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Supreme Court Rules Table of Contents

RULES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

ADMINISTRATIVE RULES 35 TO 59

Rule 42. Admission To The Bar; Board of Bar Examiners; Character And Fitness Committee


I. Board of Bar Examiners

(a)  Board of Bar Examiners Established.  A board of bar examiners (board) will be appointed by the court to examine persons desiring to be admitted to the bar of New Hampshire.  The board shall consist of no fewer than thirteen members of the New Hampshire bar.  Appointments to the board shall be for terms of three years, and members shall be eligible for reappointment. The court shall designate one member of the board to serve as chair and one member to serve as vice-chair. 

(b)  Expenses of Board.  All appropriate expenses for operations, staff, equipment and other expenses shall be paid from fees received by the board. Funds previously paid to the Character and Fitness Committee and in the possession of the committee on September 1, 2012 shall be transferred to the board.

(c)  Duties of Board.  The board is charged with the duty and vested with the power and authority:

(1)  to determine eligibility of applicants for admission to the bar of New Hampshire;

(2)  to determine reciprocal jurisdictions for purposes of admission by motion without examination under Rule 42(XI)(a);

(3)  to provide for and administer the bar examination, and to provide for the conduct and security of the bar examination;

(4)  with the approval of the court, to set the scores that will be considered passing on the bar examination and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination;

(5)  to establish a fee schedule, with the approval of the court, for applications for admission to the New Hampshire bar, and for other services;

(6)  to establish subcommittees, as appropriate, to perform its duties;

(7)  to delegate to any of its members, subcommittees or administrator, all or any part of its duties and responsibilities under this section; 

(8)  to establish a budget, expend funds, enter into contracts and retain the assistance of experts and other personnel when deemed necessary for the efficient discharge of its duties;

(9)  to oversee the Office of Bar Admissions; and

(10)  to promulgate, amend and revise regulations relevant to the above duties to implement this rule.  The regulations of the board shall be consistent with the provisions of this rule and shall not be effective until approved by the court, but once approved, shall have the same force and effect as this rule.

II.  Character and Fitness Committee

      
(a)  Committee on Character and Fitness Established.   A Supreme Court committee on character and fitness (committee) is established to examine the character and fitness of applicants desiring to be admitted to the bar of New Hampshire.  The committee shall consist of two non-attorney members and seven members of the New Hampshire Bar Association as follows: (i) one member of the board of bar examiners; (ii) one member who is a member of the committee on professional conduct; (iii) the attorney general of New Hampshire or his or her designee; (iv) the clerk of the supreme court or his or her designee; and (v) three other members of the New Hampshire Bar Association, one of whom shall be designated chair of the committee.  The terms of the attorney general and of the clerk of the supreme court as members of the committee shall be coterminous with their terms of office; and, in the absence of either the attorney general or the clerk of the supreme court, his or her designee is authorized to act as an alternate, exercising all the powers of an appointed member of the committee. Each other member of the committee shall be appointed for a term of three years and shall be eligible for reappointment.

(b)  Expenses of Committee.  All appropriate expenses for operations, staff, and other expenses shall be paid from fees received by the board.  Funds previously paid to the committee and in the possession of the committee on September 1, 2012 shall be transferred to the board.  Members of the committee shall receive no compensation for their services, but their reasonable expenses shall be paid by the board.  

(c)  Duties of Committee.  The committee is charged with the duty and vested with the power and authority:

(1)  to investigate the character and fitness of applicants to the New Hampshire bar;

(2)  to conduct interviews and evidentiary hearings with regard to an applicant’s character and fitness;

(3)  to retain the assistance of experts and other personnel when deemed necessary for the efficient discharge of its duties;

(4)  to make recommendations to the New Hampshire Supreme Court regarding an applicant’s good moral character and fitness to practice law in New Hampshire;

(5)  to establish subcommittees, as appropriate, to perform its duties;

(6)  to delegate to any of its members, subcommittees or administrator, all or any part of its duties and responsibilities under this section; 

(7)  to promulgate, amend and revise regulations relevant to the above duties to implement this rule.  The regulations of the committee shall be consistent with the provisions of this rule and shall not be effective until approved by the court, but once approved, shall have the same force and effect as this rule.

