MEMBERSHIP ELIGIBILITY RULES
NATIONAL COLLEGE FOR DUI DEFENSE, INC.
The following “Membership Eligibility Rules” shall govern membership of General Members of the National College For DUI Defense (the “College”):
1. MISSION AND PURPOSE
The National College for DUI Defense, Inc. has recognized an emerging practice area within the criminal defense bar for those defenders who represent individuals accused of driving under the influence of intoxicants and other related crimes and the need for specialized education to practice in the practice area. The primary mission and purpose of the College is to promote the public welfare by providing a higher level of training in this unique area of criminal defense law. To accomplish its mission and purpose, the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. has established the “General Member” class of membership for attorneys who have demonstrated minimum standards of competence and expertise among attorneys practicing DUI defense law and who meet the other eligibility criteria established for the class by the Board of Regents.
2. GENERAL MEMBERSHIP TERM AND STATUS
The term of membership as a “General Member” will be for one (1) year; provided that the membership may terminated as provided in the Bylaws and these Membership Eligibility Rules. Membership may be renewed from year to year upon re-application and acceptance by the Board of Regents. Membership in the College is a discretionary privilege conferred by the College and is not a property right. No Member shall have any vested right to become or remain a Member.
3. GENERAL MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS
An attorney licensed to practice law in any state or province of the United States, Canada or Australia and who satisfies the general requirements for membership set forth in the Bylaws and the following minimum standards set forth below may apply for membership as a “General Member”:
A request to become a “General Member” by an applicant shall be in writing and directed to the Membership Committee of the College. Such request shall be made on a form approved by the Membership Committee which is consistent with the Bylaws.
3.2 LICENSED TO PRACTICE
The applicant must be admitted and currently eligible to practice law before the Bar of any of the United States Courts or the highest court of the District of Columbia or any state, territory or insular possession of the United States, or admitted and currently eligible to practice law before the Bar of the highest court of the applicant’s respective state or province.
3.3 SUBSTANTIAL INVOLVEMENT
An applicant must have substantial current involvement in the practice area of DUI defense and other related offenses.
The applicant may submit a minimum of two (2) reference letters from currently-sitting judges or from licensed attorneys with at least five years of practice who emphasize DUI defense in their current practice (at least 50% of practice devoted to DUI defense) who are familiar with the applicant and who attest to the applicant’s competency in the area of DUI defense and are familiar with the applicant and attest to his or her good character and competency in the area of DUI defense. Reference forms are available from the College and will be sent to the applicant upon request. The completed reference forms may be returned to the College together with the applicant’s application for membership. The completed application will be initially reviewed by the Executive Director who may accept the application. The Executive Director may defer acceptance and refer the application to the Membership Committee if (in the opinion of the Executive Director) a question regarding eligibility exists. The Membership Committee may request reference letters in the form as described above when in its discretion such letters are desired.
3.5 PROFESSIONAL INQUIRY OR DISCIPLINE
Applicants shall be required to report to the College any professional inquiry or discipline imposed upon them in any jurisdiction in which they are licensed or permitted to practice as a condition of application. Failure to do so shall constitute grounds for disapproval of the application. A report of any professional inquiry or disciplinary action shall be directed to the Dean of the College for referral to the Board of Regents. Any disciplinary action taken against the General Member by the Member’s attorney licensing authority or a judgment entered against the Member resulting from his/her conduct as an attorney in a court of competent jurisdiction shall be grounds for denying an application for membership.
3.6 ANNUAL GENERAL MEMBERSHIP FEE
Applicants who are accepted for membership as a “General Member” shall pay an annual General Membership Fee set by the Board of Regents. The membership fee is subject to change from time to time by the Board of Regents.
4. RENEWAL OF MEMBERSHIP
To be considered for membership renewal, a General Member must have adopted and satisfactorily completed a continuing course of education for the re-application period. A General Member must show continued competence in the field of DUI defense under the following minimum standards in order to be considered for membership renewal:
4.1 SUBSTANTIAL INVOLVEMENT
An applicant must have substantial involvement in the DUI defense field throughout the current membership period as demonstrated by a continuous practice of DUI defense. The requirements for substantial involvement are established in the same manner as set forth in the application for original membership under Section 3 and the applicant is expected attend at least one NCDD approved seminar every two (2) years that is sponsored or co-sponsored by the College or a State seminar listed on the College website, and submit satisfactory evidence of such attendance to the College.
4.2 INDEPENDENT REVIEW
Independent review as established in and set forth in an application for original membership under Section 3.1 is not generally required for renewal but may be required as a condition of renewal for good cause in discretion of the Dean of the College.
4.3 CURRENT ELIGIBILITY TO PRACTICE LAW
An applicant for renewal must be currently licensed to practice law before the Bar of any of the United States Courts or the highest court of the District of Columbia or any state, territory or insular possession of the United States, or admitted and currently eligible to practice law before the Bar of the highest court of the applicant’s respective state or province.
