent, thedistrict court may, upon application of any person and for good cause shown,issue a protective order prohibiting the disclosure of specific information anddirect that the proceedings be conducted so as to implement the order,including requiring that the hearing be conducted in such a way as to preservethe confidentiality of the information that is the subject of the application.

(e) Request for nonpublicinformation. Nonpublic information shall be confidential, other than asauthorized for disclosure under paragraph (a), unless:

(e)(1) the request forinformation is made by the Board, any Bar committee, a committee or consultantappointed by the Supreme Court or the Board to review OPC operations, or theexecutive director, and is required in the furtherance of their duties; or

(e)(2) the request forinformation is approved by OPC counsel and there is compliance with theprovisions of paragraphs (f) and (g) of this rule.

(f) Notice to the respondent.Except as provided in paragraph (g), if the Committee decides to providenonpublic information requested pursuant to paragraph (e), and if the respondenthas not signed an express written waiver permitting the party requesting theinformation to obtain the nonpublic information, the respondent shall benotified in writing at the respondent's last known designated mailing addressas shown by Bar records of that information which has been requested and bywhom, together with a copy of the information proposed to be released. Thenotice shall advise the respondent that the information shall be released atthe 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 without notice. If a requestingparty as outlined in paragraph (e)(2) has not obtained an express writtenwaiver from the respondent to obtain nonpublic information, and requests thatthe information be released without giving notice to the respondent, therequesting party shall certify that:

(g)(1) the request is made infurtherance of an ongoing investigation into misconduct by the respondent;

(g)(2) the information isessential to that investigation; and

(g)(3) disclosure of theexistence of the investigation to the respondent would seriously prejudice thatinvestigation.

(h) OPC counsel can disclosenonpublic information without notice to the respondent if:

(h)(1) disclosure is made infurtherance of an ongoing OPC investigation into misconduct by the respondent;and

(h)(2) the informationthat is sought through disclosure is essential to that investigation.

(i) Duty of participants. Allparticipants in a proceeding under these rules shall conduct themselves so asto maintain confidentiality. Except as authorized by other statutesor rules, persons receiving private records under paragraph (e) will notprovide access to the records to anyone else.