III.  Office of Bar Admissions  

(a)  An Office of Bar Admissions shall be established to administer and support the functions of the board and the committee.  The court may appoint a bar admissions administrator and general counsel (hereinafter "administrator") who will serve at the pleasure of the court.  The administrator may exercise authority delegated to him or her by the board, the committee, or their chairs.  

(b)  All appropriate expenses for operations, staff, including the salary of the administrator, equipment, and other expenses shall be paid from fees received by the board.  

(c)  The board shall have the authority to share, loan, or borrow employees, equipment, and office space with other court entities as may be necessary for efficient operation of the Office of Bar Admissions.

IV.  General Requirements for Admission to Bar  

(a)  Eligibility.  Every applicant for admission to the New Hampshire bar shall be required:

(1)  to comply with all provisions of this rule;

(2)  to file all application forms prescribed by the board, respond to all requests of the board, the committee, their designees, and the staff of the Office of Bar Admissions, for information deemed relevant to the application for admission, and to pay all prescribed fees related to the application for admission;

(3)  to meet one of the following requirements:

    (A) to pass the bar examination; or

    (B) to satisfy the requirements for admission by transferred UBE score set forth in paragraph X; or

    (C) to satisfy the requirements for admission without examination set forth in Rule 42(XI); or

    (D) to satisfy the requirements for admission after successful completion of the Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program set forth in Rule 42(XII);

(4)  to pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination;

(5)  to be at least 18 years of age;

(6)  to satisfy the educational requirements set forth in Rule 42(V); and

(7)  to establish his or her character and fitness to practice law to the committee and to the court.  

(b)  Determination of eligibility.  An applicant’s eligibility to take the bar examination, to be admitted by transferred UBE score, or to be admitted by motion without examination, shall be determined in the first instance by the bar admissions administrator or a member of the board.  If the bar admissions administrator or board member determines that the applicant is ineligible for admission, the applicant may seek reconsideration from the board or a subcommittee thereof, in accordance with procedures established by the board.  

(c)  Petition for Review. 

(1)  If the board or subcommittee determines that an applicant is ineligible for admission, the applicant may seek review by the supreme court of the board or subcommittee’s final decision by filing with the supreme court an original and eight copies of a petition for review within twenty days of the date of the notice of final decision.  If no such petition is filed within the twenty-day period, the board or subcommittee’s determination shall not be subject to review.  The petition for review shall:

(A)  specify the name and address of the person seeking review of the final decision and of counsel, including counsel’s bar identification number;

(B)  contain a copy of the final decision sought to be reviewed, a copy of a motion for reconsideration, if any, and a copy of any order on the motion for reconsideration;

(C)  specify the questions presented for review;

(D)  specify the provisions of the constitutions, statutes, rules, regulations or other law involved in the matter, setting them out verbatim, and giving their citation.  If the provisions to be set out verbatim are lengthy, their pertinent text shall be annexed to the petition for review;

(E)  set forth a concise statement of the case containing the facts material to the consideration of the questions presented, with appropriate references to the transcript, if any;

(F)  set forth all claims of error and reasons for challenging the board or subcommittee’s determination;

(G)  include a statement that every issue raised has been presented to the board or subcommittee below; and

(H)  contain a certification that a copy of the complete petition for review has been delivered, mailed, or served on the Office of Bar Admissions.

         
(2)  Upon notification that a petition for review has been filed, the board shall transmit to the supreme court the complete record in the case, including a transcript of any hearing before the board or subcommittee of the board.  The petitioner, and not the board, is responsible for paying the cost of preparing the transcript.

          (3)  Unless the court orders otherwise, no response to the petition for review will be required and the petition shall be deemed submitted for the court’s review based upon the record.  The court shall review the petition for review in the normal course and, after consideration of the petition for review and the record, the court shall make such order as justice may require.

      (d)  Time Limitation. If an applicant does not satisfy the requirements for admission to the bar set forth in Rule 42 (IV)(a) above and take the oath of admission within two years of the date of the notice of successfully passing the bar examination, or within two years of the date of the notice that his or her motion for admission without examination, or motion for admission by transferred UBE score has been granted, the applicant’s application or motion for admission to the bar shall be denied, and he or she shall be required to retake and pass the bar examination, or file a new motion for admission without examination, or a new motion for admission by transferred UBE score, unless the board grants a request for an extension of the deadline for good cause shown.  Any such applicant shall be required to once again establish his or her good moral character and fitness to the satisfaction of the committee and the supreme court.  

