Rule 14-526. Notice of disability or suspension; return of clients' property; refund of unearned fees.

(a) Effective date of order; winding up affairs. Each order that imposes disbarment or suspension is effective 30 days after the date of the order, or at such other time as the order provides. Each order that transfers a respondent to disability status is effective immediately upon the date of the order, unless the order otherwise provides. After the entry of any order of disbarment, suspension, or transfer to disability status, the respondent shall not accept any new retainer or employment as a lawyer in any new case or legal matter; provided, however, that during any period between the date of entry of an order and its effective date, the respondent may, with the consent of the client after full disclosure, wind up or complete any matters pending on the date of entry of the order.

(b) Notice to clients and others. In every case in which a respondent is disbarred or suspended for more than six months, the respondent shall, within 20 days of the entry of the order, accomplish the following acts:

(b)(1) notify each client and any co-counsel in every pending legal matter, litigation and non-litigation, that the respondent has been disbarred or suspended from the practice of law and is disqualified from further participation in the matter;

(b)(2) notify each client that, in the absence of co-counsel, the client should obtain a new lawyer, calling attention to the urgency to seek new counsel, particularly in pending litigation;

(b)(3) deliver to every client any papers or other property to which the client is entitled or, if delivery cannot reasonably be made, make arrangements satisfactory to the client or co-counsel of a reasonable time and place where papers and other property may be obtained, calling attention to any urgency to obtain the same;

(b)(4) refund any part of any fee paid in advance that has not been earned as of the effective date of the discipline;

(b)(5) in each matter pending before a court, agency or tribunal, notify opposing counsel or, in the absence of counsel, the adverse party, of the respondent's disbarment or suspension and consequent disqualification to further participate as a lawyer in the matter;

(b)(6) file with the court, agency or tribunal before which any matter is pending a copy of the notice given to opposing counsel or to an adverse party; and

(b)(7) within ten days after the effective date of disbarment or suspension, file an affidavit with OPC counsel showing complete performance of the foregoing requirements of this rule. The respondent shall keep and maintain for inspection by OPC counsel all records of the steps taken to accomplish the requirements of this rule.

(c) Lien. Any attorney's lien for services rendered which are not tainted by reason of disbarment or suspension shall not be rendered invalid merely because of the order of discipline.

(d) Other notice. If a respondent is suspended for six months or less, the district court may impose conditions similar to those set out in paragraph (b). In any public disciplinary matter, the district court may also require the issuance of notice to others as it deems necessary to protect the interests of clients or the public.

(e) Compliance. Substantial compliance with the provisions of paragraphs (a), (b) and (d) shall be a precondition for reinstatement or readmission. Willful failure to comply with paragraphs (a), (b) and (d) shall constitute contempt of court and may be punished as such or by further disciplinary action.