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.0128 Obligations of Disbarred or Suspended Attorneys

(a) Client Notification - A disbarred or suspended member of the North Carolina State Bar will promptly notify by certified mail, return receipt requested, all clients being represented in pending matters of the disbarment or suspension, the reasons for the disbarment or suspension, and consequent inability of the member to act as an attorney after the effective date of disbarment or suspension and will advise such clients to seek legal advice elsewhere. The written notice must be received by the client before a disbarred or suspended attorney enters into any agreement with or on behalf of any client to settle, compromise, or resolve any claim, dispute, or lawsuit of the client. The disbarred or suspended attorney will take reasonable steps to avoid foreseeable prejudice to the rights of his or her clients, including promptly delivering all file materials and property to which the clients are entitled to the clients or the clients' substituted attorney. No disbarred or suspended attorney will transfer active client files containing confidential information or property to another attorney, nor may another attorney receive such files or property, without prior written permission from the client.

(b) Withdrawal - The disbarred or suspended member will withdraw from all pending administrative or litigation matters before the effective date of the suspension or disbarment and will follow all applicable laws and disciplinary rules regarding the manner of withdrawal.

(c) Effective Date - In cases not governed by Rule .0121 of this subchapter, orders imposing suspension or disbarment will be effective 30 days after being served upon the defendant. In such cases, after entry of the disbarment or suspension order, the disbarred or suspended attorney will not accept any new retainer or engage as attorney for another in any new case or legal matter of any nature. However, between the entry date of the order and its effective date, the member may complete, on behalf of any client, matters which were pending on the entry date and which can be completed before the effective date of the order.

(d) Affidavit Showing Compliance with Order - Within 10 days after the effective date of the disbarment or suspension order, the disbarred or suspended attorney will file with the secretary an affidavit showing that he or she has fully complied with the provisions of the order, with the provisions of this section, and with the provisions of all other state, federal, and administrative jurisdictions to which he or she is admitted to practice. The affidavit will also set forth the residence or other address of the disbarred or suspended member to which communications may thereafter be directed.

(e) Records of Compliance - The disbarred or suspended member will keep and maintain records of the various steps taken under this section so that, upon any subsequent proceeding, proof of compliance with this section and with the disbarment or suspension order will be available. Proof of compliance with this section will be a condition precedent to consideration of any petition for reinstatement.

(f) Contempt - A suspended or disbarred attorney who fails to comply with Rules .0128(a)-(e) above may be subject to an action for contempt instituted by the appropriate authority. Failure to comply with the requirements of Rule .0128(a) above will be grounds for appointment of counsel pursuant to Rule .0126 of this subchapter.

History Note: Statutory Authority G.S. 84-23

Readopted Effective December 8, 1994

Amendments Approved by the Supreme Court: March 6, 1997; September 22, 2016

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