      (e)  Readmission to the bar.  The application process for a person seeking readmission to the bar is governed by Rule 37.    

 (f)  Applicant’s duty to cooperate.  An applicant for admission to the New Hampshire bar has a duty to cooperate with the board, the committee, their designees, and the staff of the Office of Bar Admissions.  Any person who seeks admission to the New Hampshire bar thereby agrees to waive all rights of privacy with reference to any and all documentary material filed or secured in connection with his or her application or motion for admission without examination. The applicant also agrees that any such documentary material, including the application form, the motion for admission without examination, and the petition and questionnaire for admission to the New Hampshire bar (petition and questionnaire for admission), may be offered into evidence, without objection, by the board or committee, in any proceeding relating to the applicant's admission to the practice of law.  

 (g)  Confidentiality.  All documents submitted by an applicant for admission to the New Hampshire bar, including all required forms, supporting documents, and the petition and questionnaire for admission, with the exception of the applicant’s name and address, all matters referred to the board or committee and all information relating to an applicant gathered by the board or committee, shall be confidential. No member of the board or committee shall disclose any matter or information in any file, except at the request of the board, committee or the court or unless legally required to do so. All minutes or records circulated to members of the board or committee shall be kept confidential.  All records relating to matters referred to the board or committee shall be retained in their respective files, in accordance with their respective retention schedules.  Upon receipt of a request and duly executed release from the applicant, the staff of the Office of Bar Admissions may provide copies of materials in an applicant’s file to admissions authorities of other states.  

(h)  Disclosure to Authorized Agencies. Notwithstanding the provision of Rule 42(IV)(g), the board, the committee, and the staff of the Office of Bar Admissions, are authorized to disclose relevant information that is otherwise confidential to agencies authorized to investigate complaints of attorney misconduct, or to law enforcement agencies authorized to investigate and prosecute violations of the criminal law.

V.  Educational Requirements for Admission  

(a) Undergraduate Education.  Every applicant for admission to the bar must furnish satisfactory proof that the applicant successfully completed at least three (3) years of work required for a bachelor's degree in an accredited college before beginning the study of law, or that the applicant received an equivalent education.  An applicant who has not successfully completed at least three (3) years of work required for a bachelor's degree in an accredited college shall have the burden of proving educational equivalency.  In addition to filing the petition and questionnaire for admission, any such applicant must submit information sufficient for the board to determine that the requirements of this paragraph have been met.  

(b) Law School Education.  Except as provided in Rule 42(XI)(b), every applicant must have graduated from a law school approved by the American Bar Association having a three year course and requiring students to devote substantially all their working time to study, called a full-time law school, or from a law school approved by the American Bar Association having a course of not less than four school years equivalent in the number of working hours to a three year course in a full-time law school and in which students devote only part of their working time to their studies, called a part-time law school.  A combination of study in full-time and part-time law schools will be accepted only if such law schools meet the above requirements, and the applicant has graduated from one of the law schools.  Study in any law school which does not require attendance of its students at its lectures or classes or which conducts its courses by distance education (i.e. by technological transmission, including the internet; open broadcast; closed circuit, cable, microwave, or satellite transmission; audio or computer conferencing; video cassettes or discs; or correspondence) shall not constitute compliance with the rule, except that distance education in an ABA-approved law school, in compliance with Standard 306 of the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools, shall constitute compliance.

