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Rule 2.04 - Discipline

(a) Any member of the bar of this Court, admitted generally under Rule 2.01 or specially under Rule 2.02, may, after hearing and for good cause shown, be disbarred, suspended, reprimanded or subjected to such other discipline as the Court may deem proper. 

(b) Whenever it appears to the Court that any member of its bar, admitted generally under Rule 2.01 or then appearing specially under Rule 2.02, has been disbarred or suspended from practice by the Supreme Court of Florida, or by any other court of competent jurisdiction, as the case might be, or has been disbarred on consent or resigned from the bar of any other court while an investigation into allegations of misconduct is pending, or has been convicted of a felony in any court, such disbarment, suspension, resignation, or conviction shall, 21 days thereafter, operate as an automatic suspension of such attorney's right to practice in this Court; provided, however, the attorney may file, within such 21-day period, a petition, with a copy served upon the United States Attorney, seeking relief from the operation of this rule, and if a timely petition is filed, suspension shall be stayed until the petition is determined. If such petition is filed by an attorney who has been admitted to practice generally under Rule 2.01 of these rules, it shall be heard and determined by the Chief Judge of the Court sitting with any two or more of other judges of the District as the Chief Judge shall designate. If such petition is filed by an attorney who has been admitted to practice specially under Rule 2.02 of these rules, it shall be heard and determined by the judge assigned to the case in which such special appearance has been made.

(c) Any attorney admitted to practice before this Court, upon being subjected to public discipline by any other Court of the United States or the District of Columbia, or by a court of any state, territory, commonwealth, or possession of the United States, including any attorney who is disbarred on consent or resigns from any bar while an investigation into allegations of misconduct is pending, shall promptly inform the Clerk of this Court of such action.

(d) The professional conduct of all members of the bar of this Court, admitted generally under Rule 2.01 or specially under Rule 2.02, shall be governed by the Model Rules of Professional Conduct of the American Bar Association as modified and adopted by the Supreme Court of Florida to govern the professional behavior of the members of The Florida Bar.

(e) The Court may appoint a Grievance Committee in each Division of the Court to conduct investigations of alleged misconduct on the part of any member of its bar, whether admitted generally under Rule 2.01 or specially under Rule 2.02. Each Grievance Committee shall consist of not less than five members of the bar of this Court regularly practicing in that Division, three of whom shall constitute a quorum. Appointments shall be for three years. The Court shall designate the Chairman of the Committee in each Division, but each Committee shall otherwise organize itself as it sees fit. All proceedings before the Committees may be conducted informally, but shall remain confidential unless otherwise ordered by the Court. Each Committee shall function as follows:

(1) Any matter or question touching upon the professional behavior of a member of the bar may be referred at any time to the Chairman of the appropriate Committee by any judge of the Court. The Chairman of the Committee will promptly designate himself, or some other member, to investigate the matter and make a preliminary report to the Committee as a whole for the Committee's determination as to whether (I) the inquiry should be terminated because the question raised is unsupported or insubstantial; or (ii) the question raised justifies further inquiry but should be referred to the appropriate grievance committee of The Florida Bar; or (iii) the question raised justifies further inquiry and should be pursued by the Committee due to distinctly Federal features or other appropriate reason. The Chairman of the Committee shall then report the Committee's preliminary recommendation to the referring judge and shall follow his direction.

(2) If a Committee is directed by the referring judge to pursue its inquiry, it shall proceed with dispatch to make such further investigation as it deems necessary to make a final report to the Court as to whether  there is, or is not, probable cause to believe that the subject member of the bar has been guilty of unprofessional or unethical conduct justifying disciplinary action by the Court. If the Committee makes a report of  probable cause, such report shall then be transmitted to the United States Attorney (or, if the United States Attorney be disqualified by interest, to another member of the bar appointed by the Chief Judge for that  purpose) who shall file and serve a petition for an order to show cause upon the accused attorney. Such petition, and all further proceedings thereon, shall be heard and determined by the Chief Judge of the District sitting together with any two or more judges of the District as the Chief Judge shall designate.

(f) It shall be the duty of every member of the bar of the Court, admitted generally under Rule 2.01 or specially under Rule 2.02, to respond to and cooperate fully with any Grievance Committee of the Court during  the course of any investigation being conducted pursuant to subsection (d) of this rule; provided, however, no attorney shall be entitled as of right to notice of the pendency of any such investigation unless and until he is named in a petition to show cause filed pursuant to subsection (e)(2) of this rule.

(g) Nothing in this rule shall be construed as providing an exclusive procedure for the discipline of members of the bar in appropriate cases, nor as a limitation upon the power of the Court to punish for contempt  in appropriate cases.

(h) Attorneys and litigants should conduct themselves with civility and in a spirit of cooperation in order to reduce unnecessary cost and delay.