Rule 38. Certifications and Limited Admissions to Practice Law
Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of the Supreme Court of ArizonaEffective: May 1, 2020
Effective: May 1, 2020
A.R.S. Sup.Ct.Rules, Rule 38
Rule 38. Certifications and Limited Admissions to Practice Law
(1) General Statement and Eligibility. As used in this rule, “in-house counsel” shall refer to an attorney who is employed within the State of Arizona as in-house counsel or a related position for a single for-profit or non-profit corporation, association, or other organizational entity, which can include its parents, subsidiaries and/or affiliates, the business of which is lawful. A lawyer who is not a member of the State Bar of Arizona who has been admitted to practice law in another jurisdiction may apply for an Arizona Certificate of Registration of In-House Counsel if all of the following conditions are met:
(2) Foreign Lawyer Eligibility. A lawyer employed as in-house counsel within the State of Arizona who is admitted to practice and a member in good standing in a jurisdiction outside of the United States, in accordance with the standards and requirements generally applicable to the practice of law in that jurisdiction, may also apply for a Registration Certificate.
(ii) attach to the verified application a certificate from the state bar or from the clerk of the highest admitting court of each state, territory, or insular possession of the United States, or foreign jurisdiction, in which the applicant has been admitted to practice law certifying the current status of the applicant's membership or eligibility to practice therein;
(B) Upon a determination by the State Bar of Arizona that the applicant has complied with the requirements of subdivision (3)(A), the State Bar shall issue to the applicant a Registration Certificate. The State Bar shall promptly notify any applicant if it determines that an application fails to comply with the requirements of subdivision (3)(A), and the applicant shall have thirty (30) days from the date of such notice in which to cure any deficiency. If the applicant fails to cure such deficiency within that thirty (30) day period, the application shall be deemed denied.
(4) Scope of Authority. Except as provided in this rule, the holder of a valid and current Registration Certificate shall be entitled to the benefits and responsibilities of active members of the State Bar of Arizona. A Registration Certificate shall not authorize the registrant to provide legal services to any person or entity except when providing legal services to the one for which the registrant serves as in-house counsel, or its parents, subsidiaries or affiliates, or when providing legal services under Rule 38(d).
(5) Discipline and Disability Jurisdiction. The holder of a Registration Certificate shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the courts and agencies of the State of Arizona and to the State Bar of Arizona with respect to the laws and rules of this state governing the conduct and discipline of attorneys to the same extent as an active member of the State Bar.
(6) Termination of Certification. A lawyer's authority to practice as in-house counsel under a Registration Certificate issued pursuant to this rule shall be suspended when the lawyer is suspended or disbarred for disciplinary reasons in any jurisdiction of the United States, or by any federal court or agency, or by any foreign nation before which that lawyer has been admitted to practice.
(C) A lawyer who has been issued a Registration Certificate under this rule shall satisfy the continuing legal education requirements, if any, of at least one of the other state(s) or jurisdiction(s) in which that lawyer is admitted to practice. If not subject to mandatory continuing legal education requirement in the other state(s) or jurisdiction(s), the lawyer shall comply with Arizona's continuing legal education requirements. On or before September 15 of each calendar year, every registered in-house counsel shall file an affidavit demonstrating full compliance with this rule.
(8) Reporting Requirements. Each lawyer issued a Registration Certificate shall report to the State Bar of Arizona, within thirty (30) days, any change in bar membership status in any jurisdiction of the United States or in any foreign jurisdiction where the applicant has been admitted to the practice of law, or the imposition of any disciplinary sanction by any federal or state court or agency before which the applicant has been admitted to practice, or in any state in which the lawyer has rendered legal services while temporarily authorized under any rule or by admission pro hac vice.
If there is a change in circumstances, and an attorney holding a current Registration Certificate becomes ineligible for such Certificate, the attorney shall notify the State Bar of Arizona of such change in writing within thirty (30) days.
(9) Pro Hac Vice Admission. In providing legal services to the lawyer's employer, a lawyer who has been issued a Registration Certificate under this rule may also secure admission pro hac vice in Arizona to provide the services authorized in the preceding paragraph by complying with the requirements of Rule 39 of these rules. A lawyer who has been issued a Registration Certificate under this rule may provide services under Rule 38(d) without securing admission pro hac vice.
