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THE PROCESS AND YOUR COMMENTS

Proposed amendments to the Rules of the North Carolina State Bar are published for comment during the quarter after the council of the North Carolina State Bar approves their publication. The proposed amendments are published in the North Carolina State Bar's Journal and on this website. After publication for comment, the proposed rule amendments are considered for adoption by the council at its next quarterly meeting. If adopted, the rule amendments are submitted to the North Carolina Supreme Court for approval. Amendments become effective upon approval by the court. Unless otherwise noted, proposed additions to rules appear in in bold and underlined print, deletions are interlined. Proposed amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct appear at the end of the page.

The State Bar welcomes your comments regarding proposed amendments to the rules. Please adress them to ethicscomments@ncbar.gov

Highlights

  • The council adopted proposed amendments to the CLE Rules that add a new category of CLE credit called “Diversity, Inclusion, and Elimination of Bias Training,” and impose a one-time, one-hour requirement in this new category in 2022 for all active members. Supreme Court approval will be sought.

  • A statement on the equal, courteous, and respectful treatment of all persons encountered in a professional capacity is proposed for inclusion in the Preamble to the Rules of Professional Conduct.

  • A proposed new comment to Rule 1.1, Competence, identifies awareness of implicit bias and cultural differences that might affect a representation as an element of competency.

AMENDMENTS PENDING SUPREME COURT APPROVAL

On February 3, 2021, and April 21, 2021, the North Carolina Supreme Court approved the amendments that follow. (For the complete text see the Fall 2020 and Winter 2020 editions of the Journal or visit the State Bar website: ncbar.gov.)

Amendments to the Rules Governing Admission to the Practice of Law

Section .0900, Examinations

The requirement in Rules Governing Admission to the Practice of Law that the bar exam to be administered in Wake County has been removed. This change permits the exam to be administered anywhere in North Carolina.

Amendments to the Student Practice Rules

27 N.C.A.C. 1C, Section .0200, Rules Governing the Practical Training of Law Students

The rule amendments clarify the different forms of student practice placements outside the law school and the supervision requirements for those placements. In addition, throughout the rules, the term “student intern” is replaced with “certified law student” to avoid confusion between student practice in law school clinics and practice placements outside the law school.

Amendments to Rule 1.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct

27 N.C.A.C. 2, Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.5, Fees

Amendments to Rule 1.5 add a specific prohibition on charging a client for responding to an inquiry by a disciplinary authority regarding allegations of professional misconduct by the lawyer; for responding to a Client Security Fund claim alleging wrongful conduct by the lawyer; or for responding to and participating in the resolution of a petition for resolution of a disputed fee against the lawyer.

Amendments to the Advertising Rules in the Rules of Professional Conduct

27 N.C.A.C. Chapter 2, Rules of Professional Conduct, Rules 7.1-7.5, Information About Legal Services

Comprehensive amendments to the rules on legal advertising in Rules 7.1-7.5, Information About Legal Services, of the Rules of Professional Conduct accomplish the following: strengthen and prioritize the prohibition on false and misleading communications concerning a lawyer’s services; streamline the rules on advertising and eliminate unnecessary or unclear provisions; update the rules to reflect the current state of society and the profession, including the recognition of technology’s presence in personal and professional lives and the evolution of the consuming public; and enable lawyers to communicate effectively and truthfully about the availability of legal services.

Amendments Pending Supreme Court Approval

At its meeting on April 16, 2021, the North Carolina State Bar Council voted to adopt the following rule amendments for transmission to the North Carolina Supreme Court for its approval. (For the complete text of the rule amendments, see the Winter 2020 and Spring 2021 editions of the Journal or visit the State Bar website: ncbar.gov.)

Proposed Amendments to the Rules on Organization of the North Carolina State Bar

27 N.C.A.C. 1A, Section .0800, Election and Appointment of State Bar Councilors

The proposed amendments permit notices for district bar elections for State Bar councilors to be sent via email.

