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    The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hold a public hearing on Oct. 29, 2007, to consider revisions to SCR 11.06 concerning group and prepaid legal services plans and SCR 10.05(1) regarding nonresident lawyer representation on the State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors. The court also will hold a public hearing on Nov. 7, 2007, to consider amendments to SCR 40.04 regarding the legal competence requirement for the bar examination, SCR 40.04(5) regarding applicants for the bar examination, and SCR 13.015 and SCR 13.045 governing the assessment on attorneys for WisTAF.
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    Vol. 80, No. 9, September 2007

    Group and Prepaid Legal Services Plans

    In the matter of the Revision of SCR 11.06 Concerning Group and Prepaid Legal Services Plans

    Order 07-01

    On Feb. 2, 2007, the State Bar of Wisconsin petitioned this court for a revision to SCR 11.06 governing the participation of state bar members in group or prepaid legal services plans. The State Bar of Wisconsin also proposes this court hold in abeyance the reporting and registration requirements of SCR 11.06(4) pending a decision on the issues raised in this petition.

    IT IS ORDERED that a public hearing on the petition shall be held in the Supreme Court Room in the State Capitol, Madison, Wis., on Oct. 29, 2007, at 9:45 a.m.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the court's conference in the matter shall be held promptly following the public hearing.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that notice of the hearing be given by a single publication of a copy of this order and of the petition in the official state newspaper and in an official publication of the State Bar of Wisconsin not more than 60 days nor less than 30 days before the date of the hearing.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the petitioner's request for an interim order staying the reporting requirements is held in abeyance, pending the court's consideration of the matter.

    Dated at Madison, Wis., this 1st day of August, 2007.

    By the court:

    David R. Schanker,
    Clerk of Supreme Court

    Petition

    The State Bar of Wisconsin petitions the Court for a revision to Supreme Court Rule 11.06 governing the participation by State Bar members in group or prepaid legal services plans. The State Bar's Group & Prepaid Legal Services Committee believes that the changes recommended in this petition and endorsed by the State Bar's Board of Governors will streamline the public's access to affordable legal services through these plans and reduce unnecessary administrative requirements that neither protect the interests of consumers nor advance the interests of the legal profession. In light of the recommendations contained in this petition, the State Bar also requests that the Court enter an interim order that holds in abeyance the reporting and registration requirements of SCR 11.06(4) pending the Court's decision on the issues raised in this petition.

    1. The Current Rule

    SCR 11.06 governs the registration of new group or prepaid legal plans and the participation of Wisconsin lawyers in those plans. Plans must be filed with State Bar prior to operating in Wisconsin. Attorneys may only participate in plans that meet certain disclosure, dispute resolution and independence requirements. Annually, each lawyer participating in such a plan must file an annual report with the State Bar providing information regarding the plan or the lawyer's participations, including the fees charged, the number of clients assisted and the kinds of services provided. Administration of the rule is handled by State Bar staff under the direction of the Group & Prepaid Legal Services Committee. In the event that the committee believes that a practice disclosed by an attorney may violate the rule, it can seek an opinion from the Professional Ethics Committee and, if warranted, file a complaint with the Office of Lawyer Regulation.

    Currently, 34 group or prepaid legal plans are registered with the State Bar. For calendar year 2005, 136 Wisconsin attorneys reported serving clients through such plans.

    The original rule appears to have been created in 1979 for number of reasons. First, it was intended to give attorneys guidance on when they could participate in what was then a relatively new form of obtaining legal services. Second, the goal was to create a registry of the plans being created for employers, mutual associations and other nonprofit entities. There may also have been a desire to collect information about the usage and extent of what was then a relatively new means of accessing legal assistance. Although the rule did not directly regulate the legal plans themselves, it did so indirectly by restricting Wisconsin lawyers to participation in plans that had certain consumer-friendly features.

    2. The Changing Landscape

    When the rule was adopted, most plans were locally-based and were being set up by Wisconsin lawyers. The sponsors were mainly unions, trade associations, local companies, churches and credit unions. Since that time, the largest plans serving the most members in Wisconsin and nationally are organized outside Wisconsin as publicly traded companies (Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. and Hyatt Legal Plans, a subsidiary of MetLife). Wisconsin attorneys in many cases can no longer report on more than their own participation in the larger plans, because they lack the necessary plan-wide information held by the administrators for the national plans. An attorney may handle one matter referred through the plan but be unable to state what the plan or other attorneys have done. It was this state of affairs that led the committee to adopt a "Plan Administrator's Annual Report Form" to gather the information that attorneys lacked.

