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Rule 70. Public Access to Information

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of the Supreme Court of Arizona

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of the Supreme Court of Arizona (Refs & Annos)
V. Regulation of the Practice of Law
M. Public Access; Records
A.R.S. Sup.Ct.Rules, Rule 70
Rule 70. Public Access to Information
(a) Availability of Information. Except as otherwise provided in these rules, the state bar file, the record maintained by the disciplinary clerk, and all proceedings shall be open to the public upon
1. waiver of confidentiality by respondent;
2. the filing of an order by the committee pursuant to Rules 55(c)(1)(B), (D), and (E);
3. dismissal by the state bar following a screening investigation for six months from the date of notification to respondent or complainant (if any) of the dismissal;
4. dismissal, in cases not resulting in a screening investigation, for six months from the date of notification to respondent or complainant (if any) of the dismissal;
5. the filing of a complaint, motion, or petition in proceedings for summary or interim suspension or pursuant to Rules 54(g), 54(h), or 66;
6. the filing of an agreement for discipline by consent; or
7. the filing an application for reinstatement pursuant to Rules 64 and 65.
(b) Exceptions to Availability of Information. Notwithstanding other provisions of these rules, including Rule 123, Rules of the Supreme Court, the following do not become public:
1. work product of state bar staff, bar counsel, the committee, the settlement officer, the presiding disciplinary judge, hearing panel members, court staff, or the court;
2. mediation records and proceedings;
3. diversion records and proceedings;
4. deliberations pertaining to decisions of bar counsel, the committee, the presiding disciplinary judge, a hearing panel, settlement officer, or this court;
5. information with respect to which a protective order has been issued pursuant to these rules;
6. records of telephonic requests for information received by the state bar Attorney Consumer Assistance Program;
7. deliberations and work product of the client protection fund staff and board of trustees;
8. trust account records, trust account summary of findings, or trust account reconstructions;
9. an individual's social security number (if a social security number must be used, only the last four digits of that number shall be used); or
10. financial account numbers (if financial records must be used, only the last four digits of that number shall be used).
(c) Authorized Disclosures. Before the record and proceedings are made public, they shall not be disclosed by the state bar or disciplinary clerk or committee, except that
1. the name of the member under investigation and the matter under investigation may be disclosed to such member and the persons whose services or testimony are necessary in connection with the proceeding;
2. the state bar may confirm, upon inquiry concerning the lawyer and the particular conduct, that a charge has been received and is under investigation or in the prescreening process;
3. for matters in which the disposition is confidential under these rules, the state bar, disciplinary clerk, or committee may confirm, upon inquiry concerning the lawyer and the particular conduct, that a charge has been received and that the matter is closed but has not public disposition;
4. the state bar, disciplinary clerk, or committee, pursuant to a valid subpoena, may provide documents not otherwise confidential under subparagraph (b);
5. the state bar, disciplinary clerk, or committee may disclose the records and proceedings to
A. other lawyer disciplinary entities or agencies;
B. client security or protection funds;
C. agencies or individuals authorized to investigate the qualifications of persons for admission to practice law;
D. agencies or individuals authorized to investigate the qualifications of candidates for judicial office or governmental employment;
E. public or prosecuting authorities if it appears that the lawyer has engaged in conduct that may be criminal in nature;
6. if the proceeding is based on allegations that have become generally known to the public, the board may authorize disclosure of the record or other information; and
7. the board may authorize other disclosures that are necessary to protect the public, the administration of justice, or the legal profession.
(d) Disclosure by Others. Unless otherwise ordered by the committee, the presiding disciplinary judge, a hearing panel, or this court, nothing in these rules shall prohibit the complainant, respondent, or any witness from disclosing the existence of proceedings under these rules or from disclosing any documents or correspondence served on or provided to those persons.
(e) Disability Proceedings. Proceedings and records relating to transfer to or from disability inactive status are confidential, except that orders transferring a lawyer to or from disability inactive status are public.
(f) Effect of Disclosure. The disclosure of information under these rules shall not constitute a waiver of any evidentiary, statutory, or other privilege that might otherwise be asserted.
(g) Sealing the Record/Protective Orders. Upon request by a party or by a person from whom the information or evidence was obtained, or upon a request by an interested non-party or the presiding disciplinary judge's own initiative, and for good cause shown, the presiding disciplinary judge may issue an order in a pending matter, sealing a portion of the record and/or state bar file and taking other measures to assure the confidentiality of the sealed information. Material sealed shall remain confidential notwithstanding that the remaining record in the matter is made public. Sealed material shall be opened and viewed only by the committee, the presiding disciplinary judge, a hearing panel, the board or the court for use by such body and the parties in pending proceedings, and otherwise only upon notice to and an opportunity to be heard by the parties and the witness or other person who is the subject of the information. A party aggrieved by an order relating to a request for a protective order may seek review by filing a petition for special action with the court.
(h) Retention of Records. Records of discipline proceedings maintained by the disciplinary clerk shall be retained as directed by the court, pursuant to Rule 29, Rules of the Supreme Court.

Credits

Added June 9, 2003, effective Dec. 1, 2003. Amended and effective Jan. 20, 2005. Amended Sept. 16, 2008, effective Jan. 1, 2009; June 30, 2010, effective Jan. 1, 2011; Sept. 2, 2010, effective Jan. 1, 2011; Aug. 30, 2012, effective Jan. 1, 2013.

Editors' Notes

HISTORICAL NOTES
Source:
ABA Model Rule 16.
Former Rule 61(a), (b), (g) and (i)(3).
Generally: Florida Bar Rule 3-7.1(e) and (h).
Former Rule 61.
17A Pt. 2 A. R. S. Sup. Ct. Rules, Rule 70, AZ ST S CT Rule 70
Current with amendments received through 02/1/19
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