   (c) Foreign Law School Graduate. Notwithstanding the foregoing paragraph, an applicant who has graduated from a law school in a foreign country and who is a member in good standing of the bar of that country or a member of the bar of one of the States of the United States who was admitted after examination and is in good standing, may qualify to sit for the New Hampshire Bar Examination or may apply for admission upon motion by providing to the board satisfactory proof of his or her educational sufficiency. Any person who seeks admission to practice law in the State of New Hampshire who is a graduate of a law school in a foreign country shall have the burden of proving that the requirements of this section have been met. In addition to filing the petition and questionnaire for admission, any foreign law school graduate seeking admission must file an affidavit, signed under oath, attesting that the requirements of this section have been met, and submitting information sufficient for the board to determine that the requirements have been met. To prove educational sufficiency, an applicant must prove:

(1) that he or she successfully completed a period of law study in a law school or law schools each of which, throughout the period of the applicant's study therein, was recognized by the competent accrediting agency of the government of such other country, or a political subdivision thereof, as qualified and approved (distance study, correspondence study and on-line programs are not acceptable); and

(2) that such other country is one whose jurisprudence is based upon the principles of English Common law; and

(3) that the program and course of law study successfully completed by the applicant were substantially equivalent in substance to the legal education provided by a law school accredited by the American Bar Association. An applicant will be deemed to have a legal education equivalent in substance to that provided by law schools accredited by the American Bar Association if the applicant successfully completed, at a law school accredited by the American Bar Association, at least 24 semester credit hours of coursework dealing with either the law of the United States or the law of one of the States of the United States, including a course in basic constitutional law and professional responsibility. Distance study, correspondence study and on-line programs are not acceptable. At least sixteen (16) of the semester credit hours must have been from among at least five of the following categories:

(A) Evidence

(B) Taxation

(C) Civil or Criminal Procedure

(D) Contracts

(E) Decedents' Estates

(F) Real Property

(G) Corporations or business organizations

(H) Torts

(I) Criminal Law

(4) If the applicant has met the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2), but the applicant's program and course of law study do not meet the requirements of paragraph (3), the board may nevertheless determine that the applicant has proved educational sufficiency based upon the board's consideration of the following factors:

(A) The course of study that was completed as compared to that offered in a law school approved by the American Bar Association;

(B) The attorney's pre-legal education as compared to that offered in a U.S. high school and college or university;

(C) The length and nature of prior legal practice or teaching, if any;

(D) The applicant's familiarity with the American constitutional, common-law and statutory legal systems;

(E) The applicant's successful completion of additional legal studies.

VI.  Proof of Character and Fitness  

(a) Any person who applies for admission to the bar shall be required to establish his or her moral character and fitness to the satisfaction of the committee and the court before admission to the bar.  In determining the moral character and fitness of applicants, the committee shall consider the Character and Fitness Standards set forth in New Hampshire Supreme Court Rule 42B. 

(b) Any person who seeks admission to the bar shall at all times have the burden of proving his or her good moral character to the committee and the court. The failure of an applicant to answer any question on the petition and questionnaire for admission, or any question propounded by any member of the committee, a designee of the committee, or by the staff of the Office of Bar Admissions, or to supply any documentary material requested by any of them, shall justify a finding that the applicant has not met the burden of proving good moral character.  

(c) Any person who seeks admission to the practice of law shall file with the committee the prescribed petition and questionnaire for admission, which shall contain a certificate signed by two persons certifying the applicant's good moral character.  The petition and questionnaire for admission shall be executed by the applicant under oath.  

(d) Upon receiving the petition and questionnaire for admission, the committee shall promptly: (1) review the facts stated in the petition, communicate with the references, and make such further investigation as it may deem desirable or necessary; (2) if it deems necessary, arrange for a personal interview with the applicant; (3) consider the character and fitness of the applicant to be admitted to the practice of law; and (4) transmit to the supreme court a report of its investigation and its recommendation in regard to the character and fitness of the applicant for admission to the practice of law.  

(e) If the recommendation of the committee is in favor of admission, the court may accept the recommendation and grant the application for admission or decline to accept the recommendation.  If the court determines that the recommendation of the committee should not be accepted, it shall either remand the matter to the committee for further investigation and consideration or refer the matter to a referee for an evidentiary hearing during which the applicant shall have the burden of proving his or her good moral character and fitness.  If the recommendation of the committee is against admission, the report of the committee shall set forth the facts upon which the adverse recommendation is based and its reasons for rendering an adverse recommendation. The committee shall promptly notify the applicant about the adverse recommendation and shall give the applicant an opportunity to appear at a hearing before it and to be fully informed of the matters reported to the court by the committee, and to answer or explain such matters.  Testimony at such hearings shall be given under oath and shall be recorded.  Counsel for the committee, counsel for the applicant, and the bar admissions administrator, may issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum to summon witnesses with or without documents for attendance at hearings.  Upon the request of an applicant who is not represented by counsel, counsel for the committee, or the bar admissions administrator, may issue such subpoenas to summon witnesses.