    3. How Plans Work

    Some plans now back their promises with insurance policies that are overseen by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance. The policies in turn provide the plan's agreed upon payment to the attorney when the attorney assists a plan member (the consumer). Others support their promises with membership dues from the association, union or organization.

    None of the plans appear to involve long term, binding contracts between clients, plan organizers and/or attorneys. Plans that charge consumers a fee for participation do so through either payroll deduction (e.g. Hyatt Legal Plans) or through direct payment to the plan (Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc.). The most common arrangement appears to be a monthly recurring charge for plan participation that the consumer can terminate at any time for any reason. Plan services may also be an automatic benefit of membership in a labor union or trade association.

    Variegated is the best way to describe the group and prepaid legal plan landscape these days. There are plans that actually contract with Wisconsin law firms to provide certain benefits at no additional cost to plan members. Other plans act merely as a referral source, collecting nothing from the consumer and only a small fee from the attorney, who agrees to offer a discounted fee schedule to referred plan members. Plans also combine a number of different variations on these first two types. Some plans even act as adjuncts to employee assistance plans, referring employees experiencing difficulties to attorneys as they would to any other professional provider like a psychologist or accountant.

    4. Changes In The Rule Are Needed

    For the reasons stated below, the State Bar recommends that SCR 11.06 be revised as follows to remove the registration and reporting requirements in the current rule but retaining the protections for consumers through limits on attorney participation in these plans:

    SCR 11.06 Group or prepaid legal services plans. (1) A "group or prepaid legal services plan" means a plan by which legal services are rendered to a person participating in the plan by an attorney recommended or selected as provided in the plan.

    (2) An attorney may furnish legal services in this state pursuant to a group or prepaid legal services plan which complies with the following conditions:

    (a) The plan shall be written and provide:

    1. The benefits to be provided, including all exclusions and conditions;

    2. Procedures for the review and resolution of disputes arising under the plan but the plan may not require a client to submit to binding arbitration any grievance or dispute related to an attorney's professional services;

    3. That a person participating in the plan may obtain legal services independently of the plan; and

    4. That an attorney furnishing legal services under the plan is free to exercise independent professional judgment;

    (b) A description of the terms of the plan shall be given to each participant.

    The committee also believes that it would be advisable to add a comment that notes the role that these plans can play in providing additional access to affordable legal advice and a measure of choice in how a client can access a lawyer. The comment should also alert attorneys to the fee-splitting and professional independence rules in SCR 20:5.4(a) and (c) as well as the advertising restrictions in 20:7.2 and 20:7.3.

    5. These Changes Will Protect Consumers And Eliminate Unnecessary Paperwork

    In checking with OLR, the State Bar, the Office of Commissioner of Insurance (OCI), the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), the committee did not uncover any consumer complaints about group or prepaid legal services plans. Nevertheless, the State Bar believes that the consumer protection elements of the rule are important to the public, attorneys and the plans themselves as a minimum standard of fair behavior. Therefore, the State Bar recommends that the Court retain the elements of the existing rule that limit Wisconsin attorneys to participation in plans that meet certain minimum disclosure, dispute resolution and freedom of choice requirements. Lawyers and clients should be free to participate in plans that fit their needs within a framework that provide adequate and clear disclosure of the terms, but without unnecessary paperwork.

    Other elements of the current SCR 11.06 dealing with plan registration, attorney reporting and whether the plan makes a profit, do not appear to serve any continuing purpose that would justify their retention. There has been no measurable benefit to the public or the profession in having the State Bar of Wisconsin act as registrar for group and prepaid legal plans when the rule does not contemplate that the Bar will do more than accept any registration that it receives. Registration creates a paper trail but does nothing to enhance consumer protection for those seeking affordable legal services. Although a vigorous plan registration and oversight regime could be created, the marginal benefit of such an effort is likely to be minimal, given the lack of problems experienced with these plans in Wisconsin.

    There has also been no measurable benefit from collecting data from attorneys on the services that they provide under such plans. In 2005, the last reporting period, 136 attorneys reported on their activities with these plans. Even if the information filed by plans and attorneys were readily available to the public, knowing how many attorneys work with which plans and how many clients they serve is not what interests consumers.

