N.D.R. Continuing Legal Education
RULE 4. PROCEDURES AND PENALTY FOR FAILURE
TO SATISFY EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS
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(b) An attorney not desiring licensure in North Dakota may request to be placed on inactive status. An attorney must make such a request in writing in the format in Appendix A no later than June 30 of the year in which the attorney's Report of Compliance is due. The request shall include a certification that the attorney is not subject to any pending discipline proceedings or investigations in any jurisdiction. Attorneys electing inactive status are not required to comply with continuing legal education reporting requirements.
A lawyer not complying with the continuing legal education requirements and electing voluntary inactive status has special ethical concerns. An inactive lawyer may not represent any other person or business in legal matters or proceedings. The name of an inactive lawyer may not appear on a law firm letterhead without a qualification that the North Dakota license is inactive. A law firm name may continue to include the lawyer's name if the name was included prior to the lawyer's placement on inactive status. An inactive lawyer may not be listed as "of counsel" or otherwise be represented to clients or others as being able to undertake legal business.
Law partners or associates knowingly allowing an inactive lawyer to continue practice violate the Rules of Professional Conduct. An inactive lawyer may not have a financial interest in a law firm that is a professional corporation except under a separation agreement allowing for payments to former partners or associates of a law firm. An inactive lawyer should promptly advise clients that the lawyer is unable to represent them and that they should retain other counsel.
Reinstatement to active status from inactive status is governed by Rule 7 of the Admission to Practice Rules which allows the State Bar Board to examine the attorney's continuing legal education course work during the three-year period preceding the period of nonlicensure and the number of approved or approvable coursework hours received during the period of nonlicensure.
(c) Upon the filing of the Commission's findings of non-compliance and order of suspension with the secretary-treasurer of the State Bar Board, the attorney's license to practice law is suspended effective the 31st day of December after the order of suspension is filed with the secretary-treasurer of the State Bar Board. From that date forward the attorney is prohibited from engaging in the practice of law and is prohibited from securing a license to practice law in the State of North Dakota until the Commission issues and files with the secretary-treasurer of the State Bar Board findings of compliance and an order of reinstatement, or unless the attorney is relicensed under Rule 7 of the North Dakota Admission to Practice Rules. The order of suspension shall require the attorney to comply with Rule 6.3 of the North Dakota Rules for Lawyer Discipline pertaining to notification of clients regarding the suspension by December 31st unless an order of reinstatement has been entered.
At the time the order of suspension and findings of non-compliance are filed with the secretary-treasurer of the State Bar Board, the Commission shall serve, by certified mail -- return receipt requested, the findings of non-compliance and the order of suspension upon the attorney involved. At the same time the order of suspension and findings of non-compliance are filed with the secretary-treasurer of the State Bar Board a certified copy of the findings of non-compliance and the order of suspension shall be filed with the Clerk of the Supreme Court of the State of North Dakota.
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(e) An attorney subject to an order of suspension issued by the Commission may have his or her license to practice law reinstated by 1) completing the number of hours of approved coursework in Continuing Legal Education which the Commission has determined the attorney to be delinquent, 2)
and by filing proof of such compliance with the Commission within one year from the date of issuance of the order of suspension, and 3) filing the proof of compliance with Rule 6.3 of the North Dakota Rules for Lawyer Discipline within the time period specified in Rule 6.3(f). If an attorney timely files proof of such compliance, the Commission shall issue and file with the secretary-treasurer of the State Bar Board and the Clerk of the Supreme Court of the State of North Dakota its findings of compliance and an order of reinstatement. Upon such filing with the secretary-treasurer of the State Bar Board, the attorney's license to practice and right to practice law in this State shall be reinstated, provided the attorney's certificate of admission to the bar has not otherwise been revoked or suspended by the Supreme Court.
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APPENDIX A - N.D.R. Continuing Legal Education
Request for Inactive Status
North Dakota Commission for Continuing Legal Education
I certify I will no longer be actively practicing law in North Dakota and request that I be placed on inactive status. I have reviewed Rule 4(b) of the North Dakota Rules for Continuing Legal Education and understand: 1) I will no longer be licensed to practice law in North Dakota; and 2) the ethical obligations associated with my inactive status. I also certify that I am not subject to any disciplinary proceedings or investigations in any jurisdiction.
Dated this _____ day of _____________, 20___.
Signed by: _____________________________
Subscribed to and sworn before me this ____ day of ____________, 20___.
My commission expires: __________________
(Adopted on an emergency basis August 17, 1993; amended and re-approved February 2, 1994; amended effective November 1, 2000.)