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RULE 19-501. STATE PRO BONO COMMITTEE AND PLAN

West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland Rules

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 19. Attorneys
Chapter 500. PRO Bono Legal Services
MD Rules Attorneys, Rule 19-501
RULE 19-501. STATE PRO BONO COMMITTEE AND PLAN
(a) Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Service.
(1) Creation. There is a Standing Committee of the Court of Appeals on Pro Bono Legal Service.
(2) Members. The Standing Committee consists of the following members appointed by the Court of Appeals:
(A) eight members of the Maryland Bar, including one from each appellate judicial circuit and one selected from the State at large;
(B) a maximum of three Circuit Court judges selected from nominees submitted by the Conference of Circuit Judges;
(C) a maximum of three District Court judges selected from nominees submitted by the Chief Judge of the District Court;
(D) the Public Defender or a designee of the Public Defender;
(E) a representative from the Legal Aid Bureau, Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, and one other pro bono referral organization; and
(F) at least one member of the general public.
(3) Terms. The term of each member is three years. A member may be reappointed to serve one or more additional terms. At the end of a term, a member continues to serve until a successor is appointed. Unless reappointed, a member who is appointed after a term has begun serves only for the rest of the term until a successor is appointed.
(4) Chair. The Court of Appeals shall designate one of the members as chair.
(5) Consultants. The Standing Committee may designate a reasonable number of consultants from among court personnel or representatives of other organizations or agencies concerned with the provision of legal services to persons of limited means.
(b) Functions of the Standing Committee.
(1) Required. The Standing Committee shall:
(A) develop standard forms for use by the Local Pro Bono Committees in developing and articulating the Local Pro Bono Action Plans and making their annual reports;
(B) recommend uniform standards for use by the Local Pro Bono Committees to assess the need for pro bono legal services in their communities;
(C) review and evaluate the Local Pro Bono Action Plans and the annual reports of the Local Pro Bono Committees;
(D) collect and make available to Local Pro Bono Committees information about pro bono projects;
(E) at the request of a Local Pro Bono Committee, provide guidance about the Rules in this Chapter and Rule 19-306.1 (6.1) of the Maryland Attorneys' Rules of Professional Conduct;
(F) file with the Court of Appeals an annual report and recommendations about the implementation and effectiveness of the Local Pro Bono Action Plans, the Rules in this Chapter, and Rule 19-306.1 (6.1) of the Maryland Attorneys' Rules of Professional Conduct; and
(G) prepare a State Pro Bono Action Plan as provided in section (c) of this Rule.
(2) Permitted. The Standing Committee may make recommendations to the Court of Appeals concerning the appointment and reappointment of its members.
(c) State Pro Bono Action Plan.
(1) Generally. Within three years after the effective date of this Rule, the Standing Committee shall submit to the Court of Appeals a State Pro Bono Action Plan to promote increased efforts on the part of attorneys to provide legal assistance to persons of limited means. In developing the Plan, the Standing Committee shall:
(A) review and assess the results of the Local Pro Bono Action Plans;
(B) assess the data generated by the reports required by Rule 19-503;
(C) gather and consider information pertinent to the existence, nature, and extent of the need for pro bono legal services in Maryland; and
(D) provide the opportunity for one or more public hearings.
(2) Contents. The State Pro Bono Action Plan may include a recommendation for increasing or decreasing the aspirational goals for pro bono publico legal service set forth in Rule 19-306.1 (6.1) of the Maryland Attorneys' Rules of Professional Conduct. The Plan should include suggestions for the kinds of pro bono activities that will be most helpful in meeting the need for pro bono legal service throughout the State and should address long-range pro bono service issues.
Committee note: Examples of long-range issues that may be addressed include opportunities for transactional attorneys, government attorneys, business attorneys, and in-house attorneys to render pro bono legal service; opportunities for pro bono legal service by attorneys who are unable to provide direct client representation; “collective responsibility” for pro bono legal service when a law firm designates certain attorneys to handle only pro bono matters; and encouraging pro bono legal service among law students and in the legal academic setting.
(d) Posting. The Clerk of the Court of Appeals shall cause the State Action Plan submitted by the Standing Committee to be posted on the Judiciary website and shall establish a reasonable period for public comment.
(e) Consideration by the Court of Appeals. After the comment period, the Court of Appeals shall hold a public hearing and take appropriate action on the Plan.
Source: This Rule is derived from former Rule 16-901 (2016).

Credits

[Adopted June 6, 2016, eff. July 1, 2016. Amended June 20, 2017, eff. Aug. 1, 2017.]

Editors' Notes

HISTORICAL NOTES
Year2017 Orders
The June 20, 2017 order, substituted the words “at least one” for the word “a” in subsection (a)(2)(2)(F); provided that at the end of member’s term the member continues to serve until a successor is appointed; added provisions concerning the service of a member appointed after a term has begun; and made stylistic changes.
MD R Attorneys, Rule 19-501, MD R ATTORNEYS Rule 19-501
Current with amendments received through June 1, 2019.
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