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Hal R. LiebermanHal R. Lieberman (NYLJ/Rick Kopstein)

Major changes are coming to attorney discipline in New York. Last December (2015), the Office of Court Administration, following recommendations in the final report of the Commission on Statewide Attorney Discipline established by then-Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, issued new, statewide rules governing attorney disciplinary procedures to take effect July 1, 2016 (the new “uniform rules”). Set forth in 22 NYCRR Part 1240, the uniform rules will have a major impact on the way our disciplinary and grievance committees operate day-to-day.

It is perhaps easiest to describe these rule changes by focusing on three main areas: (1) formal proceedings or, as the uniform rules describe, “Proceedings in the Appellate Division;” (2) informal discipline or, as the uniform rules put it, “Proceedings Before Committees;” and, (3) related proceedings, i.e. interim suspension, diversion, criminal conviction, reciprocal discipline, reinstatement, collateral estoppel.

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