ATTORNEY PARTICIPANTS IN
DEFENDER OR LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAMS


Rule 311. Attorney participants in defender or legal services programs.

 (a)  Scope. This rule applies to an attorney who is not a member of the bar of this Commonwealth but is qualified to practice in the courts of another state and who is employed by or associated with an organized legal services program in this Commonwealth providing legal assistance to indigents in civil matters or a public defender’s office or defender association in this Commonwealth providing legal assistance to indigents in criminal matters.

 (b)  General Rule. An attorney to which this rule applies shall be admitted to practice before the courts and magisterial district judges of this Commonwealth in all matters in which the attorney is employed by or associated with a public defender’s office, an organized defender association, or an organized legal services program which is sponsored, approved or recognized by the local county bar association. Admission to practice under this rule shall be limited to the matters specified in the preceding sentence.

 (c)  Application. An applicant for limited admission to practice under this rule shall file with the Board an application on a form prescribed by the Board which shall include or be accompanied by a statement signed by a representative of the public defender’s office, defender association; or organized legal services program indicating that the attorney will be employed by or associated with such entity.

 Any such statement shall also contain an undertaking by the public defender’s office, defender association or legal services program to notify the Prothonotary immediately whenever the attorney ceases to be employed by or associated with such office, association or program.

 The application shall be processed in accordance with the provisions of Rules 212 through 222.

 (d)  Requirements. The requirements for issuance of a limited license under this rule are:

   1.  Completion of the study of law at and receipt without exception of an earned Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor degree from an accredited law school;

   2.  Admission to the practice of law in another state, on active status at the time of filing the application;

   3.  Absence of prior conduct by the applicant which in the opinion of the Board indicates character and general qualifications incompatible with the standards expected to be observed by members of the bar of this Commonwealth; and

   4.  Presentation of a certificate of good standing from the highest court or the agency having jurisdiction over the admission to the bar and the practice of law in every jurisdiction in which the applicant has been admitted to practice law, stating that the applicant is in good professional standing at the bar of such court or such state. An applicant who is disbarred or suspended for disciplinary reasons from the practice of law in another jurisdiction at the time of filing an application shall not be eligible for a limited license under this rule.

   5.  An applicant who has taken and failed the Pennsylvania bar examination will not be admitted under this Rule. This provision does not apply to individuals who have passed the bar examination upon a subsequent attempt.

 (e)  Application Fee. An applicant for limited admission to practice under this Rule shall pay an application fee fixed by the Board.

 (f)  Issuance of License. At any time within six months of the receipt of a certificate from the Board recommending the issuance of a limited license to practice in a public defender’s office, defender association or legal services program, an applicant may file a motion with the Prothonotary, on a form prescribed by the Board for issuance of such license. The motion shall be accompanied by the certificate from the Board recommending issuance of the license and the fee required by the Prothonotary. Upon receipt of the appropriate documents and fee, the Prothonotary shall enter the name of the applicant upon the docket of persons specially admitted to the bar of this Commonwealth subject to the restrictions of this rule and shall issue an appropriate certificate in evidence thereof.

 (g)  Expiration of Admission. When an attorney admitted under this rule ceases to be employed by or associated with an office, association or a program as set forth in the motion previously filed, a written statement to that effect shall be filed with the Prothonotary by a representative of the public defender’s office, defender association or legal services program. Admission to practice under this rule shall expire after 30 months, unless the Court for good cause shown shall extend such period in an individual case, or when the attorney ceases to be employed by or associated with such office, association or program, whichever shall first occur.

 (h) Enforcement Rules. The Enforcement Rules shall be applicable to an attorney admitted under this rule.

   Official Note

   Based on former Supreme Court Rule 10 and makes no change in substance.

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 311 amended April 28, 2009, effective immediately, 39 Pa.B. 2433. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (328842) to (328843) and (325753).



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