Public Hearings Access/Confidentiality Policy Clarified

On May 23, 2007, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued an order amending Rule 402 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement, concerning access to disciplinary information and confidentiality, to clarify the circumstances under which disciplinary proceedings will be confidential. The rulemaking is published at 37 Pa.B. 2602 (June 6, 2007). The amendment makes two changes. First, Section 402(c)(4), which provided that proceedings would be public when they are “based upon allegations that have become generally known to the public,” was deleted. Second, a new Section 402(k) was added, stating that disciplinary proceedings which result in dismissal or the imposition of private discipline will be removed from public access, unless the Respondent-attorney requests they remain public.