The Arizona Supreme Court has jurisdiction over any person or entity engaged in the authorized or unauthorized practice of law (upl) in Arizona via Rule 31 of the Arizona Rules of the Supreme Court. The practice of law is defined as the following:
- Preparing or expressing legal opinions to or for another person or entity;
- Representing a person or entity in a judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative proceeding, or other formal dispute resolution process such as arbitration or mediation;
- Preparing a document, in any medium, on behalf of a specific person or entity for filing in any court, administrative agency, or tribunal;
- Negotiating legal rights or responsibilities on behalf of a specific person or entity; or
- Preparing a document, in any medium, intended to affect or secure a specific person’s or entity’s legal rights.
The State Bar of Arizona can take action against an Arizona attorney that has been disbarred or suspended lawyers that continue to practice law or lawyers admitted in other states that are practicing law in AZ. The Bar can also take action against non-lawyers who are practicing law through expenses, costs and cease and desist orders. Thus those subject to the unauthorized practice of law are:
- Disbarred or suspended lawyers
- Out of State lawyers
The Arizona Bar primarily handles the cases involving Arizona lawyers and lawyers from out of state. Non-lawyer cases are usually handled by the Arizona Superior Courts.
Arizona Lawyer Criminal Self Report Requirements
Rule 54. Grounds for Discipline of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Arizona, Arizona Revised Statutes holds that an attorney licensed in Arizona may be disciplined by the State Bar of Arizona upon the conviction of certain crimes. Our attorneys can assist with Arizona Bar Criminal Self Report requirements. Rule 54 holds that an attorney shall be disciplined for:
- Conviction of a misdemeanor involving a serious crime
- Conviction of ANY felony
A serious crime is defined as any crime that involves interference with the administration of justice, false swearing, misrepresentation, fraud, willful extortion, misappropriation, theft or moral turpitude. A conspiracy, a solicitation of another or any attempt to commit a serious crime, is considered a serious crime.
The attorney’s criminal serious crime or felony conviction is treated and processed like any other charge against a lawyer, except that the sole issue to be determined shall be the extent of the discipline to be imposed not whether the attorney should be disciplined at all.
Lawyers Duty to Self-Report
Arizona Supreme Court Rule 61 describes the attorney’s duty to report certain criminal convictions to the State Bar of Arizona.
A lawyer shall, within twenty (20) days after the entry of judgment of a conviction of a misdemeanor involving a serious crime (as defined above) or of any felony, provide the following information to chief bar counsel:
- bar number
- address of record with the state bar,
- current address if different from the address of record;
- the name of the court in which the judgment of conviction was entered;
- the case or file number in which the judgment of conviction was entered; and
- the date the judgment of conviction was entered.
If you have been accused of the unauthorized practice of law in Arizona contact Chelle Law for assistance.
Professional Rules Legal Services
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Bar Complaint Attorney services and how to protect your license, set up a consultation with Chelle Law and reach out to us today.