Jurisdiction News

Colorado

James C. Coyle

James C. Coyle, Attorney Regulation Counsel for the Colorado Supreme Court

James C. Coyle, Attorney Regulation Counsel for the Colorado Supreme Court, retired in June 2018 after 28 years of service with the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. Coyle had served as Attorney Regulation Counsel since 2013, prior to which he had served in various roles, including oversight of attorney admissions, with the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel since 1990. Coyle’s active involvement in the legal profession on a national level included serving as co-chair of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being (see this issue’s article about the Task Force’s report). The Colorado Supreme Court has appointed Jessica Yates, a partner at Snell & Wilmer LLP, to succeed Coyle as Attorney Regulation Counsel.

The Colorado Supreme Court has appointed Vince Morscher to the Board of Law Examiners’ Law Committee. Morscher has worked in the Colorado Attorney General’s office in various roles for the past 22 years and has been involved for many years in grading the Colorado Bar Examination.

Illinois

Illinois has adopted the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE). The first administration of the UBE in Illinois will be with the July 2019 bar examination. The date on which Illinois will begin accepting transferred UBE scores from other UBE jurisdictions is yet to be determined.

Oregon

Effective August 1, 2018, the Oregon State Bar will accept reciprocity applications from applicants who have passed a bar exam in any U.S. jurisdiction. Prior to this rule change, applicants were required to have passed a bar exam in a jurisdiction with which Oregon has reciprocity. Other requirements include the active practice of law for five of the past seven years and active bar membership in a jurisdiction with which the Oregon State Bar has reciprocity.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island has adopted the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE). The first administration of the UBE in Rhode Island will be with the February 2019 bar examination. Rhode Island will begin accepting transferred UBE scores from other UBE jurisdictions after its first administration of the UBE in February 2019.

Tennessee

Tennessee has adopted the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE). The first administration of the UBE in Tennessee will be with the February 2019 bar examination. The date on which Tennessee will begin accepting transferred UBE scores from other UBE jurisdictions is yet to be determined.

Virginia

Julia B. Judkins resigned from the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners’ Character and Fitness Committee in March 2018 after having served on the committee for 23 years since its inception in 1995. The Supreme Court of Virginia has appointed Robert J. Stoney of the law firm Blankingship & Keith PC to fill the vacancy created by Judkins’s retirement.

Wyoming

The Rules and Procedures Governing Admission to the Practice of Law in Wyoming have been amended so that an applicant who has failed a bar examination four times will not be permitted to sit for the Uniform Bar Examination in Wyoming. Attempts to achieve a passing score on the UBE count toward the limit of four regardless of where the applicant sat for the UBE. The limitation may be waived, however, upon a strong showing to the Board of Law Examiners that the applicant has significantly improved his or her preparation for the exam and that there is good cause for the requested waiver.

Noteworthy

  • The Vermont Supreme Court affirms the decision of the Vermont Character and Fitness Committee declining to certify the good moral character and fitness of a 2016 applicant to the Vermont bar, following the applicant’s appeal of the Committee’s decision.
    See In re Robert Grundstein, http://www.vermontjudiciary.org/sites/default/files/documents/op17-084.pdf
  • The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia grants the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed against the Board by a July 2016 Virginia Bar Examination applicant who claims that the Board did not properly accommodate his disability, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. (The matter is currently being appealed to the Fourth Circuit.)
    See Donshur L. Oliver v. Virginia Board of Bar Examiners, et al., Memorandum Opinion (Granting Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss), https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/virginia/vaedce/3:2017cv00492/368713/47/
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