KOSRAE STATE COURT
Federated States of Micronesia

GENERAL COURT ORDER 2001-5
ADMISSION TO PRACTICE LAW IN THE STATE OF KOSRAE

     Pursuant to Kosrae State Code, Section 6.101(1)(f), this Court is authorized to admit qualified persons as attorneys or counselors to practice law.  This General Court Order is adopted to establish the qualifications for persons to practice law in the State ofKosrae .

     General Court Orders 1985-5, 1996-1, 1997-2, 1997-5, 1997-8 and 1998-5 are hereby repealed in their entirety.  The following Rules for Admission to Practice Law in the State of Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia, are hereby adopted.

RULE ONE

     No person, except on his own behalf, may practice law in the State of Kosrae unless he or she has been admitted to practice law in accordance with these rules and this General Court Order.  The “practice of law” includes practice of law or appearance before Kosrae State Court, practice of law or appearance before Kosrae Land Court, and practice of law throughout the State of Kosrae.  The “practice of law” includes the following:

     The rendition of services requiring the knowledge and the application of legal principles and technique to serve the interests of another with his consent.  It is not limited to appearing in court, or advising and performing of services in the conduct of the various shapes of litigation, but embraces the preparation of pleadings, and other papers incident to actions and special proceedings, and . . . includes legal advice and counsel [to clients] and preparation of legal instruments by which legal rights and obligations are established, [such as contracts, leases, and other agreements].  A person engages in the “practice of law” by [one or more of the following acts:] maintaining an office where he is held out to be an attorney [or trial counselor], using a letterhead describing himself as an attorney [or trial counselor], counseling clients in legal matters, negotiating with opposing counsel about pending litigation, and fixing and collecting fees for services rendered by [himself or] his associate.

     See, Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, Page 1172 [emphasis added].   The term “attorney” also includes a trial counselor.

     Any person who engages in the practice of law is deemed to be holding himself out as an attorney or a trial counselor.  Any person who engages in the practice of law in the State of Kosrae, without being admitted to practice law in the State of Kosrae pursuant to RULE TWO, or without being admitted to appear in a particular case pursuant to RULE THREE, shall be subject to discipline or disbarment imposed by Kosrae State Court, and may be referred to the Office of the Attorney General for the unauthorized practice of law.

RULE TWO

     In order to be admitted to practice law in the State of Kosrae , an applicant must:

(1)    Meet one of the following standards:

(a)        Be admitted as an attorney entitled to practice law before the Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia or the highest court of any other common law jurisdiction; or

(b)    Be admitted as an attorney or trial counselor entitled to practice law before Kosrae State Court; or

(c)    Demonstrate to the Chief Justice that he or she is capable, by virtue of education, experience and familiarity with the law of the Federated States of Micronesia, the law of the State of Kosrae, and the Rules of the Kosrae State Court and the Kosrae Land Court, of practicing law and of adequately representing clients in the State of Kosrae.

(2)   Each non-citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia seeking admission to practice law in the State of Kosrae must demonstrate compliance with RULE TWO, paragraph 1(a).   Each citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia seeking admission to practice law in the State of Kosrae may demonstrate compliance with RULE TWO, paragraph 1(a) or 1(b) or 1(c).

(3)   Be a resident of the State of Kosrae, or if not a resident of the State of Kosrae, be an attorney or trial counselor admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia and be a resident of the Federated States of Micronesia.

(4)   Never have been convicted or found guilty of a felony.  If the applicant has been convicted or found guilty of any crime in any jurisdiction, or if any such convictions or findings of guilt are pending or have been made against the applicant, the applicant shall describe these in detail in the application and will be subject to further investigation by the Court.

(5)   Never have been found guilty of a violation of a rule of ethics of the legal profession as to which any period of suspension or disbarment is still pending.  The rules of ethics include the Model Rules of Professional Conduct as adopted by the American Bar Association in August 1983, and as amended through 1995.

(6)   Submit an application demonstrative of the foregoing qualifications, which shall include copies of any documents showing education, experience or previous bar admissions upon which the applicant relies and which are required by Kosrae State Court.  The application form shall be prescribed by the Chief Justice and shall be available from the Chief Clerk of Court.

(7)   Pay an application fee of $25.00 to Kosrae State Court.  The application fee shall be paid with the submission of the application.  The application fee shall be payable only once per applicant, regardless of the number of times the applicant takes the written examination.

(8)   Pass the written examination in a satisfactory manner.  The Chief Justice shall require the satisfactory passage of a written examination of all applicants.  The passing grade on the written examination shall be 70%. The grading and form for the written examination shall be prescribed by the Chief Justice.  The written examination may be taken after submission of the application, after payment of the $ 25.00 application fee, and after approval of the application by the Chief Justice.  The written examination may be taken upon arrangement with the Chief Clerk of Court or Staff Attorney.  There is no limit to the number of times an applicant may take the written examination.  The maximum time period given to complete the written examination shall be three hours.

(9)   Submission of a false or incomplete application may be considered grounds for rejection of an application, or disciplinary action, including disbarment.  The Court may require, in addition to the applicant’s application and certificates, other proof of good character.  The applicant shall bear the cost, if any, of obtaining such additional proof.

(10)        Attorneys and trial counselors who are admitted to practice before Kosrae State Court on August 1, 2001, shall be permitted to continue their representation on matters which are filed in Kosrae State Court on or before December 31, 2001, to the conclusion of those matters.

