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Rule 33.1 Committee; Entity Regulation

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of the Supreme Court of ArizonaEffective: January 1, 2021

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of the Supreme Court of Arizona (Refs & Annos)
V. Regulation of the Practice of Law
C. Admission to Practice of Law (Refs & Annos)
Effective: January 1, 2021
A.R.S. Sup.Ct.Rules, Rule 33.1
Rule 33.1 Committee; Entity Regulation
(a) Committee.
1. Creation of the Committee. The examination of applications and recommendations to grant or deny licensure of alternative business structures shall conform to this rule and ACJA § 7-209. For such purposes, there shall be a Committee on Alternative Business Structures. The Committee on Alternative Business Structures shall consist of eleven or more members.
2. Appointment of Members. Members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Arizona Supreme Court, considering geographical, gender, and ethnic diversity. Members shall serve at the pleasure of the Court and may be removed from the Committee at any time by order of the Court. A member of the Committee may resign at any time. The Chief Justice shall appoint the Committee chair.
3. Terms of Office. Members of the Committee will serve three-year terms, which will be staggered among members as designated by the Chief Justice. Members may be reappointed to successive terms. If a vacancy exists due to resignation or inability of a board member to serve, the Court shall appoint another person to serve the unexpired term.
4. Powers and Duties of the Committee. The Committee on Alternative Business Structures shall examine applications for licensure and recommend to the Court those applicants who are deemed by the Committee to be qualified and not qualified pursuant to ACJA § 7-209. The Court will then consider the recommendations and either grant or deny licensure.
5. Review by Court. The Committee's recommendation regarding an application for licensure will be transmitted to the Arizona Supreme Court for review as provided in ACJA § 7-209(E). Upon receipt of the recommendation, the Court may decline review or issue an order approving, denying, or approving with modification the recommendation Upon receipt of the Court's order, the Committee shall either grant or deny the application as directed.
6. Response to Recommendation to Deny.
A. An applicant affected by any recommendation of the Committee on Alternative Business Structures may, within twenty (20) days after such a recommendation has been filed with the Arizona Supreme Court file a response with the Court. The response should state the facts that form the basis for the response, and applicant's reasons for believing this Court should approve, deny, or modify the recommendation of the Committee.
B. A copy of the response must be promptly served upon the Committee. The Committee will have thirty (30) days after service to transmit the applicant's file, including all findings and reports prepared by or for the Committee, and a reply to the response fully advising the Court as to the Committee's reason for its recommendation. Thereafter, the Court may hold any hearings or request additional information as necessary to decide whether to approve or deny the application or approve it with modification.
C. Any document filed under Rule 33.1(a)(6) is open to the public except that, upon request by an applicant, the Clerk will seal medical or psychological reports and records. An applicant may request the Court to seal a portion of any other materials submitted.
(b) Decision Regarding Licensure. The Committee shall recommend approval of applications if the requirements in this rule and in ACJA § 7-209 are met by the applicant. The Committee's recommendation shall state the factors in favor of approval.
(1) Decisions of the Committee must take into consideration the following regulatory objectives:
(A) protecting and promoting the public interest;
(B) promoting access to legal services;
(C) advancing the administration of justice and the rule of law;
(D) encouraging an independent, strong, diverse, and effective legal profession; and
(E) promoting and maintaining adherence to professional principles.
(2) The Committee shall examine whether an applicant has adequate governance structures and policies in place to ensure:
(A) lawyers providing legal services to consumers act with independence consistent with the lawyers' professional responsibilities;
(B) the alternative business structure maintains proper standards of work;
(C) the lawyer makes decisions in the best interest of clients;
(D) confidentiality consistent with Arizona Rule of Supreme Court 42 is maintained; and
(E) any other business policies or procedures that do not interfere with a lawyers' duties and responsibilities to clients.
(c) Power of Court to Revoke or Suspend License. Nothing contained in this rule shall be considered as a limitation upon the power and authority of the Arizona Supreme Court upon petition of the Committee on Alternative Business Structures, probable cause committee, bar counsel, or on its own motion, to file a petition with the presiding disciplinary judge to revoke or suspend, after due notice and hearing, the license of an alternative business structure in this state for fraud or material misrepresentation in the procurement the ABS's license.
(d) Practice in Courts. No alternative business structure shall employ any person to provide legal services in the State of Arizona unless the person is licensed to practice law or otherwise authorized to provide legal services under Rule 31.1 or 31.3.
(e) Retention and Confidentiality of Records of Applicants. The records of applicants for licensure pursuant to ACJA § 7-209 shall be maintained and may be destroyed in accordance with approved retention and disposition schedules pursuant to administrative order of the Court, pursuant to Rule 29, Rules of Supreme Court. The records and the proceedings concerning an application for licensure shall be governed by the provisions of Supreme Court Rule 123, except as otherwise provided in these rules. Bar counsel shall be allowed access to the records of applicants for licensure and the proceedings of the Committee concerning an application for licensure in connection with any proceeding before the Court. In addition, the Committee or designated staff may disclose their respective records pertaining to an applicant for licensure to:
1. any licensing authority in any other state the applicant seeks similar licensure;
2. bar counsel for discipline enforcement purposes; and
3. a law enforcement agency, upon subpoena or good cause shown.
(f) Immunity from Civil Suit.
1. The Arizona Supreme Court, the Committee, and the members, staff, employees, and agents thereof, are immune from all civil liability for conduct and communications occurring in the performance of their official duties relating to the licensing of applicants seeking to be licensed as an alternative business structure.
2. Records, statements of opinions and other information regarding an applicant for licensure communicated by any person, firm, or institution, without malice, to the Court or the Committee, and the Court's and Committee's members, staff, employees, and agents, are privileged, and civil suits predicated on such records, statements, or other information may not be instituted.

Credits

Added Aug. 27, 2020, effective Jan. 1, 2021. Amended Nov. 27, 2020, effective Jan. 1, 2021. Amended Dec. 15, 2020, effective Jan. 1, 2021.
17A Pt. 2 A. R. S. Sup. Ct. Rules, Rule 33.1, AZ ST S CT Rule 33.1
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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