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Earlier this month, the D.C. Court of Appeals published its recommended changes to disciplinary proceedings for District attorneys. Now those ideas are open for public comment and condemnation until a final ruling from the court in October. Among the eight proposed changes, a common thread is an effort to streamline the process. John Payton, a partner at WilmerHale and former D.C. Bar president, chaired the committee that drafted the changes. “The biggest change is that if there’s consent to a sanction between the lawyer and Bar Counsel, then we would shut down the process right there and free up those resources,” says Payton. “Right now, you automatically go through three levels of review.” Another proposal would allow for an attorney to be temporarily suspended for failing to comply with an ethics investigation. On the far side of punishments, the Board on Professional Responsibility would be removed from playing a role in hearing a lawyer’s reinstatement case. Instead, when needed, Bar Counsel would argue against a lawyer’s reinstatement in front of the D.C. Appeals Court.
Nathan Carlile can be contacted at [email protected].

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