A. Nature of Proceedings. Disability and disciplinary proceedings are neither civil nor criminal but
are quasi-judicial proceedings.
B. Other Rules Apply. Except as otherwise provided in these rules and insofar as appropriate, the
North Dakota Rules of Civil Procedure and North Dakota Rules of Evidence apply in disability and
C. Standard of Proof. Disposition of informal andformal charges of misconduct, petitions for
reinstatement, and petitions for transfer to and from disability inactive or incapacitated status must
be supported by clear and convincing evidence.
D. Burden of Proof. Counsel has the burden of proof in proceedings seeking discipline or transfer
to disability inactive or incapacitated status. The lawyer has the burden of proof in proceedings
seeking reinstatement or transfer from disability inactive or incapacitated status.
E. Prehearing Conference. At the discretion of the hearing panel or upon request of either party, a
prehearing conference may be ordered for any purpose available under Rule 16 of the North Dakota
Rules of Civil Procedure.Following the filing of a petition for discipline, a petition for transfer to
disability inactive or incapacitated status, or a petition for reinstatement or readmission, the hearing
panel chair shall schedule at least one prehearing conference to be held as soon as practicable afterthe time for a response has elapsed. The scheduling order must specify issues that should be
considered during the prehearing conference. The prehearing conference should be arranged and
conducted in a manner to ensure optimal use of resources.
F. Related Litigation. Except as authorized in Rules 4.1 and 5.1, a disability or disciplinary matter
may not be delayed because of pending criminal or civil litigation, unless the board in its discretion
authorizes a stay for good cause shown.
G. No Abatement. Restitution by the lawyer; unwillingness of a complainant to pursue a complaint;
settlement of the complaint; or compromise between a complainant and the lawyer does not in itself
abate any proceeding before the court, hearing panel, or district inquiry committee.
H. Time Limitations. Except as otherwise provided in these rules, time is directory and not
jurisdictional. Failure to observe prescribed time intervals may result in discipline against the
violator but does not abate any proceeding.
I. Organizational Members. If a complaint is filed against counsel, a member of a districtthe inquiry
committee, or a member of the board, the matter must proceed in accordance with these rules except
(1) If the lawyer is counsel, the board shall appoint a special substitute temporary counsel to present
the case; or
(2) If the lawyer is a member of a district inquiry committee, the complaint must be referred to
another district inquiry committee; or
(3)(2) If the lawyer is a member of the board or inquiry committee and the remaining members
decline to act, the chief justice shall appoint a special board of not less than three persons for the
Rule 3.5 was adopted effective January 1, 1995; amended effective July 1, 1999; ______________.
Section E was amended effective ____________ to require a hearing panel chair to schedule at least
one prehearing conference and to establish the timing and specifics of the prehearing conference.
Section I was amended effective ____________ to remove language related to referral ofa complaint
to another district inquiry committee if the lawyer is a member of a district inquiry committee.