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2019 California Rules of Court

Rule 9.21. Resignations of licensees of the State Bar with disciplinary charges pending

(a) General provisions

A licensee of the State Bar against whom disciplinary charges are pending may tender a written resignation from the State Bar and relinquishment of the right to practice law. The written resignation must be signed and dated by the licensee at the time it is tendered and must be tendered to the Office of the Clerk, State Bar Court, 1149 South Hill Street, Los Angeles, California 90015. The resignation must be substantially in the form specified in (b) of this rule. In submitting a resignation under this rule, a licensee of the State Bar agrees to be transferred to inactive status in the State Bar effective on the filing of the resignation by the State Bar. Within 30 days after filing of the resignation, the licensee must perform the acts specified in rule 9.20(a)(1)-(4) and (b) and within 40 days after filing of the resignation, the licensee must file with the Office of the Clerk, State Bar Court, at the above address, the proof of compliance specified in rule 9.20(c). No resignation is effective unless and until it is accepted by the Supreme Court after consideration and recommendation by the State Bar Court.

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2019; previously amended effective January 1, 2007, and January 1, 2010.)

(b) Form of resignation

The licensee's written resignation must be in substantially the following form:

"I, [name of licensee,] against whom charges are pending, hereby resign from the State Bar of California and relinquish all right to practice law in the State of California. I agree that, in the event that this resignation is accepted and I later file a petition for reinstatement, the State Bar will consider in connection therewith all disciplinary matters and proceedings against me at the time this resignation is accepted, in addition to other appropriate matters, I also agree that the Supreme Court may decline to accept my resignation unless I reach agreement with the Chief Trial Counsel on a written stipulation as to facts and conclusions of law regarding the disciplinary matters and proceedings that were pending against me at the time of my resignation. I further agree that, on the filing of this resignation by the Office of the Clerk, State Bar Court, I will be transferred to inactive status with the State Bar. On such transfer, I acknowledge that I will be ineligible to practice law or to advertise or hold myself out as practicing or as entitled to practice law. I further acknowledge that in the event the Supreme Court does not accept my resignation, I will remain an inactive licensee of the State Bar, pending any further order of the Supreme Court or the State Bar Court. I further agree that, within 30 days of the filing of the resignation by the Office of the Clerk, State Bar Court, I will perform the acts specified in rule 9.20(a)-(b) of the California Rules of Court, and within 40 days of the date of filing of this resignation by the Office of the Clerk, State Bar Court, I will notify that office as specified in rule 9.20(c) of the California Rules of Court.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1 2019; previously amended effective January 1, 2007, January 1, 2010, and January 1, 2014.)

(c) Consideration of resignation by State Bar Court and Supreme Court

When the Office of the Clerk of the State Bar Court receives a licensee's resignation tendered in conformity with this rule, it must promptly file the resignation. The State Bar Court must thereafter consider the licensee's resignation and the stipulated facts and conclusions of law, if any, agreed upon between the licensee and the Chief Trial Counsel, and must recommend to the Supreme Court whether the resignation should be accepted. The State Bars Court's recommendation must be made in light of the grounds set forth in d) of this rule and, if the State Bar Court recommends acceptance of the resignation notwithstanding the existence of one or more of the grounds set forth in subsection (d), the State Bar Court's recommendation must include an explanation of the reasons for the recommendation that the resignation be accepted. The Office of the Clerk of the State Bar Court must transmit to the Clerk of the Supreme Court, three certified copies of the State Bar Court's recommendation together with the licensee's resignation, when, by the terms of the State Bar Court's recommendation, the resignation should be transmitted to the Supreme Court.

(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2019; previously amended effective January 1, 2007, and January 1, 2010.)

(d) Grounds for rejection of resignation by the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court will make such orders concerning the licensee's resignation as it deems appropriate. The Supreme Court may decline to accept the resignation based on a report by the State Bar Court that:

(1)Preservation of necessary testimony is not complete;

(2)After transfer to inactive status, the licensee has practiced law or has advertised or held himself or herself out as entitled to practice law;

(3)The licensee has failed to perform the acts specified by rule 9.20(a)-(b);

(4)The licensee has failed to provide proof of compliance as specified in rule 9.20(c);

(5)The Supreme Court has filed an order of disbarment as to the licensee;

(6)The State Bar Court has filed a decision or opinion recommending the licensee's disbarment;

(7)The licensee has previously resigned or has been disbarred and reinstated to the practice of law;

(8)The licensee and the Chief Trial Counsel have not reached agreement on a written stipulation as to facts and conclusions of law regarding the disciplinary matters and proceedings that were pending against the licensee at the time the resignation was tendered; or

(9)Acceptance of the resignation of the licensee will reasonably be inconsistent with the need to protect the public, the courts, or the legal profession.

(Subd (d) amended effective January 1, 2019; previously amended effective January 1, 2010; previously amended and relettered effective January 1, 2007; adopted as part of subd (c) effective December 14, 1984.)

(e) Rejection of resignation by the Supreme Court

A licensee whose resignation with charges pending is not accepted by the Supreme Court will remain an inactive licensee of the State Bar. The licensee may move the Review Department of the State Bar Court to be restored to active status, at which time the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel may demonstrate any basis for the licensee's continued ineligibility to practice law. The Review Department will expedite a motion to be restored to active status. Any return to active status will be conditioned on the licensee's payment of any due, penalty payments, and restitution owed by the licensee.

(Subd (e) amended effective January 1, 2019; adopted effective January 1, 2014.)

Rule 9.21 amended effective January 1, 2019; adopted as rule 960 by the Supreme Court effective December 14, 1984; previously amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 2010, and January 1, 2014.

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