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Rule 19-704. Peer Review Committee.

(a) Creation. There is a Peer Review Committee, the members of which are appointed to serve on Peer Review Panels pursuant to Rule 19-719.

(b) Composition. The Peer Review Committee consists of the number of individuals in each circuit that the Commission determines is necessary to conduct the volume of peer review proceedings. Of the number of members determined for each circuit, one-third shall be residents of that circuit who are not attorneys and the remainder shall be attorneys who maintain offices for the practice of law within that circuit.

(c) Individuals Ineligible for Appointment as an Attorney Member. The Commission may not appoint as an attorney member to the Peer Review Committee an individual who:

(1) is not admitted by the Court of Appeals to practice law in Maryland;

(2) has not actively and lawfully engaged in the practice of law in Maryland for at least five years;

(3) is a judge of a court of record;

(4) is the subject of a pending statement of charges or petition for disciplinary or remedial action; or

(5) was ever disbarred or suspended by the Court of Appeals or by a disciplinary body or court of the United States or any state.

(d) Individuals Ineligible for Appointment as a Non-attorney Member. The Commission may not appoint as a non-attorney member to the Peer Review Committee an individual who:

(1) has been convicted of a serious crime and the conviction has not been reversed or vacated; or

(2) is the complainant in a pending matter against an attorney under the Rules in this Chapter.

(e) Procedure for Appointment. Before appointing members of the Peer Review Committee, the Commission shall notify bar associations and the general public in the appropriate circuit and consider any applications and recommendations that are timely submitted. The Commission shall prepare a brief notice informing attorneys how they may apply to serve on the Peer Review Committee and deliver the notice to the Trustees of the Client Protection Fund of the Bar of Maryland, who at least once a year shall send a copy of the notice to each attorney who is required to pay an annual fee to the Fund.

(f) Term. The term of each member is two years. The Commission may extend the term of any member assigned to a Peer Review Panel until the completion of a pending matter. A member may be reappointed.

(g) Chair and Vice Chair. The Commission shall designate one attorney member of the Peer Review Committee as Chair and one or more attorney members as Vice Chairs. 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.

(h) Compensation. A member of the Peer Review Committee may not receive compensation for serving in that capacity but is entitled to reimbursement for expenses reasonably incurred in the performance of official duties in accordance with standard State travel regulations.

(i) Removal. The Commission may remove a member of the Peer Review Committee for cause.