Supreme Court Rules
Rule 5 - Rules Governing the Missouri Bar and the Judiciary - Complaints and Proceedings Thereon
Publication / Adopted Date:
November 26, 2002
Revised / Effective Date:
January 1, 2003
Offer of Diversion.
At any time prior to the conclusion of an investigation, the chief disciplinary counsel may offer the lawyer the opportunity to participate in a diversion program.
The diversion program may include programs assisting the lawyer in managing her or his practice, improving proficiency of the lawyer, or providing personal assistance.
Participation in the Program.
A lawyer may participate in a diversion program if:
(1) The allegations are of a minor nature;
(2) There is little likelihood that the lawyer will harm the public during the period of participation;
(3) The chief disciplinary counsel can adequately supervise the conditions of the program; and
(4) Participation in the program is likely to benefit the lawyer and accomplish the goals of the program.
The diversion program is not appropriate, absent special circumstances, in the following situations:
(1) The misconduct is likely to result in imposition of discipline by this Court;
(2) The misconduct involves misappropriation of funds or property of a client or third party;
(3) The misconduct involves criminal activity as set forth in
(4) The misconduct resulted in or is likely to result in actual injury, such as loss of money, legal rights or valuable property rights, to a client or other person, unless restitution is made a condition of diversion;
(5) The lawyer has previously received discipline;
(6) The misconduct involves dishonesty, deceit, fraud or misrepresentation; or
(7) The misconduct is part of a pattern of similar misconduct.
If a lawyer agrees to an offer of diversion, the terms of the diversion shall be set forth in a written agreement between the lawyer and the chief disciplinary counsel. The agreement shall specify the programs to which the lawyer shall be diverted, the general purpose of the diversion, the manner in which the lawyer's compliance with the program is to be monitored, and any requirement for payment of restitution or costs.
Costs of the Diversion.
The lawyer shall pay all the costs incurred in connection with participation in any diversion program.
Effect of Diversion.
Upon execution of a diversion agreement, the lawyer shall complete the requirements thereof.
Upon the lawyer's entry into the diversion program, the underlying disciplinary matter shall be placed in abeyance, indicating diversion.
Diversion is not discipline under this Rule 5.
Effect of Successful Completion of the Diversion Agreement.
If the chief disciplinary counsel determines that the lawyer has successfully completed all the requirements of the diversion agreement, the chief disciplinary counsel shall close the file.
Breach of Diversion Agreement.
If the chief disciplinary counsel has reason to believe that the lawyer has breached the diversion agreement, the lawyer shall be given an opportunity to respond, and the chief disciplinary counsel may modify the diversion agreement or terminate the diversion agreement and proceed with the matter as provided by Rule 5.
If the diversion agreement is breached, any information obtained while participating in a diversion program may be used in the same manner as any other evidence acquired in the course of a Rule 5 investigation.
Effect of Rejection of Recommendation for Diversion.
If a lawyer rejects a diversion offer, the matter shall proceed as otherwise provided in Rule 5.
All of the records resulting from the diversion of a matter shall be filed with the chief disciplinary counsel and shall be subject to the same restrictions concerning confidentiality as provided in
(Adopted November 26, 2002, eff. Jan 1, 2003.)