Arizona Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness
Application Deadline: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 for attorneys
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 for non-attorneys
Purpose: The Committee members are responsible for the investigation and recommendation of applicants for admission to the practice of law in Arizona. Committee members review applications and attend hearings for further investigation of applicants.
Openings: Two appointments may be made by the Arizona Supreme Court to fill one attorney and one non-attorney position. The State Bar Board of Governors is asked to submit three nominations per opening to the Court for its ultimate selection.
Candidate Criteria/Qualifications: Committee members must possess the time, skill and patience to review confidential detailed reports of background investigations into financial, criminal, civil, employment, disciplinary and academic matters. Committee members must have the ability to marshal and present evidence, examine witnesses and write clear, concise and well-reasoned findings and recommendations when required. Committee members must understand the importance of applying the Supreme Court Rules pertaining to this process consistently and fairly. Communication with Court staff and other Committee members is encouraged and expected. Applicants should describe prior experience with regulation or discipline of professionals, and their views on the observance of an attorney’s professional ethical obligations, on their application. Applicants who currently serve or have served within the past two years as law school faculty (including adjunct) at one of Arizona's accredited law schools shall not be considered if such service could give rise to significant conflicts of interest regarding their duty to the Supreme Court to review and evaluate the character and fitness of current or former students.
A petition to modify Committee processes was filed in January, 2014, and is pending before the Arizona Supreme Court. The Court may modify current investigation and hearing processes, and may determine that additional members need not be appointed at this time. Court modification may change the type and amount of work conducted by Committee members. Under the current process, the Committee conducts at least one formal hearing/meeting monthly in Phoenix and members are expected to participate in each hearing. Members must also participate in one or more panels per month held throughout the state on an as-needed basis. In addition, each member is assigned several applicant files for independent review each month. Currently, including file review and hearings/ meetings, members devote an average of about 25 hours per month to their Committee responsibilities. Mileage is paid for any members residing outside Maricopa County, but there is no other compensation for service as a Committee member.
Term: Initial term of four years, with the possibility of reappointment.
An application form must be submitted to the State Bar by Wednesday, August 27, 2014. For additional information contact Nina Benham at 602.340.7329 or Nina.Benham@staff.azbar.org.
Attorney application form.
Non-Attorney application form.