Supreme Court rejects unopposed voluntary discipline

In a new discipline case, the Georgia Supreme Court rejected the petition for voluntary discipline filed by an attorney accused of violating Rules 1.4 (communication) and 1.16(d) (termination of representation).

The attorney sought a review panel reprimand.  The maximum penalty for the two violations of the attorney are public reprimand.  Despite the slight difference in maximum penalties, and despite no objection from the State Bar of Georgia, the unanimous Supreme Court rejected the petition.

The Supreme Court cited the attorney’s two prior disciplinary penalties, an investigative panel reprimand and a letter of admonition.  All of the Justices concurred.

More and more voluntary discipline petitions are being rejected by the Supreme Court, even in cases in which the State Bar is not opposing the proposed discipline.  The trend, while not unanimous, remains that the Supreme Court is often seeking harsher penalties than the State Bar.

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