Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Burden Of Bar Dues

An Arizona Hearing Officer has recommended that an attorney suspended for non-disciplinary reasons be reinstated. The attorney's story, which contains no hint of unethical behavior, tells us something about the difficulties presented by bar admission in multiple state jurisdictions.

The attorney attended Vermont Law School. He took and passed the Vermont Bar exam and was admitted in 1995. He took and passed the New Hampshire Bar and was admitted there the following year. In 1998, he took and passed the Arizona Bar, because he thought he might relocate to Arizona for family reasons. He sought employment in Arizona but got no offers. He did not complete the Arizona admission process at that time.

He moved to Texas in 2000 to accept employment but intended to return to the northeast. In 2003, he realized that he might forfeit his opportunity to become admitted in Arizona. He was sworn in by a local judge in Texas on March 14, 2003 and paid his Arizona Bar dues. By the time the dues had to be paid for the following year, he "did not foresee himself living or practicing in Arizona at any time in the foreseeable future." He felt that it "made little sense" to pay dues in three jurisdictions and "decided to sever his ties with the State Bar of Arizona." He had never practiced in Arizona and was in good standing in his other jurisdictions.

Because he waited more than two years to reactivate his Arizona license, a reinstatement proceeding was required. The Arizona Bar supported the petition for reinstatement. (Mike Frisch)


Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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