(a) Subpoena.

(1) Issuance. In any proceeding before the Board or a Character Committee pursuant to Rule 19-204 or Rule 19-216, the Board or Committee, on its own initiative or the motion of an applicant, may cause a subpoena to be issued by a clerk pursuant to Rule 2-510. The subpoena shall issue from the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County if incident to Board proceedings or from the circuit court in the county in which the Character Committee proceeding is pending. The proceedings shall be docketed in the issuing court and shall be sealed and shielded from public inspection.

(2) Name of Applicant. The subpoena shall not divulge the name of the applicant, except to the extent this requirement is impracticable.

(3) Return. The sheriff's return shall be made as directed in the subpoena.

(4) Dockets and Files. The Character Committee or the Board, as applicable, shall maintain dockets and files of all papers filed in the proceedings.

(5) Action to Quash or Enforce. Any action to quash or enforce a subpoena shall be filed under seal and docketed as a miscellaneous action in the court that issued the subpoena.

Cross reference: See Rule 16-906 (a)(4).

(b) Sanctions. If a person subpoenaed to appear and give testimony or to produce books, documents, or other tangible things fails to do so, the party who requested the subpoena, by motion that does not divulge the name of the applicant, except to the extent that this requirement is impracticable, may request the court to issue an attachment pursuant to Rule 2-510 (j), or to cite the person for contempt pursuant to Title 15, Chapter 200 of the Maryland Rules, or both. Any such motion shall be filed under seal.

(c) Court Costs. All court costs in proceedings under this Rule shall be assessable to and paid by the State.

When the Maryland Board of Law Examiners, DC Bar Committee on Admissions, or any character committee questions your character and fitness for bar admission, bar applicants should retain an attorney to assist in disclosing information relevant to character and fitness, to guide them through the bar admissions process, and to represent applicants in character committee hearings and in hearings before the Court of Appeals to determine whether they are fit to practice law. Character and fitness concerns may arise in connection with prior criminal convictions, academic dishonesty and honor code violations, addictions, drunk driving, neglected debts, and a failure to disclose material information on law school applications or on bar applications. If you have a history of misconduct, traffic citations, crimes, arrests and other facts to disclose in response to the character portion of the Maryland Bar Application or the DC Bar's NCBE application, you should strongly consider retaining bar admissions counsel if you want to avoid denial of a law license and get a license to practice law. This is even true for applicants for admission to law schools as these applications ask similar questions about character. A failure to disclose facts material to your admission could result in a denial of bar admission.


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