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.0621 Evaluations for Substance Abuse, Alcoholism, and/or other Chemical Addictions

(a) Notice of Need for Evaluation. The Lawyer Assistance Program Board, or its duly authorized committee, may demand that a lawyer obtain a comprehensive evaluation of his or her condition by an approved addiction specialist if the lawyer's ability to practice law is apparently being impaired by substance abuse, alcoholism and/or other chemical addictions. This authority may be exercised upon recommendation of the director of the lawyer assistance program and the approval of at least three members of the board or appropriate committee, which shall include at least one person with professional expertise in chemical addiction. Written notice shall be provided to the lawyer informing the lawyer that the board has determined that an evaluation is necessary and demanding that the lawyer obtain the evaluation by a date set forth in the written notice.

(b) Failure to Comply. If the lawyer does not obtain an evaluation, the director of the lawyer assistance program shall obtain the approval of the chairperson of the board, or the chairperson of the appropriate committee of the board, to file a motion to compel an evaluation pursuant to the authority set forth in G.S. § 84-28(i) and (j) and in accordance with the procedure set forth in Rule 35 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. All pleadings in such a proceeding shall be filed under seal and all hearings shall be held in camera. Written notice of the motion to compel an examination shall be served upon the lawyer in accordance with the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure at least ten days before the hearing on the matter.

History Note: Statutory Authority G.S. 84-22; G.S. 84-23 

Adopted by the Supreme Court February 3, 2000

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