    The committee's sense is that consumers care more about the competence of the attorney, the ease of using the plan, plan cost, protection from plan abuses and similar issues. Attorney competence is handled elsewhere in the rules, while plan cost is readily available to consumers outside the rule. Protecting consumers from potential abuses by plans is a legitimate concern that the committee believes can be addressed by retaining the elements of the rule that restrict attorneys to participation in plans that provide certain basic protections to the public.

    The current requirement that attorneys only furnish legal services through plans that are nonprofits seems to reflect a concern that a for-profit plan would be less desirable in some unspecified way. Since there is no general requirement that attorneys operate through nonprofit entities, it seems curious to impose that restriction on this mode of obtaining legal services. If the plan delivers access to legal services in a manner that customers decide has value, then whether the plan is offered by a non-profit or for-profit entity should not matter. The for-profit plans typically offer a monthly payment option, giving consumers the option of avoiding long-term contracts. In sum, the Bar is not aware of any evidence that a for-profit plan structure is harmful per se to consumers or the profession.

    The State Bar believes that existing enforcement powers in DATCP, DOJ and OCI are sufficient to deal with any issues with plan misrepresentation, false advertising, improper sales practices or coverage disputes. OLR and this Court provide an effective means of ensuring that attorneys meet their professional responsibilities in providing legal services.

    Therefore, the State Bar of Wisconsin respectfully requests that the Court modify SCR 11.06 as indicated above and enter an interim order that holds in abeyance the reporting and registration requirements of SCR 11.06(4) pending the Court's decision on the issues raised in this petition.

    Respectfully submitted, this 2nd day of February, 2007.

    Steven A. Levine, President
    State Bar of Wisconsin

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    Nonresident Lawyer Representation

    In the matter of the Amendment of SCR 10.05(1) Nonresident Lawyer Representation on the State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors

    Order 07-02

    On Feb. 5, 2007, the Board of Governors filed a petition proposing to amend SCR 10.05(1) to increase the number of State Bar governors selected by the Nonresident Lawyers Division.

    IT IS ORDERED that a public hearing on the petition shall be held in the Supreme Court Room in the State Capitol, Madison, Wis., on Oct. 29, 2007, at 9:45 a.m.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the court's conference in the matter shall be held promptly following the public hearing.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that notice of the hearing be given by a single publication of a copy of this order and of the petition in the official state newspaper and in an official publication of the State Bar of Wisconsin not more than 60 days nor less than 30 days before the date of the hearing.

    Dated at Madison, Wis., this 1st day of August, 2007.

    By the court:
    David R. Schanker, Clerk of Supreme Court

    Petition

    The Board of Governors of the State Bar of Wisconsin petitions the Wisconsin Supreme Court to amend SCR 10.05(1) to increase the number of State Bar governors selected by the Nonresident Lawyers Division from three governors to five governors as follows:

    That the provision of the Supreme Court Rules relating to the Board of Governors, specifically SCR 10.05(1) be amended as follows:

    SCR 10.05 Board of Governors (1) Composition of Board. The affairs of the association shall be managed and directed by a board of governors consisting of the 6 officers of the association, all of whom shall be ex officio members-at-large of the board, not fewer than 35 members elected from the State Bar districts established under sub. (2), one member selected by the young lawyers division pursuant to its bylaws, one member selected by the government lawyers division pursuant to its bylaws, three five governors selected by the nonresident lawyers division pursuant to its bylaws, one governor selected by the senior lawyers division pursuant to its bylaws, and three nonlawyers appoint­ed by the supreme court for staggered two-year terms. No person appointed by the supreme court shall serve more than two consecutive full terms. The rights and powers of the ex officio members of the board are the same as those of elected members. All past-presidents of the Wisconsin bar associa­tion or of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin state delegate to the American Bar Association house of delegates and the deans of the Marquette university and university of Wisconsin law schools are entitled to floor privileges, but without voting privileges.

    The undersigned respectfully submits this petition on behalf of the Board of Governors and prays for an Order accordingly.

    Steven A. Levine, President
    State Bar of Wisconsin

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    Bar Examination

    In the matter of the Amendment of SCR 40.04 Legal Competence Requirement: Bar Examination; SCR 40.04(5) An Applicant

    Order 07-04

    On March 23, 2007, attorney Arnold A. Moncada Jr. filed a petition proposing to amend SCR 40.04 (5), Legal competence requirement: Bar examination, to provide that there be no limit to the number of times an applicant may sit for the bar examination under this provision, and to provide for a right of appeal for applicants who fail the examination under certain conditions.

