A. Statewide Inquiry Committee. A statewide inquiry committee is established with 18 members.
The committee shall elect a chair and vice-chair who are responsible for appointing three-member
panels to consider matters submitted by disciplinary counsel. All three-member panels shall consist
of two lawyers and one public member, each from a different disciplinary district.
A.B. Disciplinary Districts. The state is divided into disciplinary districts:
(1) Southeastern District. The Southeastern District includes the following counties: Barnes, Cass,
Dickey, Kidder, LaMoure, Logan, McIntosh, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, and Stutsman.
(2) Northeastern District. The Northeastern District includes the following counties: Benson,
Cavalier, Eddy, Foster, Grand Forks, Griggs, Nelson, Pembina, Pierce, Ramsey, Rolette, Steele,
Towner, Traill, Walsh, and Wells.
(3) Western District. The Western District includes the following counties: Adams, Billings,
Bottineau, Bowman, Burleigh, Burke, Divide, Dunn, Emmons, Golden Valley, Grant, Hettinger,
McHenry, McKenzie, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Mountrail, Oliver, Renville, Sheridan, Sioux, Slope,
Stark, Ward, and Williams.
B.C. Appointment - Special Members. The association president shall appoint a nine-member
district inquiry committee, consisting of six lawyers and three public members, within each
disciplinary district.Upon the request of an inquiry committee chair, the association president may
appoint not more than three special members to an inquiry committee for purposes of conducting
investigations of complaints and preparing and presenting investigative reports. A special member
need not be a resident of or practice law in the disciplinary district for the inquiry committee to
which the member is appointed. A special member is appointed for a term of three months but, the
association president may extend the term for up to an additional nine months. A special member
may not vote on the disposition of a complaint under section E(3).The court shall appoint four
lawyers and two public members from each disciplinary district from a list provided to the court by
the association. The association shall provide at least three names for each lawyer vacancy and at
least two names for each public member vacancy. If a lawyer member or public member is
nominated for reappointment, a list of nominees is not required unless requested by the court.
C.D. Terms of Office. All terms are for three years and a member of a district inquirythe committee
may not serve for more than two consecutive full three-year terms. Terms must be staggered so that
no more than twothree lawyer members and one public member are appointed for full three-year
terms in any one year. A member who has served two consecutive three-year terms may not be
reappointed before the expiration of at least one year.
D. Chair. At the first meeting of each district inquiry committee in each calendar year, the members
of the committee shall elect a chair who shall preside at all meetings, perform the usual duties of a
chair, and be responsible for preparation of a report of the meeting to file with the board. A
vice-chair shall be similarly elected to act in the absence of the chair.
E. Election of Officers. At the first meeting of the committee in each calendar year, the members
shall elect a chair and vice-chair. The chair, and in the chair's absence the vice-chair, performs the
duties normally associated with that office and presides over all meetings of the full committee.
F. Abstention. A committee member shall refrain from taking part in any proceedings in which a
judge, similarly situated, would be required to disqualify.
E.G. Powers and Duties. Each district inquiry committee shall:
(1) Through members designated by its chair or by using the services of counsel, investigate all
information about a lawyer which, if true, would be grounds for discipline or transfer to disability
inactive or incapacitated status, and provide a report of the investigation to counsel for distribution
to the district inquiry committee;
(2) Review investigative reports and recommendations from counsel;
(3)(2) Act on each pending complaint:
(a) by dismissal under Rule 3.1(C),
(b) by approval of diversion from discipline,
(c) by issuance of an admonition or consent probation or both,
(d) by directing participation in a lawyer assistance program in conjunction with an admonition or
consent probation, or
(e) by directing further review under Rule 3.1(C) of counsel’s proposed summary dismissal,
(f) by finding probable cause that a respondent has violated applicable ethical standards and directing
counsel to file a petition with the board initiating formal disciplinary or disability proceedings;,
(4)(3)DismissBy dismissing a complaint after a lawyer's completion of all conditions of diversion
from discipline; and; or
(5)(4)DiscontinueBy discontinuing diversion from discipline if a lawyer does not complete all
conditions of that diversion.
H. Meetings. The committee and inquiry panels shall meet at the call of the chair who shall designate
the time, date and place of the meeting. Meetings may be conducted in person or by
telecommunications through any means allowing contemporaneous interactive audio or audio-video
communication by reliable electronic means.
F. Failure to complete reports or investigation. Failure of the investigator designated under section
E(1) to complete reports in a timely fashion may result in reassignment of the investigation and
removal, unless counsel is the investigator, of the investigator from the district inquiry committee
by the association president. Failure of an investigator to timely complete an investigation under
Rule 3.1D does not prejudice the complaint.
G.I. Compensation. Committee members receive no compensation for their services, but are
reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. All
expenses of the district inquiry committeescommittee incurred in connection with the enforcement
of these rules must be paid from association funds.
Rule 2.4 was adopted effective January 1, 1995; amended on an emergency basis effective May 28,
1997; amended on an emergency basis effective July 16, 1998; adopted on a final basis effective
September 8, 1998; amended effective August 1, 2004; July 1, 1999; August 1, 2004;__________.
Section A was created effective ____________ to establish a single, statewide inquiry committee
in place of district inquiry committees and to provide for the appointment of hearing panel
Section C was amended effective ____________ to replace language related to bar association
appointment of district inquiry members and special members with language providing that the
supreme court appoints lawyer members and public members of the statewide inquiry committee.
Section D of the rule related to appointment of a district inquiry committee chair was removed
effective ____________ .
Section E was amended effective ____________ to become new Section G and to establish new
inquiry committee duties of directing further review of disciplinary counsel recommendations under
Rule 3.1C for summary dismissal and to make probable cause findings regarding a respondent
New Section E was created effective ____________ to provide for the election of officers of the
statewide inquiry committee and to describe duties of the chair and vice-chair.
New Section F was created effective ____________ to require abstention by an inquiry committee
member in any proceedings if a judge, similarly situated, would be required to disqualify.
New Section H was created effective ____________ to describe meeting logistics and to enable
meetings by reliable contemporaneous interactive audio or audio-video communication.
Section F related to failure to complete reports or investigations was removed effective
____________ . The last sentence of Section F related to failure to timely complete an investigation
was relocated effective ____________ to Rule 3.1D(1).
Section G was amended effective ____________ to become Section I and to provide that inquiry
committee members do not receive compensation for services but are reimbursed for reasonable