     (f) If, following an applicant’s appearance before it, the committee is still of the opinion that an adverse report should be made on the application, it shall first give the applicant the privilege of withdrawing the application. If the applicant elects not to withdraw the application, and the second report and recommendation of the committee to the court is against approval of the application, the court, upon receipt of the report with the adverse recommendation by the committee, may grant the application or shall require the applicant to show cause why the application should not be denied.

VII.  Bar Examination  

(a)  The New Hampshire bar examination shall be the Uniform Bar Examination prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners.  It shall be administered at a time and place determined by the board on the last Wednesday of February and the preceding day, and the last Wednesday of July and the preceding day.  

(b)  The board’s determination of an applicant’s score on the bar examination is final and is not subject to review.   

(c)  If an applicant is aggrieved by a final decision of the board, or a subcommittee thereof, with respect to an issue arising from the applicant’s conduct during, or related to, the bar examination, the applicant may seek review of the board or subcommittee’s final decision by the supreme court by filing with the supreme court a petition for review within 20 days of the mailing of the notice of final decision.  The applicant shall follow the procedures set forth in Supreme Court Rule 42 (IV)(c).

VIII.  Application to take Bar Examination  

(a)  A person seeking to take the bar examination shall file with the board an application to take the New Hampshire bar examination and a completed petition and questionnaire for admission by the deadlines established by the board.  The application and petition and questionnaire for admission must be accompanied by the bar examination application fee which shall be paid to the New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners.  The fee shall be nonrefundable.  

(b)  If an applicant to take the bar examination notifies the board at least thirty days before the date of the bar examination that he or she will not take the bar examination for which he or she applied, and wishes to take the immediately subsequent administration of the bar examination, the applicant shall be required to pay an administrative fee in an amount set by the board, but shall not be required to pay an additional bar examination application fee or submit a new application. The applicant is also required to notify the board in writing on or before the application deadline for the subsequent examination of any changes to the applicant’s petition and questionnaire for admission.

(c)  A person who has failed the New Hampshire bar examination four times will not be permitted to retake the examination.  For purposes of Rule 42, attempts to pass the examination shall count toward the limit of four regardless of whether the examination was taken in New Hampshire or taken in another jurisdiction administering the Uniform Bar Examination prepared and coordinated by the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

IX.  Bar Examination Testing Accommodation  

(a)  In accordance with the testing accommodation policy most recently approved by the court, an applicant whose disability requires testing accommodations shall submit a written request to the board at the time that the applicant files the application and petition and questionnaire for admission.  No request for testing accommodations shall be accepted if received after the application deadline for the July or February examination as established by the board.  The written request shall describe:

(1) the type of accommodation requested; and

(2) the reasons for the requested accommodation, including medical documentation in a format set forth in the testing accommodation policy.  

(b)  The request for accommodation shall be ruled on in the first instance by the chair of the board, and the applicant shall be notified of the decision. A denial or modification of a request for testing accommodations by the chair may be appealed to the board of bar examiners, or a subcommittee thereof, in accordance with procedures established by the board.  The board or subcommittee’s decision on appeal constitutes a final decision of the board.  The applicant may seek review of the board or subcommittee’s final decision by the supreme court by filing with the supreme court a petition for review within 20 days of the mailing of the notice of final decision.  The applicant shall follow the procedures set forth in Supreme Court Rule 42(IV)(c). 

X.  Admission by Transferred Uniform Bar Examination Score

    (a)  An applicant who meets the Eligibility Requirements set forth in paragraphs 42 (IV)(a), (V), and (VI), and the following additional requirements may, upon motion to the board, be admitted by transferred UBE score.  The applicant shall:

     (1)  Have earned a UBE score that meets or exceeds the minimum score required by the board on the date that the motion is filed; and

     (2)  Have either:

            (A) earned the UBE score in an administration of the UBE which occurred within three years immediately preceding the date on which the motion for admission by transferred UBE score was filed; or 

            (B)  earned the UBE score more than three years but less than five years prior to the date of filing of the motion for admission by transferred UBE score, and establish that he or she has been primarily engaged in the active practice of law, as defined by Rule 42 (XI)(d), for at least two years in another state, territory, or the District of Columbia in which the applicant was a member in good standing and authorized to practice law throughout the entire two-year period.

