The District of Columbia, like the vast majority of U.S. jurisdictions, lacks authority to discipline a law firm through the bar disciplinary process. In investigating an alleged violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct, bar counsel must identify one or more individual attorneys as the actual violators and, if appropriate, proceed individually against those attorneys. At least for the foreseeable future, don’t expect any changes in this aspect of bar discipline.

In New York and New Jersey, under certain circumstances a firm can face sanctions (such as censure or fines) for disciplinary violations, but a committee of the D.C. Bar recently declined to pursue a proposal to adopt such a provision for the District.

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