Summarizing 2016 voluntary bar legislation

  • Feb 12, 2016
  • Voluntary Bar Legislation

House Bill 2219 is identical to last session’s HB 2629. It states that the supreme court shall license and regulate attorneys for the practice of law in Arizona. And it further states an attorney shall not be required to be a member of any organization to become or remain a licensed attorney in Arizona.

House Bill 2221 upholds lawyer First Amendment Freedoms; improves public transparency; assures no government growth at taxpayer expense; fights further bar bureaucratic bloat; affirms Arizona Supreme Court state constitutional authority over lawyer regulation; and transfers all lawyer regulation authority from the lawyer-controlled state bar to the Court to better protect the public. The State Bar of Arizona exists as a professional association empowered only to collect voluntary non-regulatory dues from lawyers.

In sum, HB 2221:
1. Reaffirms lawyer regulation under the state supreme court;
2. Places all lawyer regulation assessments under supreme court control;
3. Limits bureaucratic expansion since the state bar is authorized to only collect voluntary membership dues for non-regulatory programs and services and requires the bar to file annual independently audited public accountings;
4. Subjects the bar to open records and public meeting laws if the supreme court delegates any of its regulatory authority to it.

HB 2221 does not grow state government; burden taxpayers; dismantle the state bar or move lawyer regulation to the legislature.