    (b)  To qualify for admission under this Rule 42 (X), the applicant must have earned the minimum score required by the board within no more than four attempts on the UBE. For purposes of this Rule, attempts to earn the minimum score are counted regardless of whether the applicant tested in New Hampshire or in another jurisdiction administering the UBE. 

    (c)  A person seeking admission by transferred UBE score shall file with the board the required motion form, a completed petition, and supporting documents, in accordance with procedures established by the board, accompanied by the motion fee, which shall be paid to the board.  The fee shall be nonrefundable, provided, however, that if a motion for admission by transferred UBE score is denied prior to the commencement of the character and fitness investigation by the committee, then one-half of the character and fitness investigation fee shall be refunded.  

XI.  Admission by Motion Without Examination  

(a)  Applicant from Reciprocal Jurisdiction. 

(1)  An applicant who meets the Eligibility Requirements set forth in Rule 42(IV)(a), (V), and (VI), and the following additional requirements may, upon motion to the board, be admitted to the bar without examination.  The applicant shall:

(A)  have been admitted by bar examination to practice law in another state, territory, or the District of Columbia; and

(B)  have been primarily engaged in the active practice of law in one or more states, territories, or the District of Columbia for five of the seven years immediately preceding the date upon which the motion is filed; and

(C)  have either:

i.  taken and passed the bar examination in a reciprocal jurisdiction, provided that the applicant is currently a member in good standing of said jurisdiction and authorized to practice law therein; or

ii. been primarily engaged in the active practice of law, for five of the seven years immediately preceding the date upon which the motion is filed, in reciprocal jurisdictions, provided that the applicant was a member in good standing of said jurisdictions and authorized to practice law therein throughout the aforesaid five-year period and is currently a member in good standing of said jurisdictions and authorized to practice law therein; and

(D)  establish that the applicant is currently a member in good standing in all jurisdictions where admitted; and

(E)  establish that the applicant is not currently subject to lawyer discipline or the subject of a pending disciplinary matter in any jurisdiction; and

(F)  designate the clerk of the New Hampshire Supreme Court as agent for service of process; and

(G)  file with the board the required motion form, a completed petition and questionnaire for admission, and supporting documents, accompanied by the motion fee. 

(2)  For purposes of this rule, “reciprocal jurisdiction” is defined as another state, territory, or the District of Columbia that allows admission without examination of persons admitted to practice law in New Hampshire under circumstances comparable to those set forth in this rule.  

(b) Vermont Applicant.  An applicant who is licensed to practice law in Vermont may, upon motion, be admitted to the bar without examination, provided that the State of Vermont allows admission without examination of persons admitted to practice law in New Hampshire under circumstances comparable to those set forth in this rule.  Such an applicant shall meet the Eligibility Requirements set forth in Rule 42(IV)(a), (V)(a), and (VI), and the following additional requirements.  The applicant shall:

(1)  be licensed to practice law in the State of Vermont and be an active member of the Vermont bar; and

(2) have been primarily engaged in the active practice of law in Vermont for no less than three years immediately preceding the date upon which the motion is filed; and

(3) establish that the applicant is currently a member in good standing in all jurisdictions where admitted; and

(4) establish that the applicant is not currently subject to lawyer discipline or the subject of a pending disciplinary matter in any jurisdiction; and

(5) have completed at least fifteen hours of continuing legal education on New Hampshire practice and procedure in courses approved by the NHMCLE Board within one year immediately preceding the date upon which the motion is filed and be certified by the NHMCLE Board as satisfying this requirement; and

(6) designate the clerk of the New Hampshire Supreme Court as agent for service of process; and

(7)  file with the board the required motion form, a completed petition and questionnaire for admission, and supporting documents, accompanied by the motion fee.