Proposed Amendments to the Rules Governing the Continuing Legal Education Program

27 N.C.A.C. 1D, Section .1500, Rules Governing the Administration of the Continuing Legal Education Program

The proposed amendments add “Diversity, Inclusion, and Elimination of Bias Training” to the definitions in Rule .1501 and, in Rule .1518, include such training in the 2022 CLE requirements for active members of the State Bar.

The proposed rule amendments were originally published for comment in the Winter 2020 edition of the Journal. During publication, comments were received. At the January 2021 quarterly meeting of the council, the Executive Committee sent the proposed rule amendments, together with the comments, to the Board of Continuing Legal Education for reconsideration. The CLE Board reviewed the comments and recommended no revisions to the proposed amendments. Therefore, the proposed amendments were not re-published prior to adoption by the council.

Proposed Amendments to the Rules for Legal Specialization

27 N.C.A.C. 1D, Section .1700, The Plan for Legal Specialization

The proposed amendments eliminate a designated time of year for the Board of Legal Specialization’s annual meeting, permit notice of meetings by email, and correct references to the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Proposed Amendments to the Rules for Certain Specialty Certifications

27 N.C.A.C. 1D, Section .2700, Certification Standards for the Workers’ Compensation Law Specialty; Section .2800, Certification Standards for the Social Security Disability Law Specialty; Section .2900, Certification for the Elder Law Specialty; Section .3000, Certification Standards for the Appellate Practice Specialty; Section .3100, Certification Standards for the Trademark Law Specialty; Section .3200, Certification Standards for the Utilities Law Specialty; Section .3300, Certification Standards for the Privacy and Information Security Law Specialty.

The rules for some of the specialty certifications require peer references to be mailed. The proposed amendments will make the rules for the various specialties consistent with each other and enable the specialization program to send peer reference forms for all specialties by email.

Proposed Amendments to the Plan of Legal Specialization

27 N.C.A.C. 1D, Section .3400, Certification Standards for the Child Welfare Law Specialty [NEW Section]

The proposed rules create a new specialty certification in child welfare law. The standards are comparable to the standards for the other specialty certifications.

Proposed Amendments 

At its meeting on April 16, 2021, the State Bar Council voted to publish for comment the following proposed rule amendments:

Proposed Amendments to the Discipline and Disability Rules

27 N.C.A.C. 1B, Section .0100, Discipline and Disability of Attorneys

The proposed amendments provide that a petitioner for reinstatement seven years or more after the effective date of suspension or disbarment must (1) attain the passing score required in North Carolina on the Uniform Bar Examination; (2) successfully complete the North Carolina state-specific component of the bar examination; and (3) attain a passing score on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. A petitioner for reinstatement from disability inactive status may be required to do the same. The proposed amendments also provide the following: (1) failure to comply with any requirement of the rule can result in dismissal of the petition; (2) a petitioner for reinstatement from disbarment or suspension must reimburse the State Bar for fees and expenses paid by the State Bar to any trustee appointed by a court to protect the petitioner’s clients (a petitioner for reinstatement from disability inactive status may be required to do the same); and (3) a petitioner for reinstatement from disbarment or suspension must properly reconciled all trust or fiduciary accounts, and all entrusted funds of which the petitioner took receipt must be disbursed to the beneficial owner(s) of the funds or the petitioner must take all necessary steps to escheat the funds (a petitioner for reinstatement from disability inactive status may be required to do the same). The proposed amendments also modernize and clarify language in the existing rule.

.0129, Reinstatement

(a) After Disbarment

(1) Reinstatement Procedure and Costs - No A person who has been disbarred may have his or her license restored but upon order of the council after the filing of a verified petition for reinstatement, and the holding of a hearing before a hearing panel of the commission, and entry of an order of reinstatement by the council as provided herein. No such The hearing will commence until only if security for the costs of such hearing has been deposited by the petitioner with the secretary in an amount not to exceed $500.00.

(2) Time Limits -No A disbarred attorney lawyer may petition for reinstatement until upon the expiration of at least five years from the effective date of the disbarment.

