Rule amendment

Discipline panels can hold penalty hearing after oral verdict

Law Society Rule 4-35 has been amended to allow a discipline hearing panel, if it has given oral reasons on its findings of fact and verdict, to proceed to the penalty stage of the hearing without first having to prepare written reasons.

Rule 4-35 previously required a panel to make a written report on facts and verdict under Rule 4-34(2) before it could consider penalty, even if it had already given an oral decision. This provision caused unnecessary delays in some hearings.

The text of Rule 4-35, as revised, is included in the Member’s Manual amendment package in this mailing and available in the Publications & Forms section of the Law Society website at