Rule II. Membership

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Section 1. Persons Included in Membership
All members of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals shall be members of the District of Columbia Bar subject to due compliance with the conditions and requirements of such membership. See Bylaws; District of Columbia Bar Membership Manual. Residence in the District of Columbia shall not be a condition of eligibility to membership.

Section 2. Mandatory Course for New Admittees
The Bar shall establish and administer a course on the District of Columbia Rules of Professional Conduct and on District of Columbia practice. Within twelve months after admission to the Bar, all members shall, in accordance with procedures established by the Bar, complete such course and certify compliance with this requirement. Failure to complete the course or otherwise satisfy any related requirements may result in suspension from the Bar and an inability to practice law in the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia Bar shall report annually to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals on the course described in this Section. The report shall address, among other things, the curriculum, the faculty, the number of presentations, attendance, and the number of attorneys suspended for noncompliance.

Section 3. Classes of Membership
The members of the District of Columbia Bar shall be divided into at least 4 classes known respectively as “active” members, “judicial” members, “inactive” members, and “retired” members. The class of inactive members shall be limited to those persons who are eligible for active membership but are not engaged in the practice of law in the District of Columbia and have submitted a written request to the Bar requesting enrollment in the class of inactive members. Judges of courts of record, full-time court commissioners, U.S. bankruptcy judges, U.S. magistrate judges, other persons who perform a judicial function on an exclusive basis, in an official capacity created by federal or state statute or by administrative agency rule, and retired judges who are eligible for temporary judicial assignment, and are not engaged in the practice of law, shall be classified as judicial members, except that if a member’s terms and conditions of employment require that the member be eligible to practice law, then the member may choose to be an active member. Inactive members in good standing and judicial members who are no longer a judge may change their classification to that of an active member by submitting a written request with the Bar for transfer to the class of active members and by paying the license fees required of active members. Judicial members who are no longer a judge shall be classified as active members if they engage in the practice of law in the District of Columbia. Retired members are those persons who have retired from the practice of law (except, as provided in D.C. App R. 49, on a pro bono basis), or who are totally disabled and unable to practice law, and who have certified that (a) they have been an active member of the Bar for five years (two years of any combination of inactive or judicial membership may be substituted for one year of active membership to satisfy this requirement); and (b) they have been engaged in the practice of law in the District of Columbia or elsewhere for a total of 25 years. Except as provided for in Rule 49(c), no judicial, inactive, or retired member shall be entitled to practice law in the District of Columbia or to hold office or vote in any general election or vote on other business conducted by the District of Columbia Bar.

The Board of Governors may, after consultation with the Court, create additional classes of membership and establish the required qualifications for such classes.

Section 4. License Fees
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals shall set a ceiling for annual license fees payable by any member. The Board of Governors shall determine the amount of license fees to be paid annually by members in the various classes of membership. All license fees shall be paid to the Bar and shall constitute a fund for the payment of the expenses of the Bar. The Board of Governors may make recommendations to the Court concerning the amount of the ceiling on license fees. If such a recommendation is made, it shall be published by the Court, and the members of the Bar shall have 60 days, or such other period as the Court may direct, in which to comment. Recommendations by the Board of Governors for an increase in the license fees ceiling shall not be subject to referendum under Rule VII.

Non-payment of license fees may result in suspension and the inability to practice law in the District of Columbia.

Section 5. Resignation and Reinstatement
A member’s resignation from and reinstatement into the Bar shall be governed by procedures prescribed by the Bar, which shall include consultation with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

Section 6. Notice to the Clerk
The Secretary of the Bar shall forward forthwith, to the Clerk of this Court, the names of those attorneys who have registered with the Bar and those whose membership status has been changed in any way pursuant to the provisions of this Rule.

Amended March 4, 2024