(a) Disciplinary Panel.
(1) Composition of Disciplinary Panel. The chief judge will assign a panel of three active or senior judges of the court to be known as the Disciplinary Panel. From time to time, the chief judge may designate other judges to serve as members or as alternates on the Disciplinary Panel.
(2) Duties of Disciplinary Panel. The Disciplinary Panel may, by a majority vote, provide for the investigation of a disciplinary complaint. The Disciplinary Panel has general supervision over all proceedings involving:
(A) the disbarment, suspension, censure, or other discipline of lawyers practicing in this court; or
(B) the alleged physical or mental disability of lawyers practicing in this court.
(b) Duties of the Clerk.
(1) “Bar Disciplinary File.” The clerk will maintain as a public record a general file to be known as the “Bar Disciplinary File.” The file must contain a copy of any procedural guidelines the Disciplinary Panel adopts and such other documents as the Disciplinary Panel directs. It must not contain complaints or other papers filed in individual disciplinary proceedings or sealed by court order.
(2) “Bar Discipline Docket.” The clerk will keep a separate “Bar Discipline Docket” in which entries are made in bar disciplinary cases in the same manner as entries are made in the civil docket pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 79. The Bar Discipline Docket is sealed and the entries are confidential except as otherwise provided by these rules or ordered by the court.
(3) Duties When a Complaint is Filed. When a complaint is filed the clerk must:
(A) ascertain from the disciplinary authorities of all bars of which the charged attorney is a member, his or her standing and disciplinary record (unless the facts are already known);
(B) file the information received; and
(C) report it to the Disciplinary Panel.
(4) Notice To Disciplinary Authorities. The clerk must transmit notice of all public discipline imposed against a lawyer, transfers to or from disability inactive status, and reinstatements to the Disciplinary Administrator of the Supreme Court of Kansas and to the National Discipline Data Bank maintained by the American Bar Association. The clerk must also transmit the same to the disciplinary authorities of any other bars of which the disciplined attorney is a member.
(1) Disclosure. Prior to the filing and service of formal charges in a disciplinary matter, the proceedings are confidential, except that the pendency, subject matter, and status of an investigation may be disclosed:
(A) by the clerk if the respondent has waived confidentiality or if the proceeding is based upon allegations that include either the conviction of a crime or public discipline by another court; or
(B) by the Disciplinary Panel if it has determined:
(i) the proceeding is based upon allegations that have become generally known to the public; or
(ii) there is a need to notify another person or organization, including any recognized clients’ security fund to protect the public, the administration of justice, or the legal profession.
(2) Proceedings. Upon filing and service of formal charges in a disciplinary matter, or filing of a petition for reinstatement, the proceeding is public except for:
(A) deliberations of the hearing panel or court; or
(B) information subject to a protective order.
(3) Proceedings Alleging Disability. Proceedings for transfer to or from disability inactive status are confidential. All orders transferring a lawyer to or from disability inactive status are public.
(4) Protective Orders. To protect the interests of a complainant, witness, third party, or respondent, the Disciplinary Panel may – upon application of any person and for good cause – issue a protective order prohibiting the disclosure of specific information otherwise privileged or confidential. The Disciplinary Panel may direct that the proceedings be conducted so as to implement the order. This may include requiring that the hearing be conducted in such a way as to preserve the confidentiality of the information that is the subject of the application.
(5) Duty of Participants. All participants in a proceeding under these rules must conduct themselves so as to maintain the confidentiality mandated by this rule.
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