Supreme Court makes additional amendments to new pro bono publico rules

The Indiana Supreme Court has further amended newly created rules dealing with the licensing of pro bono publico attorneys on the eve of their effective date.

Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush signed additional amendments to Indiana Admission and Discipline Rules 2 and 6 Thursday, two months after those rules were amended in October with the creation of Rule 6.2. The latter rule addresses pro bono publico licenses, with language addressing general regulations, required proof, scope of practice, rights and obligations, and disciplinary provisions, among other provisions.

Under the October amendments, language relating to Rule 6.2 Section 2(c) was inserted into Rules 2(c) and (d).

However, under the Dec. 26 order, Rules 2(c) and (d) and Rule 6 Section 2 were stripped of their language related to Rule 6.2 Section 2(c). Instead, the two former rules now include language related to Rule 6.2 Section 3(a).

Under 3(a), a licensed pro bono publico attorney “may appear before a court or tribunal of this jurisdiction, prepare legal documents, render legal advice and provide other pertinent legal services free of charge to persons of limited means through a pro bono or other legal assistance organization.”

Thus, Rule 2(c) — which relates to registration fees for inactive attorneys — now applies to attorneys who file inactivity affidavits “stating … that he or she neither holds judicial office nor is engaged in the practice of law in this state, except for practice permitted under Rule 6.2 Section 3(a).” Similar language was inserted into Rule 2(d), which relates to registration fees for retired attorneys.

Additionally, Rule 6 Section 2 now grants a business counsel license to a person who “complies with Section 1(a)(ii) and is or will be devoted solely to the business of such employer and who receives or will receive his or her entire compensation from such employer for applicant’s legal service, and remains in such employment, except for practice permitted under Rule 6.2 Section 3(a).”

The amendments will take effect Wednesday. All justices concurred.

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