The Disciplinary Board is fairly clear about what it expects from attorneys seeking reinstatement. Reinstatement is generally controlled by Pennsylvania Rule of Disciplinary Enforcement 218. A suspended attorney may seek reinstatement nine months before the expiration of the suspension. A disbarred attorney must wait at least five years before seeking reinstatement. The mandatory requirements of the rule include: 36 hours of CLE credits, ­including the “Bridge the Gap” course and 12 ethics credits taken within one year of filing the petition for reinstatement; costs of prior discipline paid; all payments made to the Client Security Fund; and the appropriate reinstatement petition, reinstatement questionnaire, and waivers of confidentiality. When seeking reinstatement, the attorney is required to provide copies of a number of materials related to their discipline, including copies of board recommendations, orders and proof that notice of discipline was sent to their clients.

Equally as important a consideration as the mandated materials is what the Disciplinary Board is looking for the attorney to establish. Pursuant to Pa. R.D.E. 218(c)(3), for attorneys seeking reinstatement after disbarment or a suspension of at least one year: 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.

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