Rule 213

Hearings Before the Board

(a)  General Rule. If, upon an initial review of an application filed under these rules and of any other related information available to the Board, the Board, through the Executive Director, finds that the applicant does not appear to possess the fitness and general qualifications (other than scholastic) requisite for a member of the bar of the Commonwealth, the Executive Director shall forthwith give the applicant notice of such finding in the manner prescribed by Board rule, and of the right of the applicant to request in writing, within thirty (30) days of the denial, a hearing before the Board.

(b) Hearing. Within 30 days after receipt of the request of an applicant for a hearing under this Rule the Board shall hold a hearing at which the applicant shall be present. The applicant may be represented by counsel at the hearing. The Board shall not be bound by the formal rules of evidence and such relevant evidence may be introduced at the hearing as may be necessary for the Board to make a final determination upon the application. The burden of proof shall be on the applicant to establish that he or she possesses the character, fitness and general qualifications that are compatible with the standards expected to be observed by a member of the Bar of this Commonwealth. The applicant may call and examine witnesses, cross-examine adverse witnesses and present such evidence as is relevant to the issue before the Board. At any such hearing the applicant and his or her counsel shall be permitted to inspect such portion of the record of the applicant bearing upon the issues before the Board as does not constitute confidential information. A stenographic or other verbatim record shall be made of any such hearing, but hearings before the Board shall not be open to the public. The Board shall have the power to issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and for the production of documentary evidence at the hearing.

(c) Remote Hearing; Remote Testimony. The Board may, at its own instance or upon request of an applicant, conduct a hearing under subsection (b) via telephone or other method of advanced communication technology ("ACT"). The Board likewise may, in its discretion, allow a witness to testify via ACT. Any witness testifying via ACT must provide valid, government-issued photo identification to the Board office in advance of the witness's testimony. At least three business days in advance of a remote hearing, the applicant shall provide to the Board the names of all witnesses, and copies of any documents or exhibits that the applicant intends to present at the hearing and which are not already part of the Board's record. Documents and exhibits shall be transmitted electronically via the Board's secure website unless otherwise directed by the Board. If an applicant is unable to provide such documents or exhibits in advance of the hearing, the Board may, in its discretion, hold the record open and grant an applicant additional time to provide such documents or exhibits. Notice of the technology requirements for the remote hearing, along with instructions for counsel regarding use of the technology in the course of the hearing, shall be posted on the Board's website and included when giving notice of a remote hearing. An applicant is responsible for complying with the technology requirements and for being familiar with their use. Note: Based on former Supreme Court Rule 14A. "Other than scholastic" means that the failure to comply with Rule 203(a)(1), (a)(2), or (b)(1) is not reviewable pursuant to Rule 213.

Adopted July 1, 1972. Amended June 6, 1977; April 21, 1992, imd. effective; Sept. 9, 1996, imd. effective; Jan. 31, 1997, imd. effective; Nov. 24, 2020, imd. effective.