   
  (c)  Maine Applicant.  An applicant who is licensed to practice law in Maine may, upon motion, be admitted to the bar without examination, provided that the State of Maine allows admission without examination of persons admitted to practice law in New Hampshire under circumstances comparable to those set forth in this rule.  Such an applicant shall meet the Eligibility Requirements set forth in Rule 42(IV)(a), (V), and (VI), and the following additional requirements.  The applicant shall:

(1) be licensed to practice law in the State of Maine and be an active member of the Maine bar;

(2) have been primarily engaged in the active practice of law in Maine for no less than three years immediately preceding the date upon which the motion is filed;

(3) establish that the applicant is currently a member in good standing in all jurisdictions where admitted;

(4) establish that the applicant is not currently subject to lawyer discipline or the subject of a pending disciplinary matter in any jurisdiction;

(5) have completed at least fifteen hours of continuing legal education on New Hampshire practice and procedure in courses approved by the NHMCLE Board within one year immediately preceding the date upon which the motion is filed and be certified by the NHMCLE Board as satisfying this requirement; and

(6)  designate the clerk of the New Hampshire Supreme Court as agent for service of process; and

(7)  file with the board the required motion form, a completed petition and questionnaire for admission, and supporting documents, accompanied by the motion fee. 

(8)  Nothing in Rule 42(X)(c) shall preclude an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the State of Maine from applying under Rule 42(XI)(a) if the applicant meets the requirements of that section.  

 (d)  For the purposes of this rule, the "active practice of law" shall include the following activities:

(1) Representation of one or more clients in the private practice of law;

(2) Service as a lawyer with a local, state, or federal agency, including military service;

(3) Teaching law at a law school approved by the American Bar Association;

(4) Service as a judge in a federal, state, or local court of record;

(5) Service as a judicial law clerk; or

(6) Service as corporate counsel.  

 (e)  For the purposes of this rule, the "active practice of law" shall not include work that, as undertaken, constituted the unauthorized practice of law in the jurisdiction in which it was performed or in the jurisdiction in which the clients receiving the unauthorized services were located.  For the purposes of this rule, an applicant's service as corporate counsel shall not constitute the unauthorized practice of law in New Hampshire provided that the applicant submits an affidavit certifying that:

(1)  while serving as counsel, the applicant performed legal services solely for a corporation, association or other business entity, including its subsidiaries and affiliates; and

(2)  while serving as counsel, the applicant received his or her entire compensation from said corporation, association or business entity; and

(3)  said corporation, association or business entity is not engaged in the practice of law or provision of legal services.  

(f)  An applicant who has failed the New Hampshire bar examination within five years of the date of filing a motion for admission without examination shall not be eligible for admission by motion.  An applicant who is not permitted to retake the New Hampshire bar examination pursuant to Rule 42(VIII)(c) shall not be eligible for admission by motion. An applicant who has resigned from the New Hampshire bar shall not be eligible for admission by motion, but may be eligible for readmission upon compliance with the requirements of Rule 37(15).   

(g)  The motion fee paid by an applicant under Rule 42(XI) shall be nonrefundable, provided, however, that if a motion for admission pursuant to Rule 42(XI) is denied prior to the commencement of the character and fitness investigation by the committee, then a portion of the fee may be refunded to the applicant, in the discretion of the board.

XII. Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program

   
  (a) An applicant who has met the Eligibility Requirements set forth in Rule 42(IV)(a), (V), and (VI) who successfully completed the Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program offered at the University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord, New Hampshire, and who meets the following requirements may be admitted to the bar. The applicant shall:

(1) prior to admission, and within one year of the date upon which the application for admission is filed, have successfully completed, to the satisfaction of the board, the Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program, after successfully completing taking and passing a variant of the New Hampshire bar examination to consist of rigorous, repeated and comprehensive evaluation of legal skills and abilities, the criteria for which will be established by this court, and which will amount to more than the twelve hours of testing required for the conventional bar examination.

(2)  establish that the applicant is currently a member in good standing in all jurisdictions where admitted, if any;

(3) establish that the applicant is not currently subject to lawyer discipline or the subject of a pending disciplinary matter in any jurisdiction; and

(4) designate the clerk of the supreme court for service of process.  

(b) An applicant seeking admission to the bar in accordance with this provision shall, by the deadline established by the board, file with the board an application for admission pursuant to New Hampshire Supreme Court Rule 42(XII), and the petition and questionnaire for admission, which shall contain a certificate signed by two persons certifying the applicant’s good moral character, and shall be executed under oath.  The board may waive the filing deadline requirement for good cause shown.  The application shall be accompanied by the application fee.  The fee shall be nonrefundable.

