Section 1. Policy and Purpose.
It is the policy of the North Dakota Judicial System to provide a mechanism that satisfies the constitutional obligation of the Supreme Court to adopt rules governing lawyer discipline and that encourages an active and substantial involvement of the unified bar in reviewing issues concerning the professional stature and obligations of the legal profession in North Dakota. The Joint Committee on Attorney Standards established by this rule replaces the previously existing Attorney Standards Committees of the Supreme Court and the State Bar Association. The purpose of the Joint Committee is to provide a single vehicle for the coordinated, complementary, and continuing study and review of the range of issues concerning attorney standards and supervision.
Section 2. Membership.
A. The membership of the Joint Attorney Standards Committee is composed of seven members, including two lay members, appointed by the Chief Justice after consultation with the Supreme Court and seven members, including two lay members, appointed by the Board of Governors of the State Bar Association of North Dakota. Of the members initially appointed and as determined by lot at the first meeting, four members will be appointed for one year, five members will be appointed for two years, and five members will be appointed for three years. Thereafter, each appointment is for a three-year term. Each member is eligible for reappointment but may not serve more than three consecutive terms. Each member serves until the member's successor is appointed.
B. Each member is entitled to reimbursement by the member's appointing authority for actual expenses incurred in the performance of committee duties.
C. The President of the State Bar Association shall appoint the committee chair, whose term as chair may not exceed two years.
Section 3. Duties of the Committee.
A. The Committee shall study and review all rules and proposals concerning attorney supervision including:
1. Admission to the Bar;
2. Attorney Discipline;
3. Code of Professional Responsibility;
4. Student Practice; and
5. Other matters of attorney supervision referred to it by the Supreme Court or the Board of Governors of the State Bar Association.
B. The Committee shall make any reports as requested by the Supreme Court or the Board of Governors and shall submit any recommendations to the Board of Governors for review and comment before submission of final recommendations to the Supreme Court.
Section 4. Staffing.
Staff services for the Committee will be provided through staff of the Office of State Court Administrator and by the executive director of the State Bar Association, or the executive director's designee.