Rule 218. Reinstatement.

 (a) An attorney may not resume practice until reinstated by order of the Supreme Court after petition pursuant to this rule if the attorney was:

   (1)  suspended for a period exceeding one year;

   (2)  retired, on inactive status or on administrative suspension if the formerly admitted attorney has not been on active status at any time within the past three years;

   (3)  transferred to inactive status as a result of the sale of his or her practice pursuant to Rule 1.17 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct; or

   (4)  disbarred.

 (b)  A person who has been disbarred may not apply for reinstatement until the expiration of at least five years from the effective date of the disbarment, except that a person who has been disbarred pursuant to Rule 216 (relating to reciprocal discipline and disability) may apply for reinstatement at any earlier date on which reinstatement may be sought in the jurisdiction of initial discipline.

 (c)  The procedure for petitioning for reinstatement from suspension for a period exceeding one year or disbarment is as follows:

   (1)  Petitions for reinstatement shall be filed with the Board.

   (2)  Within 60 days after the filing of a petition for reinstatement, Disciplinary Counsel shall file a response thereto with the Board and serve a copy on the formerly admitted attorney. Upon receipt of the response, the Board shall refer the petition and response to a hearing committee in the disciplinary district in which the formerly admitted attorney maintained an office at the time of the disbarment or suspension. If any other formal disciplinary proceedings are then pending or have been authorized against the formerly admitted attorney, the reinstatement and disciplinary matters may be heard by the same hearing committee. In such case the combined hearing shall be held not later than 45 days after receipt by the Board of the response to the petition for reinstatement.

   Official Note

   If Disciplinary Counsel objects to reinstatement of the formerly admitted attorney, the response to the petition for reinstatement should explain in reasonable detail the reasons for the objection.

   (3)  The hearing committee shall promptly schedule a hearing at which a disbarred or suspended attorney shall have the burden of demonstrating by clear and convincing evidence that such person has the moral qualifications, competency and learning in law required for admission to practice law in this Commonwealth and that the resumption of the practice of law within the Commonwealth by such person will be neither detrimental to the integrity and standing of the bar or the administration of justice nor subversive of the public interest.

   Official Note

   When the petitioner-attorney is seeking reinstatement from disbarment, the threshold inquiry articulated in Office of Disciplinary Counsel v. Keller, 509 Pa. 573, 579, 506 A.2d 872, 875 (1986) and its progeny applies.

   (4)  At the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing committee shall promptly file a report containing its findings and recommendations and transmit same, together with the record, to the Board.

   (5)  The Board shall review the report of the hearing committee and the record and shall promptly file its own findings and recommendations, together with the briefs, if any, before the Board and the entire record, with the Supreme Court.

   (6)  In the event the Board recommends reinstatement and the Supreme Court, after consideration of that recommendation, is of the view that a rule to show cause should be served upon the petitioner-attorney why an order denying reinstatement should not be entered, the same shall be issued setting forth the areas of the Court’s concern. A copy of the rule shall be served on Disciplinary Counsel. Within 20 days after service of the rule, petitioner-attorney, as well as Disciplinary Counsel, may submit to the Supreme Court a response thereto. Unless otherwise ordered, matters arising under this rule will be considered without oral argument.

 (d)  The procedure for petitioning for reinstatement from retired status for more than three years; inactive status for more than three years; administrative suspension for more than three years; retired status, inactive status or administrative suspension if the formerly admitted attorney has not been on active status at any time within the past three years; or after transfer to inactive status as a result of the sale of a law practice pursuant to Rule 1.17 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct is as follows:

   (1)  Petitions for reinstatement shall be filed with the Board.

   (2)  Within 60 days after the filing of a petition for reinstatement, Disciplinary Counsel shall either:

     (i)   file a response thereto with the Board and serve a copy on the formerly admitted attorney; or

     (ii)   file a certification with the Board Secretary stating that after a review of the petition for reinstatement and reasonably diligent inquiry, Disciplinary Counsel has determined that there is no impediment to reinstatement and that the petitioner-attorney will meet his or her burden of proof under paragraph (d)(3) if the petition were to proceed to hearing under (d)(4).

   Official Note

   If Disciplinary Counsel objects to reinstatement of the formerly admitted attorney under (d)(2)(i), the response to the petition for reinstatement should explain in reasonable detail the reasons for the objection.

   (3)  A formerly admitted attorney who has been on retired status, inactive status or administrative suspension shall have the burden of demonstrating that such person has the moral qualifications, competency and learning in the law required for admission to practice in the Commonwealth.

   (4)  Upon receipt of a response under (d)(2)(i), the Board shall refer the petition and response to a single senior or experienced hearing committee member in the disciplinary district in which the formerly admitted attorney maintained an office at the time of transfer to or assumption of retired or inactive status, or transfer to administrative suspension; the single senior or experienced hearing committee member shall promptly schedule a hearing during which the hearing committee member shall perform the functions of a hearing committee under this subdivision (d). The rules of the Board may provide for abbreviated procedures to be followed by the hearing committee member, except that the abbreviated procedure shall not be available at any hearing conducted after review by a designated Board Member pursuant to paragraph (d)(6) of this rule. If any other formal disciplinary proceedings are then pending or have been authorized against the formerly admitted attorney, the reinstatement and disciplinary matters may be heard by the same hearing committee. In such case the combined hearing shall be held not later than 45 days after receipt by the Board of the response to the petition for reinstatement.

