Rule 219. Annual registration of attorneys.

 (a)  Every attorney admitted to practice law in this Commonwealth shall pay an annual fee of $125.00 and electronically file the annual fee form provided for in this rule by July 1. The fee shall be collected under the supervision of the Attorney Registration Office, which shall make the annual fee form available for filing through a link on the Board’s website (http://www.padisciplinaryboard.org) or directly at https://ujsportal.pacourts.us. The said fee shall be used to defray the costs of disciplinary administration and enforcement under these rules, and for such other purposes as the Board shall, with the approval of the Supreme Court, from time to time determine. Upon an attorney’s written request submitted to the Attorney Registration Office and for good cause shown, the Attorney Registration Office shall grant an exemption from the electronic filing requirement and permit the attorney to file the annual fee form in paper form.

   Official Note

   Pa.R.P.C. 1.15(u) imposes an additional annual fee for use by the IOLTA Board, and Pa.R.D.E. 502(b) imposes an additional annual fee for use by the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security.

 (b)  The following shall be exempt from paying the annual fee required by subdivision (a):

   (1)  Justices or judges serving in the following Pennsylvania courts of record shall be exempt for such time as they serve in office: Supreme, Superior, Commonwealth, Common Pleas, and Philadelphia Municipal; and justices or judges serving an appointment for life on any federal court;

   (2)  retired attorneys; and

   (3)  military attorneys holding a limited certificate of admission issued under Pa.B.A.R. 303 (relating to admission of military attorneys).

   Official Note

   The exemption created by subdivision (b)(1) does not include Philadelphia Traffic Court judges, Pittsburgh Municipal Court judges, magisterial district judges, arraignment court magistrates or administrative law judges.

 (c)  On or before May 15 of each year, the Attorney Registration Office shall transmit to all attorneys required by this rule to pay an annual fee a notice by e-mail to register electronically by July 1. Failure to receive notice shall not excuse the filing of the annual fee form or payment of the annual fee.

 (d)  On or before July 1 of each year, all attorneys required by this rule to pay an annual fee shall electronically file with the Attorney Registration Office an electronically endorsed form prescribed by the Attorney Registration Office in accordance with the following procedures:

   (1)  The form shall set forth:

     (i)   The date on which the attorney was admitted to practice, licensed as a foreign legal consultant, granted limited admission as an attorney participant in defender and legal services programs pursuant to Pa.B.A.R. 311, or issued a Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License, and a list of all courts (except courts of this Commonwealth) and jurisdictions in which the person has ever been licensed to practice law, with the current status thereof.

     (ii)   The current e-mail, residence and office addresses of the attorney, the latter two of which shall be an actual street address or rural route box number. The Attorney Registration Office shall refuse to accept a form that sets forth only a post office box number for either the residence or office address. A preferred mailing address different from those addresses may also be provided on the form and may be a post office box number. The attorney shall indicate which of the addresses, the residence, office or mailing address, as well as telephone and fax number will be accessible through the website of the Board (http://www.padisciplinaryboard.org) and by written or oral request to the Board. Upon an attorney’s written request submitted to the Attorney Registration Office and for good cause shown, the contact information provided by the attorney will be nonpublic information and will not be published on the Board’s website or otherwise disclosed.

   Official Note

   Public web docket sheets will show the attorney’s address as entered on the court docket.

     (iii)   The name of each Financial Institution, as defined in Pa.R.P.C. 1.15(a)(4), within or outside this Commonwealth in which the attorney, from May 1 of the previous year to the date of the filing of the annual fee form, held funds of a client or a third person subject to Rule 1.15 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct. The form shall include the name and account number for each account in which the attorney held such funds, and each IOLTA Account shall be identified as such. The form provided to a person holding a Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License or a Foreign Legal Consultant License need not request the information required by this subparagraph.

