THE CONGRESS HERE ASSEMBLED ENACTS:
Section 1: Definitions
Section 1A: Hereinafter the words ‘Justice Department Recognition Act of 2017’ shall refer to Justice Department Recognition Act of 2017.
Section 1B: Hereinafter the words, ‘attorney’, ‘counselor’, ‘esquire’, ‘esq.’, and ‘legal practitioner’ shall refer to ‘any person who is permitted to practice law in the jurisdiction of this state’.
Section 1C: Hereinafter the words ‘practice law’ shall refer to ‘The performance of a legal service, for another person, corporation, entity, agency, department, or group. Specifically, the preparation (or presentation) of any petition, brief, or other legal filings for any quasi-judicial (including administrative tribunals); or court of law body; or for presentation to any government board or legislative committee or to any other body or entity or by preparation or negotiation of any contract in which the person so preparing or negotiating is doing so on behalf of another or by advising a person (or any entity) of their legal rights under the color of Firestone law; or by representing a person (other than themselves) before any quasi-judicial (including administrative tribunals) or court of law body or for presentation to any government board or legislative committee’.
Section 1D: Hereinafter, the word “disbarment” shall refer to “the removal of one’s ability to practice law via the removal of said person’s bar certification-and a bar on receiving another certification in the future.”
Section 2: Nullifications and Amendments to Law
Section 3A: Sec. II(b) and Sec. III(e) of “Justice Department Recognition Act of 2017” shall be nullified.
Section 3: Enactment and Appointment of Members of the Board
Section 3A: There shall be a new board, entitled the “Board of Legal Examiners and Ethics,” or “BLEE.”
Section 3B: The board shall be composed of: The Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, and three other bar certified attorneys appointed by the Attorney General and confirmed by the Senate. Positions on this committee shall not be considered employment, and not be subject to employment regulations on number of positions.
Section 3C: Current members of the Bar Review Committee, created by the Attorney General, shall start out being the members of the board and Section 3B of this act shall not take effect until four or less members of the board remain, in which case any open spots (excluding the AG and DAG) will be filled by the process in 3B.
Section 4: Powers of the Board
Section 4A: Regulation of Practice Generally -
The board shall be empowered to create a general and reasonable set of regulations for the ethical practice of law-of which may not conflict with state law.
Section 4B: The Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General shall head this board, serving as Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively.
Section 4C: Rules of Procedure Generally -
The board shall be authorized to establish a set of rules for the procedures of the board, as well as regulations and ethical codes for all attorneys in the state. One half (½) of the board need be present for the conducting of business. All proposals need to be agreed to by simple majority of the board members present in order to be agreed to by the board. The board shall conduct its business and notate the yeas and nays. The board shall publish a public journal of votes, decisions, ethical hearings, etc. at the first of every calendar month.
Section 4D: The board shall be authorized to remove a member by ⅔ majority vote with 2/3 of the board in attendance-the member up for removal will not have a vote in their removal, nor count towards the attendance requirement. The board may not remove the Attorney General or Deputy Attorney General.
Section 4E: The board shall be the sole agent authorized to grant bar certifications; the license to practice law pursuant to 1C of this act.
Section 4F: The board shall be permitted to establish a method and regulations for admission to the practice of law.
Section 4G: The board shall be authorized to set up an administrative court of inquiry to hear disciplinary matters arising from violations of the regulations for the ethical practice of law so created by the board. All persons certified by this board to practice may be compelled to attend disciplinary hearings, upon a reasonable belief that a regulation or ethical code was violated. Any legal practitioner who fails to comply with a lawful appearance order shall be subject to disbarment. The board of inquiry shall hear the complaint, allow the individual filing the complaint (if there is one and if they wish to) to speak, the individual with the complaint against them to speak, examine all evidence, and then make a ruling. The board shall vote on the outcome of disciplinary hearings (as well as initiate them generally) by the procedures described in 4C of this act. If majority is not reached to find the attorney liable for the violation, then said attorney is to be found not liable.
Section 4H: Upon the findings of a board of inquiry in which an attorney is found at fault for a violation of regulations or ethics, the board may dole out: disbarment, suspension of their certification, restrictions on practice, or a documented warning/strike on their certification.
Section 4I: The board shall be able to sue, and be sued, in the courts of law.
Section 4J: The rules adopted by the board may not be applied ex post facto.
Section 4K: The board shall not discriminate on the basis of sex, sexuality, religious beliefs, race, ethnicity, or similar characteristics.
Section 4L: All of the certifications so granted, and active at the time of this act’s enactment, by the Attorney General shall carry over and shall be assumed to have been granted by the board.
Section 5: Recognition of Attorney-Client Privilege
Section 5A: The right for all persons and entities to keep all lawful communications and contacts, for the purpose or relating to any legal service provided (or ongoing), with all legal practitioners representing them in ways described in 1C of this act shall be recognized.
Section 5B: The contacts and communications listed under Section 5A of this act shall be regarded as things ‘…not collected to be released…’ under the bill of rights unless they: (1) contain an active criminal conspiracy unrelated to the offence for which they acquired legal counsel; (2) show the advocation of violating the lawful rules of the BLEE or legal procedure; (3) show clear intent to unlawfully interfere with any legal proceedings or anything or anyone involved in a legal proceeding
Section 5C: Any released information, immune to the privacy protection privilege of Section 5B of this act, shall have the information still protected by the privacy protection privilege set forth in Section 5B of this act be redacted from the public record.
Section 5D: The courts, whether it be law or administrative bodies, shall not admit any statement that is covered by the privacy protection privilege into the evidentiary record unless the privacy protection privilege is waived by the party giving statement. In addition, the courts shall not admit, or factor into any verdict, any admission of guilt made by the person receiving the legal service if such admission is in the communication or contact with any person providing or being petitioned to provide a legal service to the person so admitting.
Section 5E: The persons receiving any legal service from a legal practitioner may waive the right to the privacy protection privilege set forth in Section 5B. Upon doing so Section 5B shall not apply to the portion of the contact or communication so waived and thus, may be released publicly.
Section 5F: No legal practitioner may release anything protected by the privacy protection privilege set forth in Section 5B unless the protections afforded by said section are waived. If these protections are waived then the legal practitioner may do as he pleases with the information.
Section 6: Impersonation of Counselors, Generally, Unlawful
Section 6A: It shall be unlawful for any person who is not a bar certified attorney to practice law pursuant to 1C of this act, doing so shall be considered a felony punishable by no more than one hour in state prison.
Section 7: This act shall go into effect (excluding any portions specifically noted as not being so unless a specific event occurs) immediately upon being passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law, or via a veto override.
Section 8: This act shall be enforced by the Department of Justice and the judiciary.
Skye_Jones, Speaker of the House, Bar Review Committee Member
DannyboyLaw, District Court Judge, Bar Review Committee Member
Uncircuit, District Court Judge, Bar Review Committee Member
Jefrafra, Attorney General, Representative, Bar Review Committee Chairman