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Supreme Court Rules

Section/Rule:5.21
Subject: Rule 5 - Rules Governing the Missouri Bar and the Judiciary - Complaints and Proceedings Thereon Publication / Adopted Date:June 20, 1995
Topic:Interim Suspension and Final Discipline for Criminal ActivitesRevised / Effective Date:September 1, 2014


5.21. Interim Suspension and Final Discipline for Criminal Activities

(a) A lawyer admitted to practice law in Missouri is subject to discipline, whether sentence is imposed or not, if the lawyer has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to or been found guilty of:
(1) Any felony of this state, any other state, or the United States; or
(2) Any misdemeanor of this state, any other state, or the United States involving interference with the administration of justice, false swearing, misrepresentation, fraud, deceit, bribery, extortion, misappropriation, theft or moral turpitude; or
(3) Any misdemeanor involving attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation of another to commit any misdemeanor of this state, any other state, or the United States described above.
(b) If a lawyer is subject to discipline as provided in Rule 5.21(a) but there has been no final disposition of the criminal case, the chief disciplinary counsel may file an information directly in this Court seeking to suspend the lawyer from the practice of law. The pendency of an after-trial motion or an appeal in the lawyer's criminal proceedings shall not be a basis for delaying the entry of an order of interim suspension.
Upon the filing of the information, this Court shall cause to be served on the lawyer an order to show cause why the lawyer should not be disciplined.
The Court may impose an interim suspension under this Rule 5.21 in such case without the requirement of any other proceeding or the Court may direct that disciplinary proceedings based upon the criminal case otherwise proceed as provided by this Rule 5.
(c) If an order of interim suspension based upon such plea or finding is entered and, thereafter, a court reverses or sets aside the finding of guilt, the suspended lawyer may file an application for reinstatement under this Rule 5.21. The application shall contain a certified copy of the order rejecting or setting aside the guilty plea or plea of nolo contendere. The application shall be served on the chief disciplinary counsel.
The application shall be approved as a matter of course 30 days after it is served on the chief disciplinary counsel unless, within that time, the chief disciplinary counsel files an information and proposed order of interim suspension pursuant to Rule 5.24. If such information and proposed order is filed, reinstatement shall be ordered unless an interim suspension is ordered as provided in Rule 5.24.
(d) If an interim suspension is ordered under this Rule 5.21 and the case in which the plea or finding was entered is finally disposed adversely to the lawyer, the chief disciplinary counsel shall file with this Court a motion to discipline, together with a certified copy of the judgment, whereupon the lawyer shall be subject to discipline by this Court without the requirement of any other proceeding.
(e) If a lawyer is subject to discipline as provided in Rule 5.21(a) because there is a final disposition of the criminal case adverse to the lawyer and no information seeking an interim suspension under Rule 5.21(b) was filed, the chief disciplinary counsel shall file an information directly in this Court seeking discipline. A certified copy of the judgment in the criminal case shall be attached to the information.
Upon the filing of the information, this Court shall cause to be served on the lawyer an order to show cause why the lawyer should not be disciplined.
The Court may impose discipline in such case without the requirement of any other proceeding or the Court may direct that disciplinary proceedings based upon the criminal case otherwise proceed as provided by this Rule 5.

(Adopted June 20, 1995, eff. Jan 1, 1996. Amended July 9, 2014, eff. September 1, 2014.)