5. REPORTING REQUIREMENT FOR MEMBERS
Members shall submit a written report to the Dean of the NCDD within 30 days of the time the Member has knowledge of any of the following:
(1) The filing of three or more lawsuits in a 12-month period against the Member for malpractice or other wrongful conduct committed in a professional capacity.
(2) The entry of judgment against the Member in a civil action for fraud, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, or gross negligence committed in a professional capacity.
(3) The imposition of judicial sanctions against the Member, except for sanctions for failure to make discovery or monetary sanctions of less than one thousand dollars ($1,000).
(4) The bringing of an indictment or information charging a felony against the Member.
(5) The conviction of the Member, including any verdict of guilty, or plea of guilty or no contest, of a felony, or a misdemeanor committed in the course of the practice of law, or in a manner in which a client of the Member was the victim, or a necessary element of which, as determined by the statutory or common law definition of the misdemeanor, involves improper conduct of a Member, including dishonesty or other moral turpitude, or an attempt or a conspiracy or solicitation of another to commit a felony or a misdemeanor of that type.
(6) The imposition of discipline against the Member by a professional or occupational disciplinary agency or licensing board.
(7) Reversal of judgment in a proceeding based in whole or in part upon misconduct, grossly incompetent representation, or willful misrepresentation by a Member.
The written report shall include a clear description of the subject matter being reported, the date of it, and the name and agency involved. The Member shall fully and promptly cooperate with all follow up inquiries by the Dean concerning said matter.
The report shall be both faxed to (334) 264-1920 and mailed to NCDD, 445 S. Decatur St., Montgomery, AL 36104, and it shall be dated and signed by the Member.
The failure of a Member to fully comply with this rule is grounds, in and of itself, for termination of membership.
6. MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE
A Membership Committee is appointed to advise the College on the qualifications and credentials of its Members. The Committee is responsible for conducting an independent evaluation of the qualifications and credentials of each applicant in accordance with the Bylaws and these rules and then recommending approval or disapproval of the application to the Board of Regents.
6.1 APPOINTMENT OF THE MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE
The Membership Committee shall be appointed by the Dean of the College and shall consist of a minimum of two members of the Board of Regents. The Committee shall serve at the pleasure of the Dean.
6.2 MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE’S RESPONSIBILITY AND ACTIONS
The Membership Committee is responsible for reviewing all applications for membership and reporting to the Board of Regents whether the application is complete and whether the applicant is qualified and competent.
Unless otherwise extended, the Membership Committee’s responsibilities shall end after a final decision on an individual application for membership has been made by vote of the Board of Regents.
6.3 RECOMMENDATION FOR MEMBERSHIP OR RE-APPLICATION
The recommendation for or against membership shall be made by the Membership Committee to the Board of Regents. The final action of the Board of Regents for approval or disapproval of an applicant is final upon two-thirds majority vote of the Regents present at a meeting called for the purpose and at which a quorum of the Board is present.
7. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
A General Membership shall be subject to termination for failure to maintain the standards and requirements for General Members contained in these Membership Eligibility Rules.
In addition, any current member of the Board of Regents may make a written request to the Dean that a Member’s membership should be terminated for good cause or because termination would be in the best interests of the College. The written request must contain the grounds for termination. Due to the fact that a member does not have any rights or vested status in membership, a member waives any and all rights to seek damages and/or any other remedy or redress from the College, a Regent, or any member, officer, employee or agent of the College.
Any behavior or conduct of a Member that would, in the discretion of the Board of Regents, not be in the best interests of the college, cause substantial harm to the College’s image or standing or jeopardize the success of its mission and purpose, shall be good cause for termination of membership. Any Member whose membership is terminated shall not be entitled to a refund of membership fees paid.
8. GOVERNING LAW AND JURISDICTION.
Membership in the College shall be governed by the laws of the State of Washington. Exclusive jurisdiction and venue for any dispute arising from or related to membership in the College shall be resolved by litigation under the laws of the State of Washington, in the King County Superior Court, Kent Regional Justice Center, Kent, Washington, and shall be the exclusive jurisdiction and venue.
9. VOTE ON MEMBERSHIP
Absent an abuse of discretion, the vote by the Board of Regents for approval, disapproval or termination of a membership is final and binding and shall be transmitted in writing to the applicant/member. Any vote concerning membership shall require a two-thirds majority vote of the Regents present at a meeting called for the purpose and at which a quorum of the Board is present.
10. ENDORSEMENT PRIVILEGES
10.1 A General Member of the College shall be permitted to use the designation “Member” or “General Member” of the “National College for DUI Defense” to recognize his or her affiliation with the College provided that such designation is permitted by the laws, rules, and regulations which both legally and ethically govern lawyers in their respective state(s). NO OTHER FORM OF DESIGNATION OF AFFILIATION WITH THE COLLEGE MAY BE USED TO IDENTIFY A GENERAL MEMBER’S AFFILIATION WITH THE COLLEGE.