(3) Burden of Proof and Elements to be Proved - The petitioner will have the burden of proving by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that

(A) not more than six months or less than 60 days before filing the petition for reinstatement, a notice of intent to seek reinstatement has been published by the petitioner in an official publication of the North Carolina State Bar. The notice will inform members of the Bar about the application for reinstatement and will request that all interested individuals file with the secretary notice of their opposition to or concurrence with the petition the secretary within 60 days after the date of publication;

(B) not more than six months or less than 60 days before filing the petition for reinstatement, the petitioner has notified the complainant(s) in the disciplinary proceeding which led to the lawyer’s disbarment of the notice of intent to seek reinstatement. The notice will specify that each complainant has 60 days from the date of publication in which to file with the secretary notice of opposition to or concurrence with the raise objections or support the lawyer’s petition;

...

(L) the petitioner has reimbursed the Client Security Fund of the North Carolina State Bar for all sums, including costs other than overhead expenses, disbursed by the Client Security Fund as a result of the petitioner’s misconduct. This section shall not be deemed to permit tThe petitioner is not permitted to collaterally attack the decision of the Client Security Fund Board of Trustees regarding whether to reimburse losses occasioned by the misconduct of the petitioner. This provision shall apply to petitions for reinstatement submitted by attorneys petitioners who were disbarred disciplined after August 29, 1984; the effective date of this amendment;

...

(O) if a trustee was appointed by the court to protect the interests of the petitioner’s clients, the petitioner has reimbursed the State Bar all sums expended by the State Bar to compensate the trustee and to reimburse the trustee for any expenses of the trusteeship;

(P) the petitioner has properly reconciled all trust or fiduciary accounts, and all entrusted funds of which the petitioner took receipt have been disbursed to the beneficial owner(s) of the funds or the petitioner has taken all necessary steps to escheat the funds.

(4) Petitions Filed Less than Seven Years After Disbarment

...

(B) Factors which may be considered in deciding the issue of competency include

...

(v) certification by three attorneys lawyers who are familiar with the petitioner’s present knowledge of the law that the petitioner is competent to engage in the practice of law.

...

(D) Passing Bar Exam as Conclusive Evidence - The aAttainment of a passing grade score on a regularly scheduled written Uniform bBar eExamination prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners and successful completion of the State-Specific Component prescribed administered by the North Carolina Board of Law Examiners, no more than nine months before filing the petition, and taken voluntarily by the petitioner, shall be conclusive evidence on the issue of the petitioner’s competence to practice law.

(5) Bar Exam Required for Petitions Filed Seven Years or More than Seven Years After Disbarment - If the petition is filed seven years or more have elapsed between after the effective date of disbarment, and the filing of the petition for reinstatement, reinstatement will be conditioned upon: the petitioner’s attaining a passing grade on a regularly scheduled written bar examination administered by the North Carolina Board of Law Examiners.

(A) attainment of a passing score, within nine months following an order conditionally granting the petition, on a regularly-scheduled Uniform Bar Examination prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners;

(B) attainment of a passing score, within nine months following an order conditionally granting the petition, on a regularly-scheduled Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners; and

(C) successful completion, within nine months following an order conditionally granting the petition, of the State-Specific Component prescribed by the North Carolina Board of Law Examiners.

(6) Petition, Service, and Hearing - The petitioner shall file a verified petition for reinstatement with the secretary and shall contemporaneously serve a copy upon the counsel. The petition must identify each requirement for reinstatement and state how the petitioner has met each requirement. The petitioner shall attach supporting documentation establishing satisfaction of each requirement. Verified petitions for reinstatement of disbarred attorneys will be filed with the secretary. Upon receipt of the petition, the secretary will transmit the petition to the chairperson of the commission. and serve a copy on the counsel. The chairperson will within 14 days appoint a hearing panel as provided in Rule .0108(a)(2) of this Subchapter and schedule a time and place for a hearing to take place within 60 to 90 days after the filing of the petition with the secretary. The chairperson will notify the counsel and the petitioner of the composition of the hearing panel and the time and place of the hearing, which will be conducted in accordance with the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure for nonjury trials insofar as possible and the rules of evidence applicable in superior court. pursuant to the procedures set out in Rules .0114 to .0118 of this subchapter. The secretary shall transmit to the counsel and to the petitioner any notices in opposition to or concurrence with the petition filed with the secretary pursuant to .0129(a)(3)(A) or (B).

