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2014 California Rules of Court

Rule 9.20. Duties of disbarred, resigned, or suspended attorneys

(a) Disbarment, suspension, and resignation orders

The Supreme Court may include in an order disbarring or suspending a member of the State Bar, or accepting his or her resignation, a direction that the member must, within such time limits as the Supreme Court may prescribe:

(1)Notify all clients being represented in pending matters and any co-counsel of his or her disbarment, suspension, or resignation and his or her consequent disqualification to act as an attorney after the effective date of the disbarment, suspension, or resignation, and, in the absence of co-counsel, also notify the clients to seek legal advice elsewhere, calling attention to any urgency in seeking the substitution of another attorney or attorneys;

(2)Deliver to all clients being represented in pending matters any papers or other property to which the clients are entitled, or notify the clients and any co-counsel of a suitable time and place where the papers and other property may be obtained, calling attention to any urgency for obtaining the papers or other property;

(3)Refund any part of fees paid that have not been earned; and

(4)Notify opposing counsel in pending litigation or, in the absence of counsel, the adverse parties of the disbarment, suspension, or resignation and consequent disqualification to act as an attorney after the effective date of the disbarment, suspension, or resignation, and file a copy of the notice with the court, agency, or tribunal before which the litigation is pending for inclusion in the respective file or files.

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective December 1, 1990.)

(b) Notices to clients, co-counsel, opposing counsel, and adverse parties

All notices required by an order of the Supreme Court or the State Bar Court under this rule must be given by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and must contain an address where communications may be directed to the disbarred, suspended, or resigned member.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective December 1, 1990.)

(c) Filing proof of compliance

Within such time as the order may prescribe after the effective date of the member's disbarment, suspension, or resignation, the member must file with the Clerk of the State Bar Court an affidavit showing that he or she has fully complied with those provisions of the order entered under this rule. The affidavit must also specify an address where communications may be directed to the disbarred, suspended, or resigned member.

(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective December 1, 1990.)

(d) Sanctions for failure to comply

A disbarred or resigned member's willful failure to comply with the provisions of this rule is a ground for denying his or her application for reinstatement or readmission. A suspended member's willful failure to comply with the provisions of this rule is a cause for disbarment or suspension and for revocation of any pending probation. Additionally, such failure may be punished as a contempt or a crime.

(Subd (d) amended effective January 1, 2007; previously relettered and amended effective December 1, 1990.)

Rule 9.20 amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007; adopted as rule 955 effective April 4, 1973; previously amended effective December 1, 1990.

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