DR-6 Disciplinary Proceedings

(a) When misconduct or allegations of misconduct which, if substantiated, would warrant discipline of an attorney admitted or permitted to practice before this court shall come to the attention of this court, whether by complaint or otherwise, and the applicable procedure is not otherwise mandated by these rules, the judge may follow either or both of the following procedures:

  (1) refer the matter to any appropriate disciplinary agency with jurisdiction over said attorney with a request that the agency report its actions to the court provided, however, that in addressing any misconduct matter the court may consider such agency's actions but shall not be bound thereby;

  (2) appoint one or more members of the bar of this court to act as special counsel to investigate the matter, to prosecute the matter in a formal disciplinary proceeding under these rules, to make such other recommendation as may be appropriate, or to perform any other functions required by the court in its order of appointment.

(b) Should special counsel conclude after investigation and review that a formal disciplinary proceeding should not be initiated against the respondent-attorney because sufficient evidence is not present, or because there is another proceeding pending against the respondent-attorney, the disposition of which in the judgment of the counsel should be awaited before further action by this court is considered, or for any other valid reason, counsel shall file with the court a recommendation for disposition of the matter, setting forth the reasons therefore.

(c) To initiate formal disciplinary proceedings, special counsel shall, upon a showing of probable cause, obtain leave of this court to institute a disciplinary proceeding by filing a complaint against the respondent-attorney setting forth the allegations of misconduct. If leave of the court is obtained, the complaint and summons shall be promptly served as provided in DR-9.

(d) The respondent-attorney shall file an answer to the complaint within thirty (30) days after service. If any issue of fact is raised in the answer or if the respondent- attorney wishes to be heard in mitigation, this court shall set the matter for prompt hearing before one or more judges of this court provided, however, that if the disciplinary proceeding is predicated upon the complaint of a judge of this court, the hearing shall be conducted before a panel of three judges of this court appointed by the Chief Judge or, if there are less than three judges of this court eligible to serve or if the Chief Judge is the complainant, by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals.