IN RE AMENDMENTS TO RULES GOVERNING ADMISSION TO THE BAR, RULE VII
On November 20, 2014, following our request to the Arkansas Bar Association for a recommendation concerning an amendment to Rule VII(C) of the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar, we granted the Association's petition to amend Rule VII(C) and adopted as a provisional rule the Association's recommendation with minor revisions. See In re Rules Governing Admission to the Bar, Rule VII, 2014 Ark. 498 (per curiam). At that time, we anticipated taking final action on the Rule in June 2015 following the 2015 annual-dues-payment period, and we welcomed comments from the public before June 1, 2015. We thank everyone who submitted comments.
We have reviewed Provisional Rule VII(C) and the comments. We adopt the Rule, with stylistic revisions, as final. We also adopt amendments to Rules VII(A), VII(D), and VII(F). The amendments to Rule VII(A) set forth the requirements regarding reduced fees for retired attorneys age 65 and older and for those attorneys incapacitated due to illness, injury, or advanced age. Rule VII(D) is amended to correct an inaccurate reference to former Paragraph 2 of Rule VII(C), and Rule VII(F) is amended to require that attorneys provide an email address of record upon admission to the Bar and upon request by the Clerk of this court.
We take this opportunity to note that we are currently permitting attorneys suspended pursuant to Rule VII(C) to voluntarily surrender their licenses without paying past dues and penalties owed, and we will continue to do so until December 31, 2016. Attorneys interested in petitioning this court to voluntarily surrender their licenses should begin that process by contacting the Office of Professional Conduct.
Today, we amend and republish the rules as set out below. These amendments are effective immediately.
RULES GOVERNING ADMISSION TO THE BAR
Rule VII. Application for license.
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A. LICENSE FEE. An annual license fee as set by the Court, from time to time, shall be imposed upon each attorney actively licensed to practice law in this State. The fee shall be paid annually to the Clerk of the Arkansas Supreme Court. The amount shall be payable January 1 of each year, and must be paid not later than March 1 of each year to avoid penalties and suspension as described in subsection (C) of this Rule. Funds thus realized shall be used as ordered by the Supreme Court of the State of Arkansas.
Attorneys licensed in this State who have transferred to voluntary inactive status pursuant to Section 25 A.(7) of the Procedures of the Arkansas Supreme Court Regulating Professional Conduct of attorneys at Law, or its successor provision, shall pay fifty percent (50%) of the fee required of actively licensed attorneys.
Attorneys age 65 or older licensed in this State who have certified that their primary source of income does not derive from the practice of law shall pay ten percent (10%) of the fee required of actively licensed attorneys.
Upon request by an attorney or the attorney's representative, the Clerk shall have the discretion to place an attorney on voluntary non-payment status if the attorney is incapacitated due to injury, illness, or advanced age. Attorneys placed on voluntary non-payment status shall not practice law in this State and ...