84-23. Powers of Council.

(a) The Council is vested, as an agency of the State, with the authority to regulate the professional conduct of licensed lawyers and State Bar certified paralegals. Among other powers, the Council shall administer this Article; take actions that are necessary to ensure the competence of lawyers and State Bar certified paralegals; formulate and adopt rules of professional ethics and conduct; investigate and prosecute matters of professional misconduct; grant or deny petitions for reinstatement; resolve questions pertaining to membership status; arbitrate disputes concerning legal fees; certify legal specialists and paralegals and charge fees to applicants and participants necessary to administer these certification programs; determine whether a member is disabled; maintain an annual registry of interstate and international law firms doing business in this State; and formulate and adopt procedures for accomplishing these purposes. The Council may do all things necessary in the furtherance of the purposes of this Article that are not otherwise prohibited by law.

(b) The Council or any committee of the Council, including the Client Security Fund and the Disciplinary Hearing Commission or any committee of the Commission, may subpoena financial records of any licensed lawyers, lawyers whose licenses have been suspended, or disbarred lawyers, relating to any account into which client or fiduciary funds have been deposited.

(c) The Council may publish an official journal concerning matters of interest to the legal profession.

(d) The Council may acquire, hold, rent, encumber, alienate, lease, and otherwise deal with real or personal property in the same manner as any private person or corporation, subject only to the approval of the Governor and the Council of State as to the acquisition, rental, encumbering, leasing and sale of real property. The Council may borrow money upon its bonds, notes, debentures, or other evidences of indebtedness sold through public or private sale pursuant to a loan agreement or a trust agreement or indenture with a trustee, with such borrowing either unsecured or secured by a mortgage on the Council's interest in real or personal property, and engage and contract with attorneys, underwriters, financial advisors, and other parties as necessary for such borrowing, with such borrowing and security subject to the approval of the Governor and the Council of State. The Council may utilize the services of the Purchase and Contract Division of the Department of Administration to procure personal property, in accordance with the provisions of Article 3 of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes. However, the Council shall: (i) submit all proposed contracts for supplies, materials, printing, equipment, and contractual services that exceed one million dollars ($1,000,000) authorized by this subsection to the Attorney General or the Attorney General's designee for review as provided in G.S. 114-8.3; and (ii) include in all contracts to be awarded by the Council under this subsection a standard clause which provides that the State Auditor and internal auditors of the Council may audit the records of the contractor during and after the term of the contract to verify accounts and data affecting fees and performance. The Council shall not award a cost plus percentage of cost agreement or contract for any purpose. (1933, c. 210, s. 9; 1935, c. 74, s. 1; 1937, c. 51, s. 2; 1975, c. 582, s. 3; 1977, c. 841, s. 2; 1995, c. 431, s. 16; 2003-116, s. 2; 2004-174, s. 1; 2005-396, s. 4; 2009-82, s. 2; 2010-194, s. 12; 2011-326, s. 15(l).)