Indiana Supreme Court amends professional conduct, bar admittance and attorney discipline rules

The Indiana Supreme Court has announced several amendments to the rules of professional conduct and rules for admission to the bar and discipline of attorneys, including a new rule and references to the Indiana Office of Admissions and Continuing Education.

The order amending the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Rules for Admission and Discipline will shift the Roll of Attorneys and the annual registration process from the Clerk of the Appellate Courts to the Indiana Office of Admissions & Continuing Education (ACE), remove the age requirement from the retired attorney status, and streamline the Temporary Admissions process.

Newly added in the amendments, which go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022 is Rule 1.1 of the Rules for Admission to the Bar and the Discipline of Attorneys, titled “Indiana Office of Admissions and Continuing Education.”

That rule details that the Indiana Office of Admissions and Continuing Education “shall provide for the efficient management of the State Board of Law Examiners, the Indiana Commission for Continuing Legal Education, the registration of attorneys, and the Indiana roll of attorneys.” It further states that the Supreme Court shall appoint the executive director of ACE.

An amendment to Indiana Rule of Professional Conduct 6.7(a)(4) replaced the reference to “Clerk of the Indiana Supreme Court” with “Executive Director of the Indiana Office of Admissions and Continuing Education.”

The removal and replacement of that reference to the clerk with “Executive Director of the Indiana Office of Admissions and Continuing Education” continues throughout the remainder of the Supreme Court’s 17-page order in Rule 2, Rule 3, Rule 4, Rule 6, Rule 7, Rule 23, Rule 26, Rule 27, and Rule 28.

Other amendments made to the Rules for Admission to the Bar and the Discipline of Attorneys include:

  • Removes the age requirement from the retired attorney status and eliminates the age requirement for retired attorneys to be exempt from payment of the annual registration fees.
  • Attorneys from another state or territory of the United States not admitted pursuant to Rule 21 must pay $300 to the Executive Director of the Indiana Office of Admissions and Continuing Education and will not be refunded if the verified petition for temporary admission is denied. They must also file a certificate of good standing issued within the past 30 days by the highest court in each state in which the attorney is admitted to practice law..
  • Striking subsections (b), (c) and (f) from Rule 3 Section 2 regarding notice of temporary admission, renewal of registration for temporary admission, and scope and effect of automatic exclusion from practice within the state.

The high court’s order also states the amendments apply only to requests for Temporary Admission on Petition filed on or after Jan. 1, 2022. It states that if an attorney has been granted temporary admission status in a case prior to that date, the attorney need not pay a renewal fee in that case. For cases initiated after Jan. 1, 2022, an attorney must pay the temporary admission registration fee for each case.

The order in Rule 9 dealing with State Board of Law Examiners also removed “treasurer” from the list of positions the board will elect annually. It also strikes the requirement that the board maintain its office in a location determined by the Indiana Supreme Court and removes a line stating that the justices will appoint a person to serve as executive director.

The order also renames Rule 29 Section 7 to “Compensation of Commissioners,” striking subsections (a) through (d).

Editor’s note: This article has been updated.

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