(7) Report of Findings - As soon as possible after the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing panel will file a report containing its findings, conclusions, and recommendations with the secretary. The order may tax against the petitioner such costs and administrative fees as it deems appropriate for the necessary expenses attributable to the investigation and processing of the petition.

(8) Review by the Council Appeal - If A petitioner in whose case the hearing panel recommends that reinstatement be denied, the petitioner may file notice of appeal to the council. The notice of appeal must be filed with the secretary within 30 days after service of the panel report upon the petitioner. Appeal from the report of the hearing panel must be taken within 30 days after service of the panel report upon the petitioner and shall be filed with the secretary. If no appeal is timely filed, the recommendation of the hearing panel to deny reinstatement will become be deemed a final order denying the petition. All cases in which the hearing panel recommends reinstatement of a disbarred attorney’s lawyer’s license shall be heard by the council and no notice of appeal need be filed by the N.C. North Carolina State Bar.

(A)(9) Transcript of Hearing Committee Panel Proceedings - Within 60 days of entry of the hearing panel’s report, the petitioner shall produce a transcript of the proceedings before the hearing panel. The petitioner will have 60 days following the filing of the notice of appeal in which to produce a transcript of the trial proceedings before the hearing panel. The chairperson of the hearing panel, may, for good cause shown, extend the time to produce the record transcript.

(10) Record to the Council

(BA) Composition of the Record - ... The petitioner will provide the proposed record to the counsel not later than 90 days after the hearing before the hearing panel, unless an extension of time is granted by the secretary chairperson of the hearing panel for good cause shown. Any agreement regarding the record will be in writing and will be included in the record transmitted to the council.

(CB) Settlement of the Record

...

(DC) Filing and Service of the Copy of Settled Record to Each Member - No later than 30 days before the council meeting at which the petition is to be considered, Tthe petitioner will file the settled record with the secretary, will make arrangements with the secretary for a copy of the settled record to be transmitted to each member of the council, and will transmit a copy of the settled record to the counsel. transmit a copy of the settled record to each member of the council and to the counsel no later than 30 days before the council meeting at which the petition is to be considered.

(ED) Costs - The petitioner will bear the costs of transcribing, copying, and transmitting a copy of the settled record to each member of the council.

(E) Failure to Comply with Rule .0129(a)(10) - If the petitioner fails to comply with any of the subsections of Rule .0129(a)(10) above, the counsel may petition the secretary to dismiss the petition.

(F11) Determination Review by the Council - The council will review the report of the hearing panel and the record and determine whether, and upon what conditions, the petitioner will be reinstated. The council may tax against the petitioner such costs and administrative fees as it deems appropriate for the necessary expenses attributable to the investigation and processing of the petition.

(9) Failure to Comply with Rule .0129(a) - If the petitioner fails to comply with any provisions of this Rule .0129(a), the counsel may file a motion to dismiss the petition. The motion to dismiss shall specify the alleged deficiencies of the petition. The counsel shall serve the motion to dismiss upon the petitioner. The petitioner shall have ten days in which to file a response to the motion to dismiss.

(1012) ...

(b) After Suspension

(1) Restoration - No attorney lawyer who has been suspended may have his or her license restored but upon order of the commission or the secretary after the filing of a verified petition as provided herein.

(2) Eligibility Suspension of 120 Days or Less - No attorney lawyer who has been suspended....No attorney lawyer whose license has been suspended...

(3) If the petition is filed seven years or more after the effective date of suspension, reinstatement will be conditioned upon:

(A) attainment of a passing score, within nine months following an order conditionally granting the petition, on a regularly-scheduled Uniform Bar Examination prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners;

(B) attainment of a passing score, within nine months following an order conditionally granting the petition, on a regularly-scheduled Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners; and

(C) successful completion, within nine months following an order conditionally granting the petition, of the State-Specific Component prescribed by the North Carolina Board of Law Examiners.

(43) Reinstatement Requirements - Any suspended attorney lawyer seeking reinstatement must file a verified petition with the secretary.... The petitioner will have the burden of proving the following by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence:

(A) ...

(D) attainment of a passing grade on a regularly scheduled North Carolina bar examination, if the suspended attorney applies for reinstatement of his or her license more than seven years after the effective date of the suspension;

(DE) ...;

(EF) Reimbursement of the Client Security Fund - reimbursement of the Client Security Fund of the North Carolina State Bar for all sums, including costs other than overhead expenses, disbursed by the Client Security Fund as a result of the petitioner’s misconduct. This section shall not be deemed to permit the petitioner The petitioner is not permitted to collaterally attack the decision of the Client Security Fund Board of Trustees regarding whether to reimburse losses occasioned by the misconduct of the petitioner. This provision shall apply to petitions for reinstatement submitted by attorneys lawyers who were suspended disciplined after August 29, 1984; the effective date of this amendment;

(FG) ...;

(GH) Satisfaction of Pre-Suspension CLE Requirements - satisfaction of the minimum continuing legal education requirements, as set forth in Rule .1517 .1518 of Subchapter 1D of these rules...;

(HI) ...;

(IJ) ....;

(J) if a trustee was appointed by the court to protect the interests of the petitioner’s clients, the petitioner has reimbursed the State Bar all sums expended by the State Bar to compensate the trustee and to reimburse the trustee for any expenses of the trusteeship; and

(K) the petitioner has properly reconciled all trust or fiduciary accounts, and all entrusted funds of which the petitioner took receipt have been disbursed to the beneficial owner(s) of the funds or the petitioner has taken all necessary steps to escheat the funds.

(54) ...

(65) ...

(76) ...

(87) Reinstatement Hearing – ...The hearing will be conducted in accordance with the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure for nonjury trials insofar as possible and the rules of evidence applicable in superior court. pursuant to the procedures set out in Rules .0114 to .0118 of this subchapter.

(98) Reinstatement Order - ...In any event, the hearing panel must include in its order findings of fact and conclusions of law in support of its decision and may tax against the petitioner such costs and administrative fees as it deems appropriate for the necessary expenses attributable to the investigation and processing of the petition. against the petitioner.

(10) Failure to Comply with Rule .0129(b) - If the petitioner fails to comply with any provision of this Rule .0129(b), the counsel may file a motion to dismiss the petition. The motion to dismiss shall specify the alleged deficiencies of the petition. The counsel shall serve the motion to dismiss upon the petitioner. The petitioner shall have ten days in which to file a response to the motion to dismiss.

(c) After Transfer to Disability Inactive Status

...

(3) Burden of Proof - The member petitioner will have the burden...

(4) Medical Records - Within 10 days of filing the petition for reinstatement, the member petitioner will deliver to provide the secretary with a list of the names and addresses of every psychiatrist, psychologist, physician, hospital, and other health care provider by whom or in which the member petitioner has been examined or treated or sought treatment while disabled and. At the same time, the member will also furnish to the secretary a written consent to release all information and records relating to the disability. The secretary will deliver to the counsel all information and records relating to the disability received from the petitioner.

...

(6) Costs - The hearing panel may direct the member petitioner to pay...

(7) Failure to Comply with Rule .0129(c) - If the petitioner fails to comply with any provision of this Rule .0129(c), the counsel may file a motion to dismiss the petition. The motion to dismiss shall specify the alleged deficiencies of the petition. The counsel shall serve the motion to dismiss upon the petitioner. The petitioner shall have ten days in which to file a response to the motion to dismiss.

(8) Reimbursement of Trustee Fees and Expenses - If a trustee was appointed to protect the interests of the petitioner’s clients, the hearing panel may require the petitioner, as a condition of reinstatement, to reimburse the State Bar sums expended by the State Bar to compensate the trustee and to reimburse the trustee for any expenses of the trusteeship.

(9) Entrusted Funds - The hearing panel may require the petitioner, as a condition of reinstatement, to demonstrate that the petitioner has properly reconciled all trust or fiduciary accounts and has taken all steps necessary to ensure that all entrusted funds of which the petitioner took receipt are disbursed to the beneficial owner(s) of the funds or are escheated.

(d) Conditions of Reinstatement - The hearing panel, and the council in petitions for reinstatement from disbarment, may impose reasonable conditions on a lawyer’s reinstatement from disbarment, suspension, or disability inactive status in any case in which the hearing panel concludes that such conditions are necessary for the protection of the public. Such conditions may include, but are not limited to, a requirement that the petitioner complete specified hours of continuing legal education, a requirement that the petitioner participate in medical, psychological, or substance use treatment, and a requirement that the petitioner attain a passing score on a regularly-scheduled Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners within nine months following entry of an order conditionally granting the petition.

...

Proposed Amendments to the Rules for the Administrative Committee

27 N.C.A.C. 1D, Section .0900, Procedures for Administrative Committee

As a condition of reinstatement, if a petition for reinstatement is filed seven years or more after the effective date of the order transferring the petitioner to inactive status or administrative suspension, the proposed amendments require, as a condition of reinstatement, a petitioner for reinstatement from inactive status or from administrative suspension to (1) attain the passing score required in North Carolina on the Uniform Bar Examination; (2) successfully complete the North Carolina state-specific component of the bar examination; and (3) attain a passing score on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination.

.0902, Reinstatement from Inactive Status

(c) Requirements for Reinstatement

...

(5) Bar Exam and MPRE Requirement If Inactive Seven 7 or More Years.

[Effective for all members who are transferred to inactive status on or after March 10, 2011.]

(A) If seven 7 years or more have elapsed between the date of the entry of the order transferring the member to inactive status and the date that the petition is filed, the member must obtain a passing grade on a regularly scheduled North Carolina bar examination. A member subject to this requirement does not have to satisfy satisfy the following requirements in lieu of the CLE requirements in paragraphs (c)(2) and (c)(4).):

(1) attainment of a passing score, within nine months following an order conditionally granting the petition, on a regularly-scheduled Uniform Bar Examination prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners;

(2) successful completion, within nine months following an order conditionally granting the petition, of the State-Specific Component prescribed by the North Carolina Board of Law Examiners; and

(3) attainment of a passing score, within nine months following an order conditionally granting the petition, on a regularly-scheduled Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

(B) A member may offset the inactive status period for the purpose of calculating the seven years necessary to actuate the requirements of paragraph (A) as follows:

(A1) Active Licensure in Another State. Each year of active licensure in another state during the period of inactive status shall offset one year of inactive status for the purpose of calculating the seven 7 years necessary to actuate this provision the requirements of paragraph (A). If the member is not required to pass the bar examination satisfy the requirements of paragraph (A) as a consequence of offsetting, the member shall satisfy the CLE requirements set forth in paragraph (c)(4) for each year that the member was inactive up to a maximum of seven 7 years.

(B2) Military Service. Each calendar year in which an inactive member served on full-time, active military duty, whether for the entire calendar year or some portion thereof, shall offset one year of inactive status for the purpose of calculating the seven 7 years necessary to actuate the requirements of this paragraph (A). If the member is not required to pass the bar examination satisfy the requirements of paragraph (A) as a consequence of offsetting, the member shall satisfy the CLE requirements set forth in paragraph (c)(4) for each year that the member was inactive up to a maximum of seven 7 years.

...

.0904, Reinstatement from Suspension

(d) Requirements for Reinstatement

...

(4) Bar Exam and MPRE Requirement If Suspended Seven 7 or More Years

[Effective for all members who are administratively suspended on or after March 10, 2011.]

(A) If seven 7 years or more have elapsed between the effective date of the suspension order and the date that the petition is filed, the member must obtain a passing grade on a regularly scheduled North Carolina bar examination. A member subject to this requirement does not have to satisfy the following requirements in lieu of the CLE requirements in paragraphs (d)(2) and (d)(3).):

(1) attainment of a passing score, within nine months following an order conditionally granting the petition, on a regularly-scheduled Uniform Bar Examination prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners;

(2) successful completion, within nine months following an order conditionally granting the petition, of the State-Specific Component prescribed by the North Carolina Board of Law Examiners; and

(3) attainment of a passing score, within nine months following an order conditionally granting the petition, on a regularly-scheduled Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

(B) A member may offset the suspended status period for the purpose of calculating the seven years necessary to actuate the requirements of paragraph (A) as follows:

(A1) Active Licensure in Another State. Each year of active licensure in another state during the period of suspension shall offset one year of suspension for the purpose of calculating the seven 7 years necessary to actuate this provision the requirements of paragraph (A). If the member is not required to pass the bar examination satisfy the requirements of paragraph (A) as a consequence of offsetting, the member shall satisfy the CLE requirements set forth in paragraph (d)(3) for each year that the member was suspended up to a maximum of seven 7 years.

(B2) Military Service. Each calendar year in which a suspended member served on full-time, active military duty, whether for the entire calendar year or some portion thereof, shall offset one year of suspension for the purpose of calculating the seven 7 years necessary to actuate the requirements of this paragraph (A). If the member is not required to pass the bar examination satisfy the requirements of paragraph (A) as a consequence of offsetting, the member shall satisfy the CLE requirements set forth in paragraph (d)(3) for each year that the member was suspended up to a maximum of seven 7 years.

...

Proposed Amendments to the Rules and Regulations Governing the Continuing Legal Education Program

27 N.C.A.C. 1D, Section .1500, Rules Governing the Administration of the Continuing Legal Education Program; Section .1600, Regulations Governing the Continuing Legal Education Program

The proposed rule amendments require sponsors of CLE programs to remit sponsor fees within 90 days following the completion of a program or risk having future applications for program approval denied.

.1519, Accreditation Standards

The board shall approve continuing legal education programs that meet the following standards and provisions.

...

(g) A sponsor of an approved program must timely remit fees as required in Rule .1606 and keep and maintain attendance records of each continuing legal education program sponsored by it, which shall be furnished to the board in accordance with regulations. Participation in an online program must be verified as provided in Rule .1601(d).

...

.1606, Fees

(e) Failure to Timely Pay Sponsor Fee - A sponsor’s failure to pay sponsor fees within 90 days following the completion of a program will result in the denial of that sponsor’s subsequent program applications until fees are paid.

Proposed Amendment to the Preamble of the Rules of Professional Conduct

27 N.C.A.C. Chapter 2, Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 0.1, Preamble

The proposed amendment adds a paragraph to the Preamble on equal treatment of all persons encountered when acting in a professional capacity.

Rule 0.1, Preamble: A Lawyer’s Responsibilities

[6] The North Carolina Constitution requires that “right and justice shall be administered without favor, denial, or delay.” Public confidence in the justice system is strengthened when all participants are treated equally, fairly, honestly, and respectfully within the system. A lawyer, as a representative of and crucial contributor to the justice system, should foster public confidence in the administration of justice by treating all persons the lawyer encounters in a professional capacity equally, courteously, respectfully, and with dignity regardless of a person’s race, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or socioeconomic status.

[subsequent sections renumbered]

Proposed Amendment to the Comment to Rule 1.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct

27 N.C.A.C. Chapter 2, Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.1, Competence

The proposed amendment states that competency includes awareness of implicit bias and cultural differences relative to a client that might impact the lawyer’s representation of the client.

Rule 1.1, Competence

A lawyer shall not handle a legal matter that the lawyer knows or should know he or she is not competent to handle without associating with a lawyer who is competent to handle the matter. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.

Comment

...

Maintaining Competence

...

[9] Competency includes a lawyer’s awareness of implicit bias and cultural differences relative to a client or anyone involved in a client’s matter that might affect the lawyer’s representation of the client. This is to ensure understanding of the client’s needs, effective communication with the client and others, and adequate representation of the client.

[subsequent sections renumbered]

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