RULE 19-204. CHARACTER REVIEW
West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland Rules
MD Rules Attorneys, Rule 19-204
Formerly cited as MD R ATTORNEYS Rule 19-203
RULE 19-204. CHARACTER REVIEW
(1) On receipt of a completed character questionnaire forwarded by the Board pursuant to Rule 19-205 (d), the Character Committee, in accordance with procedural guidelines established by Board Rule, shall (A) interview the applicant (B) consider the facts stated in the character questionnaire and the submissions made by the applicant's references, and make any further investigation it finds necessary or desirable, which may include verification of facts asserted by the applicant or the applicant's references, (C) evaluate the applicant's character and fitness for the practice of law, and (D) transmit to the Board a report of its investigation and a recommendation as to the approval or denial of the application for admission.
(2) If the Committee concludes that there may be grounds for recommending denial of the application, it shall notify the applicant in writing and schedule a hearing. The hearing shall be recorded verbatim. The applicant shall have the right to testify, to present other testimony and evidence, and to be represented by an attorney. The Committee shall prepare a report and recommendation setting forth findings of fact on which the recommendation is based and a statement supporting the conclusion. A transcript of the hearing shall be transmitted by the Committee to the Board along with the Committee's report. The Committee shall transmit a copy of its report to the applicant, and a copy of the hearing transcript shall be furnished to the applicant upon payment of reasonable costs.
(b) Hearing by Board. If the Board concludes after review of the Character Committee's report and the transcript that there may be grounds for recommending denial of the application, it shall promptly afford the applicant the opportunity for a hearing on the record made before the Committee. In its discretion, the Board may permit additional evidence to be submitted. If the recommendation of the Board differs from the recommendation of the Character Committee, the Board shall prepare a report and recommendation setting forth findings of fact on which the recommendation is based and a statement supporting the conclusion and shall transmit a copy of its report and recommendation to the applicant and the Committee. If the Board decides to recommend denial of the application in its report to the Court, the Board shall first give the applicant an opportunity to withdraw the application pursuant to Rule 19-202 (b). If the applicant withdraws the application, the Board shall retain the records. If the applicant elects not to withdraw the application, the Board shall transmit to the Court a report of its proceedings and a recommendation as to the approval or denial of the application together with all papers relating to the application.
(2) If the Board recommends approval of the application contrary to an adverse recommendation by the Character Committee, within 30 days after the filing of the Board's report, the Committee may file with the Court exceptions to the Board's recommendation. The Committee shall transmit copies of its exceptions to the applicant and the Board.
(d) Burden of Proof. The applicant bears the burden of proving to the Character Committee, the Board, and the Court the applicant's good moral character and fitness for the practice of law. Failure or refusal to answer fully and candidly any question in the application or any relevant question asked by a member of the Character Committee, the Board, or the Court is sufficient cause for a finding that the applicant has not met this burden. Undocumented immigration status, in itself, does not preclude admission to the Bar, provided that the applicant otherwise has demonstrated good moral character and fitness.
Source: This Rule is derived from former Rule 19-203 (2018).
[Formerly Rule 19-203, adopted June 6, 2016, eff. July 1, 2016. Renumbered Rule 19-204 Dec. 4, 2018, eff. March 1, 2019.]
MD R Attorneys, Rule 19-204, MD R ATTORNEYS Rule 19-204
Current with amendments received through June 1, 2023. Some sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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