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Maryland Manual, 1991-92
Volume 185, Page 608   View pdf image (33K)
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608/Maryland Manual

Originally, the various local courts were
authorized to examine persons seeking to be ad-
mitted to the practice of law in Maryland. Examina-
tion of attorneys remained a function of local courts
until 1898, when the State Board of Law Examiners
was created (Chapter 139, Laws of 1898).
The Board and its administrative staffadminister
bar examinations twice annually during the last
weeks of February and July Each is a two-day
examination of between nine and twelve hours of
writing time.
Since 1972, the Board has used the Multistate
Bar Examination (MBE) as parr of the overall ex-
amination. The MBE is the nationally recognized
law examination consisting of multiple-choice ques-
tions, prepared and graded under the direction of
the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The
MBE test covers six subjects: contracts, criminal
law, evidence, real property, torts, and constitution-
al law. The MBE test usually is given on the second
day of the examination. The first day usually is
devoted to the traditional essay examination,
prepared and graded by the Board.
Pursuant to the Rules Governing Admission to
the Bar, adopted by the Court of Appeals, June 28,
1990 (effective August 1, 1990) and Rules of the
Board adopted October 8, 1990, the subjects
covered by the Board's essay examination encom-
pass but need not include all of the following sub-
ject area's' agency, business associations, commercial
transactions, constitutional law, contracts, criminal
law and procedure, evidence, Maryland civil proce-
dure, property, professional conduct, and torts.
Single questions may encompass more than one
subject area and subjects are not specifically labeled
on the examination paper.
The Board also processes applications for admis-
sion filed under Rule 13, which permits out-of-
Stace attorneys who have practiced law for a total
of ten years or at least five years of the ten years
preceding application to apply for admission to the
Maryland bar. The lawyers' examination is an essay
test limited in scope and subject matter to
Maryland's Rules of Practice and Procedure and
Rules of Professional Conduct. The test is three
hours long and is administered on the first day of
the regularly scheduled bar examination.
The requirement that all applicants to practice
law in Maryland be domiciliaries of the State when
admitted to the bar was abolished in 1982.
The Board is composed of seven lawyers ap-
pointed to five-year terms by the Court of Appeals.
Authorization for the Board continues until July 1,
1994 (Code Business Occupations and Professions
Article, sees. 10-201 through 10-218).


William Wells Beckett, Chairperson (designated
by Court of Appeals), 1991

Appointed by Court of Appeals: Judith C. H. Cline,
1991; Donna L. Jacobs, 1991; Raymond S.
Smethurst, Jr., 1992; Theodore M. Chandle, Jr.,
1993; Martin P. Lessans, 1993; H. Reese
Shoemaker, Jr., 1993; Barry P. Gossett, 1994;
Nancy L. Slepicka, 1994; Paul Weinstein, 1994.

Melvin Hirshman, -Bar Counsel

District Court Bidg., Room 404
580 Taylor Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401 974-2791

toll free: 1-800-492-1660


Annual Report to Court of Appeals on Disciplinary
Fund and disciplinary activities due Sept. 1.

Annual Report to Court of Appeals on evaluation of the
effectiveness of disciplinary system with recommenda-
tions due Sept. 1.

(Both annual reports are to be published.)



Melvin Hirshman, Bar Counsel (appointed by
Attorney Grievance Commission subject to
approval by Court of Appeals) .... .974-2791

(appointed by Commission)
Harry WolpofF, Chairfmm .........951-8500

Danyl G. Fletcher, Chairperson, 1991 . .882-2000

By Rule of the Court of Appeals, the Attorney
Grievance Commission was created in 1975 to ad-
minister discipline and supervise the inactive status
of lawyers. The Commission appoints, subject to
approval of the Court of Appeals, a lawyer to serve
as bar counsel and principal executive officer of the
disciplinary system. The bar counsel and scaffinves-
tigate all matters involving possible misconduct,
prosecute disciplinary proceedings, and investigate
petitions for reinstatement (Md. Rules, Chapter
1100, subtitle BV). By the same Rule of Court, the
Court of Appeals also established a disciplinary
fund to cover expenses of the Commission and
provided for an Inquiry Committee and a Review
Board to act upon disciplinary cases.
The Commission consists of eight lawyers and
two lay persons appointed by the Court of Appeals
for four-year terms. The chairperson is designated
by the Court.


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Maryland Manual, 1991-92
Volume 185, Page 608   View pdf image (33K)
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