(11)       Attorneys and trial counselors who seek admission to practice law in the State of Kosrae, under the standard of RULE TWO, paragraph 1(a) or 1(b), and who begin their residence in the State of Kosrae after August 1, 2001, shall be required to complete all requirements of RULE TWO no later than sixty (60) calendar days after his or her arrival in the State of Kosrae.

(12)        Attorneys and trial counselors who are admitted to practice before Kosrae State Court on August 1, 2001, shall not be required to comply with RULE TWO: paragraphs (6) and (7).   Attorneys and trial counselors who are admitted to practice before Kosrae State Court on August 1, 2001, shall comply with RULE TWO: paragraphs (1) through (5), and paragraphs (8) through (12) no later than January 2, 2002.

(13)   Any person who practices law in the State of Kosrae on August 1, 2001 or thereafter, and who is not admitted to practice before Kosrae State Court, shall comply with RULE TWO: paragraphs (1) through (13) no later than January 2, 2002.

RULE THREE

(1)    Any attorney or trial counselor may apply for leave to appear in a particular case if he or she meets the requirements of RULE TWO: paragraph 1(a) or 1(b), and RULE TWO: paragraphs (3), (4) and (5).  The attorney or trial counselor shall file a Motion for Leave to Appear in a Particular Case with the Chief Clerk of Court, complete with supporting affidavit(s) and documents.

(2)   The Court may grant the Motion for Leave to Appear in a Particular Case and impose such conditions and limitations on the person’s admission as justice requires.

(3)        The Court may deny a Motion for Admission for Leave to Appear in a Particular Case, or revoke an admission for a particular case previously made, upon a finding that it would not be in the best interests of justice to grant or continue the admission for a particular case.

RULE FOUR

(1)    All persons admitted to practice law in the State of Kosrae shall comply with the Model Rules of Professional Conduct as adopted by the American Bar Association in August 1983 as Amended through 1995.   The word “lawyer” as it appears in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct shall be deemed to refer to attorneys and trial counselors practicing law in the State of Kosrae.

(2)    Any person admitted to practice law in the State of Kosrae, or admitted to appear in a particular case may be disciplined by the Chief Justice after notice and hearing for violation of these Rules.  The discipline may include private or public reprimand, monetary fines, suspension, the imposition of restrictions on the right to practice, disbarment, or any combination of the foregoing.

(3)   A person who has been suspended or disbarred from the practice of law in the State of Kosrae may not resume the practice of law in the State of Kosrae until reinstated by an Order of Kosrae State Court.   The Chief Justice may require that the attorney or trial counselor complete the requirements of RULE TWO.

(4)     A person who has been suspended or disbarred from the practice of law in any state or before any court of the Federated State of Micronesia shall be subject to suspension or disbarment from the practice of law in the State of Kosrae, after notice and hearing, and if so suspended or disbarred, that person may not resume the practice of law in the State of Kosrae until reinstated by an Order of Kosrae State Court.   The Chief Justice may require that the attorney or trial counselor complete any of the requirements imposed by these Rules.

 RULE FIVE

(1)   All persons admitted to practice law in the State of Kosrae shall pay an annual fee of $15.00 to remain certified as an active attorney or trial counselor entitled to practice law in the State of Kosrae.  The annual fee shall be payable to Kosrae State Court, submitted to the Chief Clerk of Court and shall be due on January 31 of each year.  All persons admitted to practice law in the State of Kosrae shall have complete responsibility to pay the complete annual fee by the due date without any further notice from the Court. 

(2)   Any attorney or trial counselor who fails to pay the annual fee as required shall be subject to non-disciplinary administrative suspension from the practice of law in the State of Kosrae by Order of the Kosrae State Court.  This suspension shall be vacated immediately by Order of Kosrae State Court upon payment of the annual fee by the subject attorney or trial counselor.

 RULE SIX

(1)   All persons admitted to practice law in the State of Kosrae shall promptly appraise the Chief Justice of Kosrae State Court of the following information:

(a)   Change in residency, home or office address, telephone or fax number.

(b)   Change in name.

(c)   Person has become the subject of a disciplinary action by any court or authority responsible for the discipline of attorney or trial counselor for legal or ethical misconduct.

(d)   Person has submitted a guilty plea or has been convicted of any violation of criminal law in any jurisdiction, including contempt, misdemeanor and felony offenses, but excluding motor vehicle offenses specified in Kosrae State Code, Section 13.703.  

The information listed in paragraph (1) shall be submitted within thirty  (30) days of the change, act or event, in writing, to the Chief Justice of the Kosrae State Court.  The written submission shall give full details of the information requested.

(2)   Any person admitted to practice law in the State of Kosrae who fails to submit this information as required shall be subject to discipline by the Kosrae State Court, after notice and hearing.  The discipline may include private or public reprimand, monetary fines, the imposition of restrictions on the right to practice, suspension or disbarment from the practice of law, or any combination of the foregoing.

           This General Court Order is effective on August 1, 2001.

            SO ORDERED, this 30th day of July, 2001

                                                                   YOSIWO P. GEORGE
                                                                   Chief Justice


Service on:    Office of the Attorney General
Office of the Public Defender
                        Kosrae State Legislature
Micronesian Legal Services Corporation
                        Posting and distribution at Chief Clerk's Office

                        All attorneys and trial counselors admitted to practice law before       Kosrae State Court and who are certified as active attorneys or                                trial counselors (via hand delivery or via mail)

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