   (5)  At the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing committee member shall promptly file a report containing the member’s findings and recommendations and transmit same, together with the record, to the Board. Thereafter, the matter will proceed in accordance with the provisions of (c)(5) and (c)(6) of this rule.

   (6)  Upon receipt of a certification filed by Disciplinary Counsel under (d)(2)(ii), the Board Chair shall designate a single member of the Board to review the record and certification and to issue a report and recommendation.

     (i)   If the Board Member decides that reinstatement should be denied or that a hearing on the petition is warranted, the designated Board Member shall issue a report setting forth the areas of the designated Board Member’s concern and direct the Board Secretary to schedule the matter for hearing pursuant to subdivision (d)(4) of this rule.

     (ii)   Upon receipt of a report and recommendation for an order of reinstatement, the Court may enter an order reinstating the formerly admitted attorney to active status and direct that the necessary expenses incurred in the investigation and processing of the petition be paid by the petitioner-attorney. The Chief Justice may delegate the processing and entry of orders under this subdivision to the Prothonotary.

 (e)  In all proceedings upon a petition for reinstatement, cross-examination of the petitioner-attorney’s witnesses and the submission of evidence, if any, in opposition to the petition shall be conducted by Disciplinary Counsel.

 (f)  The Supreme Court in its discretion may direct that the necessary expenses incurred in the investigation and processing of the petition for reinstatement be paid by the petitioner-attorney. A reinstatement fee of $300 shall be assessed against a petitioner-attorney who was administratively suspended at the time of the filing of the petition. The annual fee required by Rule 219(a) and the reinstatement fee, if applicable, shall be paid to the Attorney Registration Office after the Supreme Court order is entered.

 (g) (1)   Upon the expiration of any term of suspension not exceeding one year and upon the filing thereafter by the formerly admitted attorney with the Board of a verified statement showing compliance with all the terms and conditions of the order of suspension and of Enforcement Rule 217 (relating to formerly admitted attorneys), the Board shall certify such fact to the Supreme Court, which shall immediately enter an order reinstating the formerly admitted attorney to active status, unless such person is subject to another outstanding order of suspension or disbarment.

   (2)  Paragraph (1) of this subdivision shall not be applicable and a formerly admitted attorney shall be subject instead to the other provisions of this rule requiring the filing of a petition for reinstatement, if:

     (i)   other formal disciplinary proceedings are then pending or have been authorized against the formerly admitted attorney;

     (ii)   the formerly admitted attorney has been on retired status, inactive status or administrative suspension for more than three years;

     (iii)   the formerly admitted attorney has not been on active status for more than three years due to a combination of retired status, inactive status, administrative suspension and/or a term of suspension not exceeding one year and had not been on active status at any time within the three-year period preceding the entry of the order; or

     (iv)   the order of suspension has been in effect for more than three years.

 (h)  Attorneys who have been on inactive status, retired status or administrative suspension for three years or less may be reinstated to the roll of those classified as active pursuant to Enforcement Rule 219(h), (i), (j) or (m) (relating to annual registration of attorneys) as appropriate. This subdivision (h) does not apply to:

   (1)  a formerly admitted attorney who, on the date of the filing of the request for reinstatement, had not been on active status at any time within the preceding three years; or

   (2)  an attorney who has sold his or her practice pursuant to Rule 1.17 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct.

 (i)  The Board may cause a notice of the reinstatement to be published in one or more appropriate legal journals and newspapers of general circulation.

 (j)  The Board when appropriate shall promptly transmit to the president judge of the court of common pleas in the judicial district in which the formerly admitted attorney practiced a copy of:

   (1)  the certification filed with the Prothonotary under Enforcement Rule 219(h) or (m); or

   (2)  any other order of reinstatement entered under these rules.

 (k)  If Disciplinary Counsel shall have probable cause to believe that any formerly admitted attorney:

   (1)  has failed to comply with this rule or Rule 217 (relating to formerly admitted attorneys), or

   (2)  is otherwise continuing to practice law, Disciplinary Counsel may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction for such injunctive and other relief as may be appropriate.

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 218 amended through July 15, 1983, effective July 16, 1983, 13 Pa.B. 2183; amended November 14, 1989, effective December 9, 1989, 19 Pa.B. 5213; amended October 3, 1990, effective October 27, 1990, 20 Pa.B. 5366; amended December 21, 1990, effective January 12, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 150; amended April 5, 2001, effective April 21, 2001, apply to all formerly admitted attorneys seeking reinstatement after the date of such publication; amended June 28, 2001, effective July 14, 2001, 31 Pa.B. 3728; amended September 19, 2003, effective October 4, 2003, 33 Pa.B. 4891; amended September 9, 2004, effective September 25, 2004, 34 Pa.B. 5244; amended April 16, 2009, effective May 1, 2009, 39 Pa.B. 2193; amended March 19, 2012, effective in 30 days, 42 Pa.B. 1639; amended June 4, 2012, effective in 30 days, 42 Pa.B. 3431. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (360785) to (360788) and (361121).



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