N.D.R. Lawyer Discipl.
RULE 2.5. DISCIPLINARY COUNSEL.
1 A. Qualifications of Counsel.
2 (1) Counsel and substitute temporary counsel must be admitted to the practice
3 of law in North Dakota; and
4 (2) With the exception of substitute temporary counsel, counsel may not engage
5 in the private practice of law.
6 B. Powers and Duties. Counsel
shall has the following powers and duties:
7 (1) Receive and screen all complaints to determine whether summary dismissal
8 is appropriate;
(1) Upon referral by a district inquiry committee, investigate (2) Investigate all
10 information about a lawyer which, if true, would be grounds for discipline or transfer
11 to disability inactive or incapacitated status and prepare an investigative report and
12 recommendations for the district inquiry committee's disposition;
13 (3) In accordance with Rule 3.1C, dismiss a complaint;
(2) (4) Advise Provide training and education to the board, hearing panels, and
15 the district inquiry committees on legal issues relating to lawyer discipline and
(3) (5) Prosecute disciplinary, disability, and reinstatement proceedings before
18 hearing panels and the court;
(4) (6) Supervise staff needed for the performance of investigative and
20 prosecutorial functions, as authorized by the operations committee and within limits
21 of funds available;
(5) (7)Promptly notify the complainant and the lawyer of the disposition of
23 each matter;
(6) (8) Notify each jurisdiction in which a lawyer is admitted of a transfer to
25 or from disability inactive or incapacitated status, a reinstatement, or any public
26 discipline imposed in this state;
(7) (9)When a lawyer is convicted in this state of a serious crime as defined
28 in Rule 4.1C, forward a certified copy of the judgment of conviction to the
29 disciplinary agency in each jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted;
30 (10) Maintain permanent records of informal matters, subject to the expunction
31 requirements of Rule 6.1C; and
(8) (11) Provide regular reports on all complaints filed with the secretary to the
33 district inquiry committees and the board at their scheduled meetings.
34 C. Advisory Letter. At the direction of the inquiry committee under Rule 3.1C,
35 counsel shall issue an advisory letter in conjunction with dismissal of a complaint
37 (1) the respondent's conduct constitutes a violation, but does not warrant an
38 admonition or sanction and it appears appropriate to caution the respondent
39 concerning the respondent's conduct; or
40 (2) the respondent's conduct does not constitute a violation, but the respondent
41 should be cautioned.
42 An advisory letter is not a sanction and is not a disciplinary action. An advisory
43 letter may not be introduced into evidence in any subsequent disciplinary proceeding.
44 D. Ex Parte Communications with Disciplinary Counsel
45 Members of the inquiry committee, hearing panel, the board, or the supreme
46 court shall not communicate ex parte with disciplinary counsel regarding a pending
47 or impending investigation or disciplinary matter except as explicitly provided for by
48 law or for procedural, scheduling, or administrative purposes, or emergencies that do
49 not deal with substantive matters or issues on the matters provided that:
50 (1) it is reasonable to believe that no party will gain a procedural or tactical
51 advantage as a result of the ex parte communication; and
52 (2) provision is promptly made to notify all other parties of the substance of
53 the ex parte communication and an opportunity to respond is allowed.
55 Rule 2.5 adopted effective January 1, 1995; amended on an emergency basis
56 effective July 16, 1998; adopted on a final basis effective September 8, 1998;
57 amended effective July 1, 1999; amended effective March 1, 2017.
58 Section B was amended effective March 1, 2017, to establish new disciplinary
59 counsel duties related to receiving and screening all complaints to determine whether
60 summary dismissal is appropriate, investigation of all information and complaints,
63 summary dismissal of a complaint under Rule 3.1C, providing training and education,
61 rather than advising, the disciplinary board, hearing panels, and inquiry committees,
62 and maintaining permanent records of informal matters.
63 New Section C was created effective March 1, 2017, to provide for the issuance
64 to a respondent lawyer of an advisory letter by disciplinary counsel if directed by the
65 inquiry committee.
66 New Section D was created effective March 1, 2017, to prohibit, with certain
67 exceptions, ex parte communications between disciplinary counsel and members of
68 the inquiry committees, hearing panel, disciplinary board, or the supreme court.