 For purposes of this subparagraph, the phrase ‘‘funds of a client or a third person subject to Rule 1.15 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct’’ means funds that belong to a client or third person and that an attorney receives:

       (A)   in connection with a client-lawyer relationship;

       (B)   as an escrow agent, settlement agent, representative payee, personal representative, guardian, conservator, receiver, trustee, agent under a durable power of attorney, or other similar fiduciary position;

       (C)   as an agent, having been designated as such by a client or having been so selected as a result of a client-lawyer relationship or the lawyer’s status as such;

       (D)   in connection with nonlegal services that are not distinct from legal services;

       (E)   in connection with nonlegal services that are distinct from legal services, and the attorney knows or reasonably should know that the recipient of the service might believe that the recipient is receiving the protection of a client-lawyer relationship; or

       (F)   as an owner, controlling party, employee, agent, or as one who is otherwise affiliated with an entity providing nonlegal services and the attorney knows or reasonably should know that the recipient of the service might believe that the recipient is receiving the protection of a client-lawyer relationship.

   Official Note

   For purposes of subparagraph (iii), ‘‘funds of a third person’’ shall not include funds held in: 1) an attorney’s personal account held jointly; or 2) a custodial account for a minor or dependent relative unless the source of any account funds is other than the attorney and his or her spouse.

 If an attorney employed by a law firm receives fiduciary funds from or on behalf of a client and deposits or causes the funds to be deposited into a law firm account, the attorney must report the account of deposit under this subparagraph (iii).

     (iv)   Every account not reported under subparagraph (iii), that held funds of a client or a third person, and over which the attorney had sole or shared signature authority or authorization to transfer funds to or from the account, during the same time period specified in subparagraph (iii). For each account, the attorney shall provide the name of the financial institution (whether or not the entity qualifies as a ‘‘Financial Institution’’ under Pa.R.P.C. 1.15(a)(4)), location, and account number.

   Official Note

   Regarding ‘‘funds of a third person,’’ see Note to Rule 219(d)(1)(iii).

     (v)   Every business operating account maintained or utilized by the attorney in the practice of law during the same time period specified in subparagraph (iii). For each account, the attorney shall provide the name of the financial institution, location and account number.

     (vi)   A statement that the attorney is familiar and in compliance with Rule 1.15 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct regarding the handling of funds and other property of clients and others and the maintenance of IOLTA Accounts, and with Rule 221 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement regarding the mandatory reporting of overdrafts on fiduciary accounts.

     (vii)   A statement that any action brought against the attorney by the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security for the recovery of monies paid by the Fund as a result of claims against the attorney may be brought in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny, Dauphin or Philadelphia County.

     (viii)   Whether the attorney is covered by professional liability insurance on the date of registration in the minimum amounts required by Rule of Professional Conduct 1.4(c). Rule 1.4(c) does not apply to attorneys who do not have any private clients, such as attorneys in full-time government practice or employed as in-house corporate counsel.

   Official Note

   The Disciplinary Board will make the information regarding insurance available to the public upon written or oral request and on its website. The requirement of Rule 219(d)(3) that every attorney who has filed an annual fee form must give written notice to the Attorney Registration Office of any change in the information previously submitted within 30 days after such change will apply to the information regarding insurance.

     (ix)   Such other information as the Attorney Registration Office may from time to time direct.

   (2)  Payment of the annual fee shall be made in one of two ways: a) electronically by credit or debit card at the time of electronic transmission of the form through the online system of the Attorney Registration Office, which payment shall include a nominal fee to process the electronic payment; or b) by check or money order drawn on a U. S. bank, in U. S. dollars using a printable, mail-in voucher. IOLTA, trust, escrow and other fiduciary account checks tendered in payment of the annual fee will not be accepted. If the annual fee form, voucher or payment is incomplete or if a check in payment of the annual fee has been returned to the Board unpaid, the annual fee shall not be deemed to have been paid until a collection fee, and one or both of the late payment penalties prescribed in subdivision (f) of this rule if assessed, shall also have been paid. The amount of the collection fee shall be established by the Board annually after giving due regard to the direct and indirect costs incurred by the Board during the preceding year for checks returned to the Board unpaid.