XIII.  Practical Skills Course Requirement  

(a)  Within two years of admission, each person admitted to practice law in New Hampshire must attend a practical skills course presented by the New Hampshire Bar Association, unless the admittee satisfies the requirements of paragraph (b) or, in exceptional instances, a longer period is approved in writing by the court.  A failure to comply with the requirements of this rule will result in the suspension of the attorney’s license.  The course will assist new admittees in developing basic lawyering skills and in gaining practical knowledge of New Hampshire practice and procedures. Attendance is required and each new admittee will be required to execute an affidavit stating that he or she has attended each session of the course unless otherwise excused by the supreme court, but no test will be required.  

(b)  If a new admittee leaves New Hampshire on military or other government service assignment for more than a brief period within two years after being admitted to the bar and before completing the practical skills course, the new admittee’s license shall not be suspended if he or she promptly so notifies the court in writing of his or her departure from the state and his or her intention to complete the course at a later date.  Such a new admittee shall be required to attend a practical skills course given within three years of the date of departure, and further provided that, if he or she shall have completed the assignment and returned to New Hampshire within the three-year period, the course taken shall be the first available course given after his or her return. The admittee shall notify the court promptly of his or her return within the three-year period. Upon written request in exceptional instances, the court may extend the three-year period following the date of departure within which the admittee must attend a practical skills course.  

(c)  Attendance at the practical skills course means, for all new admittees, personal attendance at all sessions of the course.  

(d) Exemptions from the practical skills course requirements, or any portion thereof, shall be granted only upon written application filed with the court, setting forth the exceptional circumstances believed to justify the requested exemption.  

(e) Reinstatement of a license suspended under this paragraph shall be only by order, upon petition to the court following completion of the practical skills course, and upon such conditions as the court deems appropriate.  If the petition to this court is filed more than one year after the date of the order suspending the person from the practice of law in this State, then the petition shall be accompanied by evidence of continuing competence and learning in the law, and evidence of continuing moral character and fitness. If the evidence of continuing competence and learning in the law, and evidence of continuing moral character and fitness, are satisfactory to the court, the court may order reinstatement upon such conditions as it deems appropriate. 

If the evidence of continuing competence and learning in the law is not satisfactory to the court, the court shall refer the motion for reinstatement to the board.  A subcommittee of the board shall promptly schedule a hearing at which the attorney shall have the burden of demonstrating by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she has the competence and learning in law required for reinstatement. At the conclusion of the hearing, the subcommittee shall promptly file with the court the record and a report containing its findings and recommendations.  The court shall consider the matter in the normal course and following the submission of briefs, if found necessary by the court, and any oral argument ordered by the court, shall enter a final order.

   If the evidence of continuing moral character and fitness is not satisfactory to the court, the court shall order the applicant to file with the board and with the clerk of the supreme court the petition and questionnaire for admission referred to in Supreme Court Rule 42(VI)(c). Further proceedings shall be governed by Rule 42(VI).

XIV.  Duty to Update Information  

An applicant for admission to the New Hampshire bar has a continuing obligation to update any information submitted as a part of the application process by providing the new information in writing to the Office of Bar Admissions. The duty to update information exists during the entire pendency of the application or motion for admission.  All persons admitted to the bar have a continuing obligation to notify the New Hampshire Bar Association immediately and in writing of all changes of residence address and address of principal office.

XV.   Immunity  

(a) The board members, committee members, the administrator of the office of bar admissions, and their staff, counsel, investigators, proctors, agents, and members of any hearing panels, in performing their duties under this rule, are regarded as acting as officers of the court and shall be immune from civil liability for any conduct arising out of the performance of their duties. 

(b)  A person shall be immune from civil liability for all of his or her statements made in good faith to the board, committee, office of bar admissions, office of the attorney general, or the court, given in any investigation or proceedings pertaining to an application for admission. The protection of this immunity does not apply to statements made to others.  

Comment

  The provisions of this amended rule shall apply to all applications and motions for admission to the bar filed or pending on or after September 1, 2012.      

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