    IT IS ORDERED that a public hearing on the petition shall be held in the Supreme Court Room in the State Capitol, Madison, Wis., on Nov. 7, 2007, at 9:30 a.m.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the court's conference in the matter shall be held promptly following the public hearing.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that notice of the hearing be given by a single publication of a copy of this order and of the petition in the official state newspaper and in an official publication of the State Bar of Wisconsin not more than 60 days nor less than 30 days before the date of the hearing.

    Dated at Madison, Wis., this 1st day of August, 2007.

    By the court:

    David R. Schanker,
    Clerk of Supreme Court

    Petition Background. In January, 2003, the petitioner, Arnold A. Moncada Jr. graduated from Thomas Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. In April, 2003, the petitioner endured a personal tragedy with the death of his son, Richard, who was an attorney and graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School. The petitioner's goal was to go to law school after retirement and then practice with his son. During the grieving process the petitioner had taken the bar exam four times. Petitioner also took the exam a 5th time and failed. On the fourth and fifth time the Board of Bar Examiners (hereinafter the Board) advised that he would not be allowed to take the exam again. This created more stress to the exam process. Petitioner admits taking the exam during the grieving process was a mistake.

    On June 14, 2006, the petitioner requested the Board to reconsider his request for a waiver of his 4' bar exam in which petitioner received a score of 142 on the MBE (Multistate Bar Exam) and a score of 127 on the subjective essay portion of the state exam. Petitioner's score was 593. If petitioner would have received a score of 60.0 he would have passed the exam. Petitioner passed 6 of the S essay questions. The petitioner requested the Board to waive the requirements because of exceptional circumstances. The petitioner requested a hearing, an appearance before the Board, and the opportunity to take the essay portion separately. These requests were denied.

    In June, 2006, the petitioner requested a copy of the agenda for the June Board meeting from the new director. However, petitioner was told that the Board does not give out agenda's. Petitioner asked if they had received his request for reconsideration. The new director stated he had received the request. Petitioner advised the new director that he was going to attend the June open meeting session.

    On June 14, 2006, the petitioner attempted to attend the board meeting with his attorney. On the morning of the Board meeting while outside, petitioner observed two Capitol Police squad cars with lights flashing pull up to the 110 E. Main St. address. It was later learned that the Board Chairman Charles Constantine requested that the Capitol police be called. The petitioner went upstairs to the third floor to enter the Board meeting. As petitioner approached the meeting room he heard an individual ask if anyone knows what this Moncada looks like. Petitioner explained that he was in fact Arnold Moncada and asked what the problem was. At this time there were three Capitol police standing in the hallway and the sergeant was talking with a female member of the Board. Petitioner advised them that he was a retired Sheriff, attorney, and wanted to attend the open meeting. The sergeant of the Capitol police stated he was called to remove a party from the third floor, he would not give specifics. The petitioner asked to attend the meeting, the chairman advised he decided to close the meeting and the petitioner would not be allowed to attend the meeting.

    Petitioner explained that he had attended another Board meeting in December, 2004, when all the Justices were in attendance. At that time petitioner was introduced by the Chief Justice. There was never an issue mentioned attending the open session of the meeting. Petitioner asked why the police were called. The chairman stated that the petitioner has a fixation with the process and continued to verbally go through petitioner's file in the hallway in front of the officer's, a female member of the board, and the petitioner's attorney. The Chairman explained how many times the petitioner had taken the exam and the failures of the exams and percentages. The female Board member that was standing in the hallway suggested the chairman stop the conversation and start their meeting. We exited the building and petitioner later requested open records information from the Capitol police.

    In October, 2006, the petitioner requested the Board to allow him to take the bar exam again for a 6th time. The Board denied the request. The petitioner can never take the bar exam again in Wisconsin.

    General Comments. The current rule is inherently discriminatory and grossly unfair. The Board arbitrary and capriciously decides who may or may not take an exam when an applicant fails the bar examination three times. We have no idea what criteria is used to allow an applicant to retake the exam. The Board goes into closed session. Neither the public, nor the applicant is allowed to hear how the board decides these issues. There is no hearing or appeal process available to the applicant.

    The Board's actions are inherently discriminatory and grossly unfair against individuals by limiting how many times they can take a bar exam. Graduates from University of Marquette and University of Wisconsin Law School do not have to take a bar exam. Wisconsin is the only state in the union that allows this procedure. As a result of the limitation on the times an applicant can take the exam, the Rule discriminates against graduates from law schools outside the state, in relation to graduates from the University of Marquette and University of Wisconsin Law School.