   (3)  Every attorney who has filed the form shall notify the Attorney Registration Office in writing of any change in the information previously submitted, including e-mail address, within 30 days after such change, which notice shall be sent by mail or facsimile transmission, provided, however, that any change in the information required by subsections (d)(1)(iii), (iv) and (v) (collectively relating to financial account information) that occurs after the filing of the form required by subdivisions (a) and (d)(1) of this rule need only be reported on the next regular annual fee form due July 1. Attorneys must promptly ensure that IOLTA accounts are properly enrolled with the Pennsylvania IOLTA Board pursuant to the applicable IOLTA regulations. Failure to timely register and file the next annual fee form shall not excuse this subsection’s requirement of reporting changes in financial account information on an annual basis on or before July 1, and failure to make such a report shall constitute a violation of this rule.

   (4)  Upon original admission to the bar of this Commonwealth, licensure as a Foreign Legal Consultant, issuance of a Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License, or limited admission as an attorney participant in defender and legal services programs pursuant to Pa.B.A.R. 311, a person shall concurrently file a form under this subdivision for the current assessment year, but no annual fee shall be payable for the assessment year in which originally admitted or licensed.

   (5)  Submission of the annual fee form through electronic means signifies the attorney’s intent to sign the form. By submitting the form electronically, the attorney certifies that the electronic filing is true and correct.

   Official Note

   Subsection (5) of subdivision (d) incorporates the language of In Re: Provisions for Electronic Filing of Attorney Registration Statements, No. 99 Disciplinary Rules Docket (Pa. Supreme Court, April 13, 2011).

 (e)  Upon receipt of a form, or notice of change of information contained therein, filed by an attorney in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (d) of this rule, and of payment of the required annual fee to practice law in this Commonwealth, receipt thereof shall be acknowledged on a certificate or license.

 (f)  Any attorney who fails to complete registration by July 31 shall be automatically assessed a non-waivable late payment penalty established by the Board. A second, non-waivable late payment penalty established by the Board shall be automatically added to the delinquent account of any attorney who has failed to complete registration by August 31, at which time the continued failure to comply with this rule shall be deemed a request to be administratively suspended. Thereafter, the Attorney Registration Office shall certify to the Supreme Court the name of every attorney who has failed to comply with the registration and payment requirements of this rule, and the Supreme Court shall enter an order administratively suspending the attorney. The Chief Justice may delegate the processing and entry of orders under this subdivision to the Prothonotary. Upon entry of an order of administrative suspension, the Attorney Registration Office shall transmit by certified mail, addressed to the last known mailing address of the attorney, or by electronic means, the order of administrative suspension and a notice that the attorney shall comply with Enforcement Rule 217 (relating to formerly admitted attorneys), a copy of which shall be included with the notice.

 For purposes of assessing the late payment penalties prescribed by this subdivision (f), registration shall not be deemed to be complete until the Attorney Registration Office receives a completed annual fee form and satisfactory payment of the annual fee and of all outstanding collection fees and late payment penalties. If a check in payment of the delinquency has been returned to the Board unpaid, a collection fee, as established by the Board under subdivision (d)(2) of this rule, shall be added to the attorney’s delinquent account and registration shall not be deemed to be complete until the delinquent account has been paid in full.

 The amount of the late payment penalties shall be established by the Board annually pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (h)(3) of this rule.

 (g)  The Attorney Registration Office shall provide to the Office of the Secretary a copy of any certification filed by the Attorney Registration Office with the Supreme Court pursuant to the provisions of this rule.

 (h)  An attorney who has been administratively suspended pursuant to subdivision (f) for three years or less is not eligible to file the annual fee form electronically. The procedure for reinstatement is as follows:

   (1)  The formerly admitted attorney shall submit to the Attorney Registration Office the form required by subdivision (d)(1) along with payment of:

     (i)   the current annual fee;

     (ii)   the annual fee that was due in the year in which the attorney was administratively suspended;

     (iii)   the late payment penalties required by paragraph (3);

     (iv)   any unpaid collection fee; and

     (v)   a reinstatement fee of $300.00.

