RULE 1:23. Board Of Bar Examiners

1:23-1. Appointment; Organization

The Supreme Court shall appoint a Board of Bar Examiners consisting of such number of attorneys of this State as it shall from time to time determine. Each member shall serve for a term of three years, and may be reappointed to three successive full terms. A vacancy occurring during a term shall be filled for the unexpired portion thereof. The Supreme Court shall designate one of the members of the Board as its Chair and shall appoint a secretary to the Board who shall not be a member.

Note: Source-R.R. 1:19-1(a)(b)(e). Amended July 7, 1971, to be effective September 13, 1971; amended October 1, 1992, to be effective January 1, 1993; amended July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000.

1:23-2. Duties; Procedure

Subject to the approval of the Supreme Court, the Board shall prepare and conduct examinations for applicants for admission as attorneys, prescribe rules, forms and procedures relating thereto and state the topics upon which applicants will be examined.

Note: Source-R.R. 1:19-1(c) (d).

1:23-3. Confidentiality; Immunity

  • (a) The files and records maintained by the Board of Bar Examiners and the Committee on Character shall be confidential, subject to the rules and regulations of the Board and the Committee and unless otherwise ordered by the Supreme Court.

  • (b) Members of the Board of Bar Examiners, the Committee on Character, and their lawfully appointed designees and staff shall be absolutely immune from suit, whether legal or equitable in nature, based on their respective conduct in performing their official duties. The Supreme Court shall request the Attorney General to represent bar admission authorities in all civil or criminal litigation in state or federal courts.

Note: Adopted November 7, 1988 to be effective January 2, 1989; title amended, former text amended and designated as paragraph (a), and new paragraph (b) added July 10, 1998 to be effective September 1, 1998.

1:23-4. Funds

The operations of the Board of Bar Examiners and the committee on character shall be supported by the fees paid by candidates for admission to the bar, as set forth in rules and regulations approved by the Supreme Court. To the extent that the Board of Bar Examiners and committee on character are not self-supporting, funds necessary for their operation shall be provided by the Administrative Office of the Courts.

Note: Adopted March 15, 1989, to be effective immediately.

1:23-5. Bar Examination Test-Taking Improprieties

  • (a) All allegations of impropriety in the taking of a bar examination by a bar applicant who has not been admitted to practice law in this state shall be investigated and prosecuted by the Director, Office of Attorney Ethics in accordance with the applicable provisions of R. 1:20-1 et. seq., except that:

    • (1) the burden of proving the charges shall be by a preponderance of the credible evidence;

      (2) the Supreme Court shall appoint a special master to make findings of fact and recommended conclusions;

    • (3) the special master's report shall be forwarded to the Board of Bar Examiners for appellate review on the record, including oral argument, before a three-member panel of the Board appointed by the Chair;

    • (4) the decision of the Board of Bar Examiners shall be submitted to the Supreme Court for such final action as it deems appropriate, including oral argument if directed by the Court; and

    • (5) issues of confidentiality, access to and dissemination of information in these cases shall be governed by R. 1:20-9.

  • (b) If such allegations of impropriety arise after the bar applicant has been admitted to the bar of this state, the matter shall proceed as any other attorney disciplinary matter in accordance with R. 1:20-1 et seq.

Note: Adopted July 28, 2004 to be effective September 1, 2004.
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