A lawyer serving as in-house counsel in Arizona who fails to register pursuant to the provisions of this rule shall be ineligible for admission pro hac vice in Arizona, and may be referred by the State Bar of Arizona to the Bar admission and/or disciplinary regulatory authority in any jurisdiction in which that lawyer has been admitted to practice law.
(1) General Statement and Eligibility. A “foreign legal consultant” is a person who is admitted to practice and is in good standing as an attorney or counselor at law or the equivalent in a foreign country and has been issued a certificate of registration as a foreign legal consultant. To be issued a certificate of registration as a foreign legal consultant, an applicant must:
(C) a certificate from the professional body or public authority having jurisdiction over professional discipline in each foreign county in which the applicant is admitted to practice, certifying the applicant's admission to practice, date of admission and good standing as an attorney or counselor at law or the equivalent;
(F) other evidence of applicant's educational and professional qualifications, character and fitness, and satisfaction of the conditions of (1) of this rule as the Committee on Character and Fitness may require. If strict compliance with the provisions of (C) of this rule would cause the applicant unnecessary hardship or upon a showing of exceptional professional qualifications to practice as a foreign legal consultant, the Committee may waive or vary the application of those provisions and permit the applicant to furnish other evidence.
(vi) render professional legal advice on the law of this state or of the United States of America (whether rendered incident to the preparation of legal instruments or otherwise), except on the basis of advice from a person duly qualified and entitled (otherwise than by virtue of having been licensed under this rule) to render professional legal advice in this state;
(B) Title of “Legal Consultant”. A person registered as a foreign legal consultant under this rule shall at all times use the title “legal consultant”, which shall be used in conjunction with the name of the foreign country of his or her admission to practice, and shall not carry on his or her practice under, or utilize in connection with such practice, any name, title or designation other than one or more of the following:
(4) Rights and Obligations. A foreign legal consultant registered under this rule shall not be a member of the state bar but shall be considered an affiliate of the state bar subject to the same conditions and requirements as apply to a member of the state bar under the Rules of the Supreme Court governing members of the state bar, insofar as conditions and requirements are consistent with the provisions of this rule, and shall:
(C) within one year after receiving a certificate of registration, a foreign legal consultant shall complete the state bar course on professionalism, or an equivalent course on the principles of professionalism approved or licensed by the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Arizona for this purpose.
(6) Termination of Registration. If the Supreme Court determines that a person registered as a foreign legal consultant under this rule no longer meets the conditions for registration, it may summarily terminate the foreign legal consultant's registration. Upon termination of the registration, the person shall immediately cease acting as a foreign legal consultant, notify in writing all clients in pending matters, and opposing counsel in pending matters, of the termination of the person's authority to act as a foreign legal consultant, and take all necessary steps to protect the interests of clients.
(A) Full-time Law Professors. If the Committee determines that the full-time law professor possesses the character and fitness required of other applicants for admission, it shall recommend to the Court the applicant's certification to practice law. The applicant may not act as counsel for a client until certified under this rule by order of the Court. A copy of the order certifying the attorney will be sent by the Clerk to the Chief Bar Counsel.
(B) Clinical Law Professors. A law professor providing clinical instruction to law students is authorized to practice law in connection with the supervision of a clinical law program at the law school while the application for certification is pending before the Committee, provided that the clinical law professor:
If the Committee determines that the clinical law professor possesses the character and fitness required of other applicants for admission, it shall recommend to the Court the applicant's certification to practice law. A copy of the order certifying the attorney will be sent by the Clerk to the Chief Bar Counsel.
The attorney admitted under this rule must notify the State Bar of any such change of status within thirty days of the change.
(C) Annual Notice to Court. On or before February 1 of each year, the organization shall file a notice with the Clerk and a copy with the State Bar, providing updated information, including a current list of employed and volunteer lawyers certified under this rule, and certifying that the organization has provided, and will insure that volunteer pro bono lawyers providing services pursuant to this rule have been offered appropriate training and continuing legal education as it relates to the pro bono work being performed under the auspices of the organization. The State Bar, through its Chief Bar Counsel or other authorized representative, may, within ten days of receipt, file a comment on the organization's annual notice with the Clerk.
