ROBERTSON, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:
We are presented today with a suspended attorney's petition for reinstatement of his license to practice law. The matter requires that we consider both substantive and procedural standards we ought observe, once the period of suspension has expired.
We hold the attorney's showing adequate and order his reinstatement.
On October 25, 1988, a Complaint Tribunal *fn1 entered an order that Terry M. Haimes, an attorney of Winston County, Mississippi, be suspended from the practice of law for a period of six months from that date. The grounds for the suspension were the Tribunal's findings that Haimes had failed to preserve the identity of client funds by placing them an identifiable trust account and that he had appropriated client funds to his use purportedly in payment of a fee without advising his client to that effect. The judgment of suspension imposed certain
conditions, namely that Haimes be enjoined from the practice of law during the period of the suspension, that he notify clients of the suspension and return their files, papers and property to them, and that he pay all costs. Haimes sought no review of the judgment of the Tribunal in this Court and it became final.
On July 14, 1989, Haimes filed his petition in this Court seeking reinstatement. See Rule 12 (a), Rules of Discipline. In his petition he alleged that the six month time period had run and that he had complied with all conditions incident to the suspension. More specifically, Haimes alleged that the matter of a fee dispute between himself and his former client, Ms. Mamye Morris Hunt of San Diego, California, had been submitted to arbitration and that the arbitrator had, by award issued January 24, 1989, determined that Hunt owed Haimes a total fee of $2,157.70 and that Hunt was entitled to an attorney's lien against a sum of $1,338.73 which, according to Haimes, "was the same fund . . . he had [been] found . . . [to have] improperly handled." *fn2
In addition, Haimes alleges that the effect of the arbitrator's award is that he has committed no mishandling of client funds, and he urges that this Court reconsider the suspension order and, more importantly, the findings that he had committed disciplinary violations and vacate same.
At the request of the Court, the Mississippi State Bar on September 7, 1989, filed a response to the petition, making limited admissions, and in the end opposing reinstatement "on the grounds that [Haimes] has not presented sufficient evidence of requisite legal learning and requisite moral character, or any other reasons justifying reinstatement." No specifics are provided.
A suspended attorney petitioning for reinstatement has the burden of proving his case, but the case he must prove is not the same or as great as that demanded of one who has been disbarred. Implicit in the judgment of suspension, stopping short of disbarment, is that the attorney's character has not been shown so deficient that proof of general moral and professional rehabilitation be required. Compare Mississippi State Bar v. Gautier, 538 So. 2d 772, 775 (Miss. 1989); Phillips v. Mississippi State Bar, 427 So. 2d 1380, 1382 (Miss. 1983).
The function of the reinstatement petition is to determine whether the attorney has complied with the terms of the suspension order and whether he has otherwise appropriately conducted himself. See Rule 12 (b), Rules of Discipline; Daniels v.
Mississippi State Bar, ___ So. 2d ___ (Miss. Nos. 89-BA-965 and 966, dec. Oct. 11, 1989) (not yet reported). Also for consideration is whether the attorney should submit to further ...