    Analysis. The attached proposal concerning the amendment to SCR 40.04(5) amends the existing rule that will allow an eligible applicant to participate in the bar examination and not place a limitation on the number of times a person can sit for the Wisconsin Bar.

    It also includes a new proposal that would allow an appeal. There shall be at least a right of appeal offered to each person taking the examination if the applicant's score is within a certain range of the passing score. The Board will determine the scope of the appeal. Based upon rules approved by the Supreme Court. The proposed rule would have retroactive application.

    The Board asserts that its purpose is to protect the public. The public is not protected by putting a limitation on the number of times an applicant may take the exam. Many other professionals, such as accountants do not have a limitation on the number of times an applicant can take a licensing exam. The purpose of a license exam is to ensure a minimal level of competence. It should not matter how many times an applicant takes the exam. The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) identifies thirty (30) states that allow unlimited opportunities to take the bar exam. (Exhibit #1)

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court rules do not have an appeal process for failed exams. There should be at least a minimum right of appeal offered each person taking the exam within a certain score. The question to be determined by an appeal would be whether a mechanical error had been made in computing the grade or the grade given by the examiner was arbitrary, capricious and without foundation. Many states have an appeal process especially when the failing score is within a certain range. Our judicial system allows an appeal process for administrative claims, civil claims, and criminal prosecution. However, when comes to taking a bar exam there is no appeal process.

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court rules do not allow any other person to review the subjective essay exam other than the examinee, even if the examinee gives permission. The examinee may not have his attorney or a law professor review the exam, or make copies. An applicant may look at their exam. However, there is no feedback. This process has no educational benefit whatsoever.

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court rules do not allow the public or an applicant to review the policy and procedures for correcting the subjective exams.

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court rules do not allow the public or an applicant to review the policy and procedures for training and instructing the examiners how to correct the subjective exams.

    Members of the Board are vested with a wide range of discretion in the methods of grading applicants for admission. A holistic grading method, in which the graders read essay answers and rate them for overall impression of quality rather than analytically, is arbitrary. Moreover, we do not know how these graders scoring tendencies were standardized.

    The former director of the Board, Gene Rankin stated that "Wisconsin is psychometrically superior to other jurisdictions when it comes to grading bar exams". (Exhibit # 2) Yet, how can this statement be accurate when the applicant and the public are afforded no opportunity to review the policy and procedures for correcting the exam.

    As stated previously, the purpose of the bar exam is to protect the public, not to limit the number of licensed attorneys. Yet, the passing score was raised several times and the percentage of those passing decreased. (Exhibit #3, #4) Rather, the limitation on the number of times an applicant can take the exam only protects law school graduates from the University of Wisconsin Law School and University of Marquette who do not have to take a bar exam.

    Key Proposal. The petitioner recognizes that this proposal involves a significant change that should be specifically brought to the court's attention. Petitioner submits the following proposals.

    SCR 40.04(5) The number of times an applicant may be examined for admission to Wisconsin State Bar shall be unlimited.

    SCR 40.04(5) There shall be at least a minimum right of appeal offered to each person taking the examination if the failed exam is within a certain scaled sore or range of points. The Board of Bar Examiners will determine the scope of the appeal. They will promulgate rules to be approved by the Supreme Court.

    If adopted, petitioner submits these proposed rules shall be retroactive.

    Conclusion. Attached to this Petition is the Proposed Amendment to Supreme Court Rule 40:04(5).

    Submitted by:
    Arnold A. Moncada Jr.

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    Assessment on Attorneys for WisTAF

    In the matter of the Amendment of SCR 13.015 and SCR 13.145 Governing the Assessment on Attorneys for WisTAF

    Order 07-06

    On May 8, 2007, the State Bar of Wisconsin petitioned the court for a revision to Supreme Court Rule 13.015 and Supreme Court Rule 13.045 governing the assessment on attorneys for WisTAF. The petition proposes allowing attorneys subject to the assessment the option of donating the $50 assessment to a specific law-related civil legal services entity other than WisTAF, and also proposes expanding the classes of members subject to this assessment to include judicial members. Supreme Court Justices are already subject to the assessment. SCR 13.045 (1).

