(a) Accommodations Review Committee.

(1) Creation and Composition. There is an Accommodations Review Committee that shall consist of nine members appointed by the Court of Appeals. Six members shalt be attorneys admitted to practice in Maryland who are not members of the Board. Three members shall be non-attorneys. Each non-attorney member shall be a licensed psychologist or physician who, during the member's term, does not serve the Board as a consultant or in any capacity other than as a member of the Committee. The Court shall designate one attorney as Chair of the Committee and one attorney as Vice Chair. In the absence or disability of the Chair or upon express delegation of authority by the Chair, the Vice Chair shall have the authority and perform the duties of the Chair.

(2) Term. Subject to subsection (a)(4) of this Rule, the term of each member is five years. A member may serve more than one term.

(3) Reimbursement; Compensation. A member is entitled to reimbursement for expenses reasonably incurred in the performance of official duties in accordance with standard State travel regulations. In addition, the Court may provide compensation for the members.

(4) Removal. The Court of Appeals may remove a member of the Accommodations Review Committee at any time.

(b) Procedure for Appeal.

(1) Notice of Appeal. An applicant whose request for a test accommodation pursuant to the ADA is denied in whole or in part by the Board may note an appeal to the Accommodations Review Committee by filing a Notice of Appeal with the Board.

Committee note: It is likely that an appeal may not be resolved before the date of the scheduled bar examination that the applicant has petitioned to take. No applicant "has the right to take a particular bar examination at a particular time, nor to be admitted to the bar at any particular time." Application of Kimmer, 392 Md. 251, 272 (2006). After an appeal has been resolved, the applicant may file a timely petition to take a later scheduled bar examination with the accommodation, if any, granted as a result of the appeal process. 

(2) Transmittal of Record. Upon receiving a notice of appeal, the Board promptly shall

(A) transmit to the Chair of the Accommodations Review Committee a copy of the applicant's request for a test accommodation, all documentation submitted in support of the request, the report of each expert retained by the Board to analyze the applicant's request, and the Board's letter denying the request and

(B) transmit to the applicant notice of the transmittal and a copy of each report of an expert retained by the Board.

(3) Hearing. The Chair of the Accommodations Review Committee shall appoint a panel of the Committee, consisting of two attorneys and one non-attorney, to hold a hearing at which the applicant and the Board have the right to present witnesses and documentary evidence and be represented by an attorney. In the interest of justice, the panel may decline to require strict application of the Rules in Title 5, other than those relating to the competency of witnesses. Lawful privileges shall be respected. The hearing shall be recorded verbatim by shorthand, stenotype, mechanical or electronic audio recording methods, electronic word or text processing methods, or any combination of those methods.

(4) Report. The panel shall

(A) file with the Board a report containing its recommendation, the reasons for the recommendation, and findings of fact upon which the recommendation is based,

(B) transmit a copy of its report to the applicant, and

(C) provide a copy of the report to the Chair of the Committee.

(c) Exceptions. Within 30 days after the report of the panel is filed with the Board, the applicant or the Board may file with the Chair of the Committee exceptions to the recommendation and shall transmit a copy of the exceptions to the other party. Upon receiving the exceptions, the Chair shall cause to be prepared a transcript of the proceedings and transmit to the Court of Appeals the record of the proceedings, which shall include the transcript and the exceptions. The Chair shall notify the applicant and the Board of the transmittal to the Court and provide to each party a copy of the transcript.

(d) Proceedings in the Court of Appeals. Proceedings in the Court of Appeals shall be on the record made before the panel. The Court shall require the party who filed exceptions to show cause why the exceptions should not be denied.

(e) If No Exceptions Filed. If no exceptions pursuant to section (c) of this Rule are timely filed, no transcript of the proceedings before the panel shall be prepared, the panel shall transmit its record to the Board, and the Board shall provide the test accommodation, if any, recommended by the panel.

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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