ARIZONA STATE SENATE
FACT SHEET FOR S.C.R. 1005
practice of law; regulation
Proposes to amend the Arizona Constitution by establishing a State Legal Professions Board to exclusively regulate the practice of law.
Currently, both the Legislature and the Judiciary have constitutional powers with respect to the regulation of the practice of law in Arizona. The Legislature derives its power to regulate the practice of law based on its power to legislate on matters of statewide concern. In addition, the Arizona Supreme Court in In re Miller recognized the constitutional prohibition of enacting special laws to regulate the practice of courts of justice (Article 4, part 2, § 19) as implicitly granting the Legislature powers of general regulation of the practice of law.
Case law generally indicates that the judicial authority to regulate the practice of law comes from the court's constitutional powers in Article 3 (distribution of powers) and Article 6, § 5 (authorizes rule making power in the courts) and that the Judiciary holds final jurisdiction over the education, admission and discipline of attorneys; however, the Legislature may prescribe general qualifications and standards for attorneys.
The State Bar of Arizona, which currently regulates attorneys in Arizona, was established by rule by the Arizona Supreme Court in 1973 and is organized as a nonprofit corporation. Previously, the State Bar was established by legislation in 1933 as a public corporation to regulate lawyers. In 1976, the Arizona Court of Appeals held in Bridegroom v. State Bar that the State Bar Act of 1933 was unconstitutional because the Legislature formed the State Bar by a special act (Article 4, part 2, § 19). In 1985, the State Bar Act of 1933 terminated under a sunset law provision.
1. Establishes the State Legal Professions Board to exclusively regulate attorneys and the practice of law in Arizona beginning January 1, 2001.
2. Requires the Board to have a majority of non-attorney members and charges the board with protecting the public from incompetent, impaired or unprofessional attorneys and legal practitioners through licensure, regulation and rehabilitation of the legal profession.
FACT SHEET S.C.R. 1005 Page
3. Provides that the Arizona Supreme Court will continue to establish and enforce rules of conduct for attorneys directly appearing before a court in Arizona.
4. Requires the Secretary of State to submit this amendment to the voters in the next general election.
Prepared by Senate Staff
January 31, 1997