(D) Scope of Authority. A legal services organization is not approved until an administrative order confirming such approval is entered by the Court. A copy of the order approving the legal services organization and/or certifying the employed or volunteer pro bono lawyers listed by the legal services organization, will be sent by the Clerk to the Chief Bar Counsel.
(E) Termination of Authorization. In the event of non-compliance with these provisions, the Court sua sponte, or on application by the State Bar, may order the legal services organization to show cause as to whether its approved status, and the pro bono certification of lawyers working under its auspices and supervision, should be revoked.
(A) General Statement. The Supreme Court may certify attorneys not otherwise authorized to practice law in Arizona to provide pro bono legal services under the auspices of a legal services organization approved under Rule 38(d)(1). “Pro bono services” are civil legal services provided without charge to low income clients
(C) Filing Requirements. The approved legal services organization under which a lawyer is to provide pro bono legal services shall file an initial application with the Clerk listing those lawyers it seeks to qualify for pro bono counsel certification. For each such lawyer, the application shall include:
(i) A certificate from each of the highest courts or agencies in the state, territory or district in which the applicant is presently licensed to practice law, documenting that the applicant is a member in good standing of all courts and jurisdictions in which he or she has been admitted to practice, and has no disciplinary history within the last five years or any pending discipline or disability proceeding. An applicant who is registered as In-House Counsel pursuant to Rule 38 (a) shall fulfill this requirement by providing a copy of his or her current Arizona Certification of Registration of In-House Counsel;
(E) Recovery of Attorneys' Fees and Costs. This rule does not preclude an approved legal services organization from receiving court-awarded attorneys' fees and costs for representation provided by certified pro bono counsel. Certified volunteer pro bono counsel may be reimbursed for recoverable costs, but may not seek or collect attorneys' fees incurred in representing a pro bono client.
(i) An otherwise retired or inactive attorney certified under this rule shall not be required to pay an annual registration fee if the attorney has provided twenty-five (25) hours of pro bono legal services under this rule within the prior twelve-month period. To be exempt from paying an annual registration fee, the attorney shall complete a dues statement provided by the State Bar of Arizona on or before February 1, identifying the approved legal services organization(s), as described in this rule, for which the attorney has volunteered in the prior twelve-month period, and avowing that he or she has provided twenty-five (25) hours of pro bono services during that period and remains qualified for such waiver and for continuing certification as pro bono counsel under this rule.
(ii) An attorney who has not provided at least twenty-five (25) hours of pro bono legal services under this rule within the prior twelve-month period but who wishes to remain certified as pro bono counsel must pay the registration fee that was applicable in the prior calendar year for registered inactive or retired attorneys, as appropriate, pursuant to the fee schedule established by the Court.
(iii) Failure of an attorney certified under this rule to complete the State Bar's dues statement, as described above, or to pay the prior year's inactive attorney registration fees by February 1 of each year, shall automatically terminate that lawyer's status as certified pro bono counsel and result in suspension of the attorney's Arizona license, if applicable.
(iv) Attorneys directly employed by an approved legal services organization and licensed volunteer attorneys in active practice_must comply with the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education requirements of Rule 45. Retired and inactive lawyers certified as pro bono counsel are exempt from Rule 45 CLE reporting requirements.
(J) Certification Number. An attorney certified under this rule shall be assigned a certification number by the State Bar of Arizona, which shall be used to identify that attorney's authorization to practice in Arizona. Any pleading signed by an attorney authorized under this rule shall include the attorney's certification number. Whenever an initial appearance is made in court without a written pleading, the attorney shall advise the court of the attorney's certification number.
(K) Subsequent Attorney Admission. If an Arizona attorney certified under this rule subsequently changes his or her status to active, that attorney's pro bono counsel certification shall be terminated. If an attorney licensed in another jurisdiction but certified to practice in Arizona under this rule is subsequently admitted to the practice of law in Arizona, that attorney's pro bono counsel certification shall be superseded by the Arizona license to practice law.
Added Dec. 12, 2019, effective May 1, 2020. Amended effective Oct. 16, 2020.
17A Pt. 2 A. R. S. Sup. Ct. Rules, Rule 38, AZ ST S CT Rule 38
State Court Rules are current with amendments received and effective through 7/1/22. The Code of Judicial Administration is current with amendments received through 7/1/22.
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