Obsolete Date: 3/1/1999
A. Informal Interview
At any stage of the application proceedings, the State Bar Board may request the applicant to appear before the Board or a Board member designated by the Board to answer any questions the Board may have.
B. Formal Hearing
1. If the State Bar Board makes a negative recommendation for admission to the bar or a negative decision on licensure for any reason, it shall so notify the applicant by certified mail directed to the applicant at the mailing address appearing on the applicant's application. The notice must specify the grounds for the negative recommendation or decision by the State Bar Board.
a. If the negative recommendation or decision is based on the grounds that the applicant has failed to pass a portion of the examination or the attorney's examination, the applicant must be furnished with a copy of the essay portion of the applicant's examination and a copy of a set of model essay examination analyses.
b. Upon written request, the applicant shall be given the opportunity to inspect that part of the examination prepared by or under the supervision of the National Conference of Bar Examiners and that part of the applicant's examination which has been scored by or under the supervision of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, including the grading key. Inspection and copying of the examination prepared and scored by or under the supervision of the National Conference of Bar Examiners will be as permitted by the guidelines and limitations prescribed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners or its designee.
2. Within 30 days after the mailing of the notification, the applicant may demand a formal hearing by written petition directed to the State Bar Board.
3. At least 20 days before the hearing, the State Bar Board shall notify the applicant of the time and place of the hearing and shall inform the applicant of the applicant's right to be represented by counsel and to present any witnesses as the applicant may choose.
4. The hearing must be on the record and, at the discretion of the State Bar Board, may be held before the State Bar Board or a hearing examiner appointed by the State Bar Board to conduct the hearing. The Board shall set forth its findings of fact and its conclusions. If a hearing examiner is appointed to conduct the hearing, the findings and conclusions of the hearing examiner, to the extent that the Board adopts them, become the findings and conclusions of the board.
5. The State Bar Board shall notify the applicant by certified mail of its findings of fact and its conclusions.
C. Supreme Court Consideration
1. An applicant who, after formal hearing, receives notice that the State Bar Board will recommend against admission or has given a negative decision on licensure may request review of that recommendation or decision by the Supreme Court. The review may be requested by written petition directed to the Clerk. The petition must be filed within 30 days after the Board's mailing of the notice of the results of the formal hearing.
2. The Clerk, upon receipt of a petition, shall notify the State Bar Board to prepare and file with the Clerk of the Supreme Court the record and files, including the transcript of the hearing, its findings of fact, and its recommendation. The cost of the transcript of the hearing, if any, shall be the responsibility of the petitioner.
3. To the extent appropriate, all proceedings before the Supreme Court must conform to the North Dakota Rules of Appellate Procedure. The State Bar Board shall participate in the briefing and oral argument before the Supreme Court.
4. The applicant has a burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence.