Legislatures looking to take away or get involved in supreme courts’ power over bar admission & practice

There’s been a particular uptick in the number of bills and resolutions through which legislatures are attempting to influence of takeover outright who is admitted to practice law in the state. Some, such as the one adopted in California in 2012, merely urge or suggest. Others, such as the two prefiled in New York and South Carolina, change the rules or take the power of the Supreme Court to set them. While few such bills are proceeding out of committee, the increased activity is notable.

2013

New York SB 808 Requires judiciary accept into bar anyone who has graduated from an accredited law school, been admitted to the bar of another state, and has completed 1 year of externship under the direction of a NYS attorney. Prefiled in Senate Judiciary Committee.

South Carolina SB 152 Provides Supreme Court may make rules regarding South Carolina Bar subject to statute. Provides constitutional provision giving Supreme Court power to regulate practice of law is subject to statute. Provides any rule requiring attorney be a member of the South Carolina Bar is superseded and of no force and effect. Prefiled in Senate Judiciary Committee.

2012

California ACR 167 Declares an applicant’s immigration status should not be the determining factor in deciding whether to approve a license to practice law, would commend Sergio C. Garcia for his hard work and success, and would also commend the State Bar of California for its efforts to admit Sergio C. Garcia to the State Bar of California. Approved by Assembly & Senate (Governor’s signature not required).

Florida HB 4055 Repeals provisions prohibiting practice of law by retired justices of state Supreme Court. Approved by full House. Died in Senate.

New Hampshire HB 1474 Prohibits requiring membership in any bar association or other professional organization as a condition for practicing law or for appointment to certain positions. Referred to interim study by full Senate 5/16/12.

New York AB 10669 Requires judiciary accept into bar anyone who has graduated from an accredited law school, been admitted to the bar of another state, and has completed 1 year of externship under the direction of a NYS attorney. Died in committee.

2011

Florida HB 7113 Repeals provisions prohibiting practice of law by retired justices of state Supreme Court. Approved by full House. Died in Senate.

Florida SB 2212 Specifically authorizes Brian Pitts to practice law in the state. Died in committee.

New York AB 2013 Allows graduates of law schools who have achieved a juris doctorate from a law school accredited by a national accrediting agency and who have passed the bar exam and been admitted to practice in another state, to sit for the bar exam in New York State. Died in committee.

Washington HB 1664 / HJR 4216 Transfers all mandatory, regulatory, licensing, and disciplinary functions of the state bar association to the state supreme court. Died in committee.

2010

Florida SB 2696 Grants legislature power over admission and practice of law. Died in committee.

Florida SB 58 Specifically authorizes Brian Pitts to practice law in the state.

New Hampshire HB 1564 Establishes the authority and procedure for the regulation of attorneys by the Supreme Court. Removes the requirement in the election or appointment of the county attorneys that the person be a member of the state bar. Rejected by full House 3/11/10.

New York AB 11339 / SB 7792 Allows graduates of non-ABA accredited law schools admitted to the bar of another state to sit for NY bar exam. Died in committee(s).

2009

Georgia HR 72 Urges the Supreme Court of Georgia to disbar or disallow admission to the bar any attorney who is convicted of altering or backdating a legal document. Died in committee.

South Carolina SB 448 (Constitutional Amendment) Removes Supreme Courts power over the admission to the practice of law and discipline of attorneys. Transfers power to such body as may be created by the General Assembly. Died in committee.

Washington HB 2216 / SB 6025 Transfers all mandatory, regulatory, licensing, and disciplinary functions of the Washington state bar association to the state supreme court. Died in committee(s).

 

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  1. Pingback: Arizona bill purports to grant supreme court power to license attorneys; would require supreme court allow online law school graduates take bar exam » Gavel to Gavel

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