   (2)  Upon receipt of the annual fee form, a verified statement showing compliance with Enforcement Rule 217 (relating to formerly admitted attorneys), and the payments required by paragraph (1), the Attorney Registration Office shall so certify to the Office of the Secretary and to the Supreme Court. Unless the formerly admitted attorney is subject to another outstanding order of suspension or disbarment or the order has been in effect for more than three years, the filing of the certification from the Attorney Registration Office with the Prothonotary of the Supreme Court shall operate as an order reinstating the person to active status.

 Where a check in payment of the fees and late payment penalties has been returned to the Board unpaid, the Attorney Registration Office shall immediately return the attorney to administrative suspension, and the arrears shall not be deemed to have been paid until a collection fee, as established by the Board under subdivision (d)(2) of this rule, shall also have been paid.

   (3)  A formerly admitted attorney who is administratively suspended must pay the late payment penalties incurred in the year in which the formerly admitted attorney is transferred to administrative suspension. The amount of the late payment penalties shall be established by the Board annually after giving due regard to such factors as it considers relevant, including the direct and indirect costs incurred by the Board during the preceding year in processing the records of attorneys who fail to timely file the form required by subdivision (d) of this rule.

 (i)  Retired Status: An attorney who has retired must file by mail or deliver in person to the Attorney Registration Office an application for retirement and payment of any applicable late fees or penalties pursuant to subdivision (f). Upon the transmission of such application from the Attorney Registration Office to the Supreme Court, the Court shall enter an order transferring the attorney to retired status, and the attorney shall no longer be eligible to practice law. The retired attorney will be relieved from payment of the annual fee imposed by this rule upon active practitioners and Enforcement Rule 217 (relating to formerly admitted attorneys) shall not be applicable to the formerly admitted attorney unless ordered by the Court in connection with the entry of an order of suspension or disbarment under another provision of these rules. An attorney on retired status for three years or less may be reinstated in the same manner as an inactive attorney, except that the retired attorney shall pay the annual active fee for the three most recent years or such shorter period in which the attorney was on retired status instead of the amounts required to be paid by an inactive attorney seeking reinstatement. The Chief Justice may delegate the processing and entry of orders under this subdivision to the Prothonotary.

 (j)  Inactive Status: An attorney who is not engaged in practice in Pennsylvania, has sold his or her practice pursuant to Rule 1.17 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct, or is not required by virtue of his or her practice elsewhere to maintain active licensure in the Commonwealth may request inactive status or continue that status once assumed. The attorney shall be removed from the roll of those classified as active until and unless such inactive attorney makes a request under paragraph (2) of this subdivision (j) for an administrative return to active status and satisfies all conditions precedent to the grant of such request; or files a petition for reinstatement under subdivision (d) of Enforcement Rule 218 (relating to procedure for reinstatement of an attorney who has been on inactive status for more than three years, or who is on inactive status and had not been on active status at any time within the prior three years) and is granted reinstatement pursuant to the provisions of that Enforcement Rule.

   (1)  An inactive attorney under this subdivision (j) shall continue to file the annual form required by subdivision (d), shall file the form through the online system identified in subdivision (a), and shall pay an annual fee of $70.00 in the manner provided in subdivision (d)(2). Noncompliance with this provision will result in the inactive attorney incurring late payment penalties, incurring a collection fee for any check in payment that has been returned to the Board unpaid, and being placed on administrative suspension pursuant to and in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (f) of this rule.

   (2)  Administrative Change in Status from Inactive Status to Active Status: An attorney on inactive status may request a resumption of active status form from the Attorney Registration Office. The form must be filed by mail or delivered in person to the Attorney Registration Office. Resumption of active status shall be granted unless the inactive attorney is subject to an outstanding order of suspension or disbarment, unless the inactive attorney has sold his or her practice pursuant to Rule 1.17 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct (see Enforcement Rule 218(h)), unless the inactive status has been in effect for more than three years, or unless the inactive attorney had not been on active status at any time within the preceding three years (see Enforcement Rule 218(h)), upon the payment of:

     (i)   the active fee for the assessment year in which the application for resumption of active status is made or the difference between the active fee and the inactive fee that has been paid for that year; and

     (ii)   any collection fee or late payment penalty that may have been assessed pursuant to subdivision (f), prior to the inactive attorney’s request for resumption of active status.

 Where a check in payment of fees and penalties has been returned to the Board unpaid, the Attorney Registration Office shall immediately return the attorney to inactive status, and the arrears shall not be deemed to have been paid until a collection fee, as established by the Board under subdivision (d)(2), shall also have been paid.

   Official Note

   Subdivisions (h), (i) and (j) of this rule do not apply if, on the date of the filing of the request for reinstatement, the formerly admitted attorney has not been on active status at any time within the preceding three years. See Enforcement Rule 218(h)(1).

 (k)  Administrative Change in Status From Administrative Suspension to Inactive Status: An inactive attorney who has been administratively suspended for failure to file the annual form and pay the annual fee required by subdivision (j)(1) of this rule, may request an administrative change in status form from the Attorney Registration Office. The form must be filed by mail or delivered in person to the Attorney Registration Office and said Office shall change the status of an attorney eligible for inactive status under this subdivision upon receipt of:

   (1)  the annual form required by subdivision (d);

   (2)  payment of the annual fee required by subdivision (j)(1);

   (3)  payment of all collection fees and late payment penalties assessed under subdivisions (d)(2) and (f); and

   (4)  payment of an administrative processing fee of $100.00.

 Where a check in payment of the fees and penalties has been returned to the Board unpaid, the Attorney Registration Office shall immediately return the attorney to administrative suspension, and the arrears shall not be deemed to have been paid until a collection fee, as established by the Board under subdivision (d)(2), shall also have been paid.

 An active attorney who has been administratively suspended for failure to file the annual form and pay the annual fee required by this rule must comply with subdivision (h) before becoming eligible to register as inactive or retired.

   Official Note

   Former subdivision (k), which was adopted by Order dated April 16, 2009 (No. 75 Disciplinary Rules Docket No. 1, Supreme Court), effective May 2, 2009, established a grace period of one year commencing on July 1, 2009 in which any attorney who was on inactive status by order of the Supreme Court, could request and achieve reinstatement to active status under Enforcement Rule 218 or another applicable subdivision of Enforcement Rule 219 in order to avoid an automatic change in status to administrative suspension. The grace period was administratively extended to August 31, 2010, and any involuntarily inactive attorney who did not achieve active status by that date was transferred to administrative suspension on September 1, 2010.

 (l)  The Board shall transmit by certified mail to every attorney who fails to pay any expenses taxed pursuant to Enforcement Rule 208(g) (relating to costs), addressed to the last known address of the attorney, a notice stating:

   (1)  That unless the attorney shall pay all such expenses within 30 days after the date of the notice, such failure to pay will be deemed a request to be administratively suspended, and at the end of such period the name of the attorney will be certified to the Supreme Court, which will enter an order administratively suspending the attorney.

   (2)  That upon entry of the order of administrative suspension, the attorney shall comply with Enforcement Rule 217 (relating to formerly admitted attorneys), a copy of which shall be enclosed with the notice.

 (m)  Upon payment of all expenses taxed pursuant to Enforcement Rule 208(g) by a formerly admitted attorney on administrative suspension solely for failure to comply with subdivision (l) of this rule, the Board shall so certify to the Supreme Court. Unless such person is subject to another outstanding order of suspension or disbarment or the order has been in effect for more than three years, the filing of the certification from the Board with the Prothonotary of the Supreme Court shall operate as an order reinstating the person to active status.

