FOR GOV’T LAWYERS TO PRACTICE LAW SANS NMI BAR EXAM
JGO sets hearing on proposed rule increasing 4-year requirement to 8
House of Representatives Judiciary and Governmental Operations Committee chair Rep. Celina R. Babauta (D-Saipan) has set a public hearing on the CNMI Supreme Court’s proposed rule that seeks to increase from four years to a maximum of eight years the time allowed for recruited government lawyers to practice law in the CNMI without requiring them to pass the NMI Bar examination.
At a House session last week, Babauta disclosed that the JGO Committee has confirmed that the public hearing with respect to the high court’s proposed rule will be held on Sept. 22 from 6pm to 8pm at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe.
She said notices will be sent for comments to the Office of the Attorney General, NMI Bar Association, Public Defender’s Office, Micronesian Legal Services, and other entities.
Babauta said notices will be sent out also for other legislative initiatives that will be up for comments during the Sept. 22 public hearing.
CNMI Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro informed the Legislature early last month that their proposed Rule 73-2 of Title 9, Rules of Admission provides for one four-year extension.
Castro said if adopted, the proposed Rule 73-2 will replace the previous rule and will increase the time that limited admission attorneys are able to practice in the CNMI from the current four-year requirement to a maximum eight years.
The chief justice said the proposed Rule 73-2 becomes effective 60 days after the submission, unless disapproved by a majority of the members of either Senate or House.
Castro said that, in order to retain and recruit experienced attorneys, the OAG, in consultation with the CNMI Bar Association, requested that attorneys with limited admission be able to extend their admission without having to take the CNMI Bar examination.