The Indy Updates: AG-state Bar go to war before Supreme Court

The attorney general’s office has filed a writ with the Supreme Court contesting the state Bar’s interpretation of a rule that could prohibit several deputies and the solicitor general from practicing law in Nevada.

The issue, which The Nevada Independent brought to light, involves a two-year limit on how long attorney general deputies can practice in the state without passing the bar. The attorney general’s office, on behalf of Solicitor General Lawrence VanDyke and others, is arguing over the strict interpretation, especially because a Bar official told VanDyke in 2015 he did not have to worry.

The contents of the attorney general’s filing are confidential under a Supreme Court rule (70.5) that allows Bar admissions practices to be secret: Except as otherwise provided by these rules, the contents of any application for admission to practice law in this state, the results of any investigation, including the transcript of any hearing, documentation regarding the application or applicant, and the grades of an individual applicant shall remain confidential. A petition for review filed in the supreme court pursuant to these rules shall remain confidential. An applicant may waive confidentiality with respect to such petition by filing a verified statement with the supreme court clerk.

Sources confirmed the petition refers to the two-year issue and the justices have asked for the state Bar to file a reply.

State Bar President Bryan Scott said he could not comment on the issue, and Supreme Court spokesman Michael Sommermeyer would only say the petition is confidential because it was labeled as falling under the court rule. “On 2/10, the court ordered an answer and reply to the petition that requests the parties to address whether the petition falls within the scope of that rule,” Sommermeyer said in an email.

The rule allows the petitioner to waive confidentiality. The Nevada Independent has requested the attorney general do so.