B. Determination of "Serious Crime." Upon being advised that a lawyer subject to the jurisdiction of the court has been convicted of a crime, counsel shall determine whether the crime constitutes a serious crime. If the crime is a serious crime, counsel shall prepare an order for interim suspension and forward it to the court with a certificate or other satisfactory evidence of the conviction. Counsel shall in addition file formal charges against the lawyer predicated upon the conviction. If the crime is not a serious crime, counsel shall process the matter like any other information coming to the attention of the board.
C. Definition of "Serious Crime." A serious crime is any felony and any lesser crime a necessary element of which, as determined by the statutory or common law definition of the crime, involves interference with the administration of justice, false swearing, misrepresentation, fraud, willful failure to file income tax returns, deceit, bribery, extortion, misappropriation, theft, or an attempt or a conspiracy or solicitation of another to commit any of those crimes.
D. Immediate Suspension. Upon proof that a lawyer has been convicted or has pled or been found guilty of a serious crime, the court shall enter an order immediately suspending the lawyer regardless of the pendency of any appeal. Upon a showing of extraordinary circumstances, the court may in the interest of justice set aside or modify the interim suspension after affording disciplinary counsel and the lawyer notice and an opportunity to be heard.
E. Formal Procedure. In formal proceedings after conviction or a plea or finding of guilt for a serious crime, the sole issue is the extent of the final discipline to be imposed. A disciplinary proceeding so instituted will not be brought to hearing until all appeals from the conviction, plea, or finding are concluded, unless the respondent requests that the matter not be deferred.
F. Certificate Conclusive. A certificate of a conviction of an attorney for any crime is conclusive evidence of the commission of that crime in any disciplinary proceeding based upon the conviction.
G. Automatic Reinstatement. If a lawyer under interim suspension for a serious crime demonstrates that the underlying plea or finding of guilt or conviction has been reversed or vacated, the order for interim suspension must be vacated and the lawyer placed on active status. Vacation of the interim suspension does not automatically terminate any formal proceeding then pending against the lawyer.
Rule 4.1 was adopted effective January 1, 1995, amended effective March 1, 2017.
Section D was amended effective March 1, 2017 to provide for the suspension of a lawyer upon proof that the lawyer has been convicted or has pled or been found guilty of a serious crime, and to provide that the court may set aside the suspension upon a showing of extraordinary circumstances and after affording counsel and the lawyer notice and an opportunity to be heard.
Section E was amended effective March 1, 2017 to add a plea or finding of guilt as a factor in formal proceedings.