2. Purpose of Rules

(a) General Construction. These rules are intended to provide appropriate standards for attorneys with respect to their practice of the profession of law, including, but not limited to their relationship with their clients, the general public, other members of the legal profession, the courts and other agencies of this State. A proceeding brought against an attorney under these rules shall be an inquiry to determine the fitness of an officer of the court to continue in that capacity. The purpose of such proceeding is not punishment but protection of the public and the courts from attorneys who by their conduct have demonstrated that they are unable, or likely to be unable, to discharge properly their professional duties. Further, these rules are intended to provide for a just determination of complaints alleging misconduct on the part of attorneys, and misunderstandings between attorneys and their clients. They shall be construed to secure simplicity in procedure, fairness in administration and the elimination of unjustifiable expense, delay and inconvenience. Whenever the word "Court" appears herein, it shall mean the Supreme Judicial Court. Whenever the word "Board" appears herein, it shall mean the Board of Overseers of the Bar.

(b) Amendment. The Board, the Grievance Commission, the Fee Arbitration Commission, the Professional Ethics Commission, or any 10 members of the Bar of this State may submit to the Court written suggestions or proposals for revision or amendment of these rules.

(c) Grounds for Discipline. Each act or omission by an attorney, individually or in concert with any other person or persons, which violates any of these rules shall constitute misconduct and shall be grounds for appropriate discipline notwithstanding that the act or omission did not occur in the course of an attorney-client relationship or in connection with proceedings in court. The failure without good cause to comply with any rule, regulation or order of the Board or the Grievance Commission or to respond to any inquiry by the Board, the Grievance Commission or Bar Counsel shall constitute misconduct and shall be grounds for appropriate discipline.

(d) Types of Discipline. Discipline of attorneys may be: (1) by disbarment, suspension, or public reprimand by the Court; or (2) by public reprimand by the Board or by a panel of the Grievance Commission.