 (n)  A former or retired justice or judge who is not the subject of an outstanding order of discipline affecting his or her right to practice law and who wishes to resume the practice of law shall file with the Attorney Registration Office a notice in writing. The notice shall:

   (1)  describe:

     (i)   any discipline imposed within six years before the date of the notice upon the justice or judge by the Court of Judicial Discipline;

     (ii)   any proceeding before the Judicial Conduct Board or the Court of Judicial Discipline settled within six years before the date of the notice on the condition that the justice or judge resign from judicial office or enter a rehabilitation program; and

   (2)  include a waiver available through the Attorney Registration Office and signed by the justice or judge, if the notice discloses a proceeding described in subsection (1), of the confidentiality of the record in that proceeding for the limited purpose of making the record available to the Board in any subsequent proceeding under these rules.

 An annual fee form will be provided by the Attorney Registration Office. The form must be filed by mail or delivered in person to said Office and be accompanied by payment of the full annual fee for the assessment year in which the notice is filed.

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 219 amended through December 20, 1983, effective July 1, 1984, 14 Pa.B. 5; amended May 10, 1989, effective July 1, 1989, 19 Pa.B. 2245; amended November 26, 1990, effective with respect to assessment years commencing on or after July 1, 1991, 20 Pa.B. 6141; amended March 13, 1991, effective July 1, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 1424; amended October 18, 1991, effective with respect to assessment years commencing July 1, 1992 and thereafter, 21 Pa.B. 5254; amended March 4, 1993, effective with respect to assessment years commencing on and after July 1, 1993, 23 Pa.B. 1685; amended March 15, 1994, effective upon publication, 24 Pa.B. 1672; amended April 18, 1995, effective immediately, 25 Pa.B. 1766; amended April 3, 1996, effective July 1, 1996, 26 Pa.B. 1806; amended July 17, 1996, effective September 1, 1996, 26 Pa.B. 3624; amended April 9, 1998, effective upon publication and applicable beginning with the 1998—1999 assessment year, 28 Pa.B. 2024; amended May 15, 2001, effective immediately, 31 Pa.B. 2788; amended June 28, 2001, effective July 14, 2001, 31 Pa.B. 3728; amended March 17, 2005, effective September 1, 2005, 35 Pa.B. 1972; amended October 13, 2005, effective October 29, 2005, 35 Pa.B. 5954; amended April 10, 2007, effective upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and shall be applicable beginning with the 2007-2008 assessment year; amended April 1, 2008, effective for the 2008-2009 assessment, 38 Pa.B. 1701; amended April 16, 2009, effective May 1, 2009, 39 Pa.B. 2193; amended March 25, 2010, effective July 1, 2010, 40 Pa.B. 1892; amended April 8, 2011, effective immediately, 41 Pa.B. 2119; amended April 9, 2012 for the 2012-13 assessment and thereafter shall revert to the provisions effective for the 2011-12 assessment, effective immediately, 42 Pa.B. 2186; amended June 4, 2012, effective in 30 days, amendments to 219(f) relating to automatic assessment of non-waivable late payment penalties shall be applicable beginning with the 2013-2014 assessment year, 42 Pa.B. 3431; under the order of February 12, 2013, the order of April 9, 2012 amending subsection (a) shall remain in effect for the 2013-14 annual attorney assessment and in one year shall revert to the provisions effective on April 8, 2012, effective immediately, 43 Pa.B. 1173; amended May 1, 2014, effective immediately for the 2014-15 annual attorney assessment and shall continue until further Order of the Supreme Court, 44 Pa.B. 2847; amended December 30, 2014, effective in 60 days, 45 Pa.B. 279; amended March 17, 2016, effective in 30 days, 46 Pa.B. 1642; amended April 12, 2016, effective in 30 days, amendments relating to mandatory electronic registration shall be applicable beginning with the 2016-2017 assessment year, 46 Pa.B. 2163. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (380153) to (380161).



No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.

This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Code full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.