    IT IS ORDERED that a public hearing on the petition shall be held in the Supreme Court Room in the State Capitol, Madison, Wis., on Nov. 7, 2007, at 9:30 a.m.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the court's conference in the matter shall be held promptly following the public hearing.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that notice of the hearing be given by a single publication of a copy of this order and of the petition in the official state newspaper and in an official publication of the State Bar of Wisconsin not more than 60 days nor less than 30 days before the date of the hearing.

    Dated at Madison, Wis., this 1st day of August, 2007.

    By the court:

    David R. Schanker,
    Clerk of Supreme Court

    Petition

    The State Bar of Wisconsin petitions the Court for a revision to Supreme Court Rules 13.015 and 13.045 governing the assessment on attorneys for WisTAF. In April 2006, State Bar President D. Michael Guerin appointed a task force to study issues related to the Wisconsin Supreme Court's order, effective March 18, 2005, to collect $50 annually from all active-licensed attorneys to provide funding for civil legal services for people who cannot afford an attorney. The State Bar collects the $50-supreme court assessment on its dues statement and pays it to the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation (WisTAF) via the Public Interest Legal Services Fund.

    President Guerin's charge to the task force was to review possible revisions including, "modifying the current rule to allow attorneys the option of donating to a specific law-related civil legal services entity other than WisTAF; making uniform or otherwise modifying the classes of membership that pay the assessment to WisTAF; permitting credit for nonresident members who must pay a similar assessment in their home state; or any other responses that may be appropriate."

    Task force members included: James C. Boll Sr., Madison, chair; President-elect Thomas Basting, Madison; Andrew Chevrez, West Allis; Rex Ewald, Monroe; Ken Knudson, Superior; President Steve Levine, Madison; and John P. Macy, Waukesha.

    The task force advanced six possible modifications to the State Bar's Board of Governors at the December 2006 BOG meeting. On March 9, 2007, the Board of Governors approved two of the six modifications; those modifications are presented to the Court in this petition. The Board of Governors requests that the Supreme Court modify Supreme Court Rule 13.045 so that:

    1. Attorneys who are currently subject to the WisTAF assessment be allowed the option of donating money to a specific law-related civil legal service entity other than WisTAF. (The Board of Governors approved this proposal on a 29-11 vote.)

    2. The classes of membership subject to the assessment be modified to include all judicial members. (The Board of Governors approved this proposal on a voice vote, with one member abstaining.)

    Proposed Amendments:

    SCR 13.015 In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

    4m) "Law Related Civil Legal Service Entity" means a not for profit entity granted status as a 501(c)(3) entity for tax purposes by the Internal Revenue Service, whose stated mission is to provide direct legal services to persons of limited means in non-criminal matters. Qualification under this definition shall be determined by criteria established by the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Wisconsin.

    SCR 13.045 Assessment of attorneys for fund; enforcement. (1) Annual assessments. Commencing with the State Bar's July 1, 2005 fiscal year, every attorney who is an active member or judicial member of the state bar, and all Supreme Court Justices, shall pay to the fund an annual assessment, to be determined by the supreme court. The assessment shall be $50.00. Emeritus members, judicial members, and inactive members of the state bar are excused from the annual assessment. An attorney whose annual state bar membership dues are waived for hardship shall be excused from the payment of the annual assessment for that year. An attorney shall be excused from the payment of the annual assessment for the first fiscal year during which he or she is required to pay dues and assessments. for any year for which:

    (a) The attorney's annual state bar membership dues are waived for hardship; or

    (b) The attorney is required to pay dues and assessments for the first time; or

    (c) The attorney certifies on such attorney's annual State Bar dues statement that during the fiscal year immediately proceeding such year the attorney has donated the sum of at least $50.00 to a law related civil legal service entity other than WisTAF with eligible programs for the purposes specified in SCR 13.03(2)(a)(1).

    (2) Collection: Failure to pay. The annual assessment shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as the annual membership dues for the state bar are collected, together with the assessments imposed to pay the costs of the lawyer regulation system and the continuing legal education function of the board of bar examiners, as set forth in SCR 10.03 (5) (a). An attorney who fails to timely pay the annual assessment shall have his or her right to practice law suspended pursuant to SCR 10.03 (6).

    (3) Reinstatement. An attorney suspended from the practice of law for failure to pay the annual assessment may petition for reinstatement pursuant to SCR 10.03 (6m).

    Respectfully submitted, this 8th day of May, 2007.

    Thomas J. Basting, President-elect,
    State Bar of Wisconsin

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