What is the Fourteenth JDB? Who are the members?
The State of North Carolina is divided into Judicial Districts. A licensed attorney must belong to a district Bar in order to maintain good standing as an active attorney in North Carolina. But you may belong to only one district Bar. If you live in Durham but work in another District, you may choose which district Bar to join. If you live in another District, but work in Durham County, you may elect to join the Fourteenth Judicial District Bar. You can obtain more details about the requirement to pay dues to a judicial district Bar by checking the North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS §84-18) and/or by checking with the North Carolina State Bar (NCSB) at www.ncbar.gov.
What do JDB's do other then collect dues?
The mandatory Bar has various responsibilities and functions derived from North Carolina statutes. The members of the Fourteenth Judicial District Bar elect two councilors to the NCSB Council. In addition the members of the Fourteenth, not the general public, elect the Public Defender for the Fourteenth Judicial District. The members also submit nominations for judicial appointments when a new district court judgeship is created or a vacancy occurs. In addition, formal grievances that are not handled by the NCSB are referred to the Grievance Committee of the Fourteenth Judicial District Bar.
The Fourteenth supports the Access to Justice program and provides coffee and television access for jurors waiting in the Jury Pool Room. The Fourteenth works in a variety of other ways to both improve the administration of justice, the image of attorneys and the quality of life for attorneys in Durham County.
Additional Dues Questions and Answers
When must I pay dues?
Dues are not prorated for those who enter the district mid-year. However, if you paid dues in your previous district prior to leaving, your Fourteenth dues can be waived - provided the fiscal years match up within a few months.
Are credit cards or cash accepted for payment?
Checks and postal money orders are accepted, as well as online payments. Cash can only be accepted if delivered in person to the Executive Director, at which time a receipt is created and copied in order to provide a record of the payment.
What if I just passed the Bar in the summer?
If you intend to maintain your license, you must pay dues to a district bar. There is no waiver for this group of new admittees and no reduced fee for newly licensed attorneys. That said, your due-date is adjusted to accommodate the 90 day payment period.
What if I passed the Bar in February?
Since the fiscal year of the Fourteenth Judicial District Bar runs from July 1 through June 30, the fee for February admittees is waived. February admittees will be added to the Fourteenth's rolls but will not receive a spring invoice. They will be sent an invoice on the regular schedule in August.
If I move to the Fourteenth District in the middle of the fiscal year, must I pay dues?
Yes, unless you have documentation that you already paid dues to another District Bar for the same fiscal year. Please note that other district bars may not operate on a July 1 – June 30 fiscal year.
Is it my responsibility to advise the district Bar of any changes to my address or membership status?
Yes, even if you have provided that new information to the NCSB, you must also contact the district Bar. The State Bar does not routinely provide that information to the district bar.
What if I work in a business or teach, rather than practice law?
The requirement to pay district bar dues is not based on how or where you work. If you are on active status with the North Carolina State Bar, then you are required to pay dues to a district Bar.
What if I am not employed?
The requirement to pay district bar dues is not based on employment. If you are on active status with the North Carolina State Bar, then you are required to pay dues to a district Bar.
What if I move out of North Carolina?
If you move out of North Carolina and wish to retain your North Carolina license, you must pay dues to the North Carolina State Bar, and fulfill all other NCSB requirements. However, membership in a district bar is PROHIBITED for attorneys who do not reside in North Carolina. One must live and/or work in the district in order to be a district bar member.
What’s the connection to the DCBA?
The Durham County Bar Association (DCBA) is the voluntary organization for attorneys in Durham County. It is a separate, distinct organization from the mandatory Fourteenth Judicial District Bar. Any attorney may join the DCBA. Some attorneys belong to several voluntary bar associations in order to maintain connections with colleagues in other communities. Voluntary membership entitles you to attend the monthly luncheons, held on the second Wednesday from September though May, at no charge. Non-members and guests must pay $25.00 to attend a luncheon.
Membership in the voluntary Bar also allows you to attend without charge the CLE programs offered by the DCBA. Three courses of one credit each are offered immediately following a Bar luncheon. All three hours are within the Substance Abuse/Mental Health or Ethics/Professional Responsibility areas. Those attorneys who do not belong to the DCBA must pay a fee of $50.00 to attend a CLE program; lunch is included in the fee. Since the CLE benefit was implemented in 2003, both DCBA members and non-members have found these one-hour programs, which run from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m., to be convenient, interesting and informative.
The DCBA operates on the same fiscal year as the Fourteenth Judicial District Bar. Invoices or a membership brochure are mailed to each attorney in the database of the Fourteenth. The payment of voluntary dues is requested prior to attendance at a luncheon meeting. However, you may join the voluntary at any time during the fiscal year.
We welcome your ideas and feedback on luncheon speakers, CLE programs, projects for the mandatory or the voluntary Bar and the ways we may better serve you.