10.2 A General Member who holds an office or appointed position of College, such as Dean, Regent, State Delegate, Committee Member, etc., may also include such designation in any statement.
10.3 Not withstanding anything to the contrary contained in these Membership Eligibility rules, no Member may represent, state, or imply, directly or indirectly, that he or she is “certified,” “approved,” “authorized,” or “recognized” in any way by the College by virtue of having attended, or presented or spoken at, any course or program sponsored by the College or by virtue of his or her Membership.
10.4 No Member who has not received official notification from the College that he or she has successfully achieved Board Certification from the College may make any statement, reference or implication that the member has achieved such certification from the College.
10.5 No Member may state or imply any endorsement or approval from the host facility at which the College may have conducted a seminar or session that the member attended. Specifically, no Member may state or imply that attendance at a College seminar or session held at or hosted by Harvard University or Harvard Law School confers any recognition, endorsement or approval by Harvard University or Harvard Law School, or constitutes attendance or course completion at Harvard University or Harvard Law School.
10.6 No Member is authorized or permitted to use the name, logo, or other proprietary marks or symbols of the National College for DUI Defense in any way except as expressly permitted by these Membership Eligibility Rules without the express and prior consent of the Board of Regents.
11. GENERAL MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION
Upon receipt of an application for membership, the Membership Committee will review the application and the applicant will be notified whether the application is complete and the General Membership Requirements are met. The applicant will be notified of approval or disapproval after the next scheduled bi-annual meeting of the Board of Regents.
Please read the Member Eligibility Rules carefully so that you fully comply with all of these requirements.
After the Board of Regents accepts your completed application, and you are accepted, you will become a “General Member” of the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. for that year. Your membership is renewable, provided you maintain an active DUI defense practice and meet the standards for re-application.
There is an Annual “General Member” fee as set by the Board of Regents assessed for each year as a “General Member”.
Thank you for your interest in the Certification Program.
AUTHORIZATION AND RELEASE
APPLICANT - person applying for initial membership status or a present member applying for renewal of his or her membership status.
NCDD - The National College for DUI Defense, Inc.
I understand and agree that as a condition of present and continuing membership in NCDD I shall immediately report all facts or circumstances relating thereto to the Executive Director of NCDD:
a. if any license or privilege to practice law that I hold or possess is suspended, terminated, revoked, or restricted, or if I am otherwise disciplined or censured by a licensing authority for the practice of law before any court or jurisdiction;
b. if I obtain employment with any prosecuting authority either by contract, or if part time or full time or;
c. if I am no longer in substantial current involvement in the practice area of DUI/DWI defense;
d. if I fail to attend one (or more) seminars every two (2) years either sponsored by NCDD or at a State/local seminar approved by NCDD; or
e. if I am no longer eligible for membership in NCDD under the bylaws as amended.
I hereby authorize NCDD to charge the debit or credit card that I may have on file for any and all membership dues for membership or other fees at the level and rate then in effect until such time as I notify the Executive Director of NCDD to cancel such authorization. All membership dues will be charged on the due date as set out in the rules governing membership. Cancellation of use of this method of payment is prospective only. Notice of cancellation must be delivered to the Executive Director in writing or by email at least 14 days prior to the due date of membership dues or fees.
AUTHORIZE AND RELEASE
Applicant does by this document give consent for the NCDD to conduct an investigation into my character and fitness to be a member, and to make inquiries and request such information from third parties as, in the sole discretion of NCDD, may be necessary for such investigation. I further authorize the use of any and all such information in the course of the NCDD’s investigation and evaluation of my application for general membership and annual renewal.
INITIAL MEMBERSHIP AND/OR RENEWAL
I authorize and request every person or entity, governmental or private, having opinions or knowledge about me, or control of any documents, information, or data pertaining to me, to furnish to the NCDD or its representative such opinions, knowledge, documents or data. Without limiting the previously described authority, I specifically authorize the release of records pertaining to my criminal history, files of any state or professional association regarding disciplinary proceedings and complaints against me, and records of educational institutions concerning me.
I hereby authorize all persons set out above to answer any inquiries from the NCDD concerning me, and I waive absolutely any privileges or privacy rights I may have which are applicable to any documents or information referred to above and sought pursuant to this authorization and release.
Notwithstanding any statement herein to the contrary, this Authorization and Release shall not operate to release any medical or mental health records relating to alcohol, drug or chemical dependency.
I hereby release, discharge and hold harmless the NCDD, its agents or representatives, and any person or entity and its agents or representatives, from any and all liability arising out of the furnishing or use of the opinions, knowledge, documents, records or other data released pursuant to this Authorization and Release.