Case Caption: In Re: Vincent A. Fuller, Jr., et alCase Number: SCT-CIV-2022-0042Date: 08/25/2022Author: Per CuriamCitation: 2022 VI 17Summary: In review of a document captioned “Verified Petition for Extraordinary Writ,” filed by four members of the Virgin Islands Bar, seeking to enjoin on numerous grounds enforcement of Supreme Court Rule 208 by the Virgin Islands Bar Association, the petition is treated as one brought pursuant to section 32(b), seeking writs of mandamus and prohibition. On these matters petitioners have failed to meet their burden, having failed to make any showing—let alone a clear and indisputable entitlement—that amended Rule 208 should be rescinded in whole or in part. The U.S. Supreme Court has expressly held that integrated bar associations established by courts of last resort are fully immune from antitrust laws when acting pursuant to rules and directives promulgated by the court of last resort. However, this Court shares petitioners’ concern that the VIBA appears to have violated the express terms of Rule 208.7(D)(1), providing that a CLE compliance audit occur “[n]o earlier than one month and no later than six months following the reporting deadline,” by sending a notice of delinquency to one of the petitioners on July 8, 2022, when his reporting deadline was January 31, 2021. The VIBA is strictly limited to those powers plainly granted by this Court, which cannot be broadened by implication. It therefore lacks authority to simply disregard the plain text of Rule 208.7(D)(1)—or any court rule for that matter—by issuing notices of delinquency more than six months after the reporting deadline. If for any reason it cannot complete its audit within the provided time period, the appropriate action is to request an extension of time from this Court, as it has done in the past. The unilateral decision of the VIBA to conduct this late audit is exacerbated by its apparent decision to modify its website during the reporting period, as well as the incorrect information provided in the notice of delinquency sent to one of the petitioners, which erroneously advised him that he possessed 90 days to file an answer to the notice of delinquency even though Rule 208.7(D)(2)(c) provides that an answer must be filed within 30 days. Nevertheless, relief is denied for this claim as well. To obtain redress, it is not sufficient for the one petitioner who supplied supporting information simply to show that the VIBA acted contrary to the procedure set forth in Rule 208. Rather, he must also prove that he possesses no other adequate means to attain the desired relief. The record contains no indication that this petitioner paid any fines or fees to the VIBA based on the notice of delinquency or that the VIBA filed a notice of non-compliance with this Court requesting his suspension from the practice of law for non-compliance with Rule 208. Because allowing the internal process within the VIBA to run its natural course certainly represents an alternate adequate means for this petitioner to obtain the only relief to which he may be entitled—suspension of enforcement proceedings against him— he, like the other petitioners, has failed to meet his burden. Thus the petitioners failed to establish that their right to the requested relief is clear and indisputable, or that they lack any adequate alternate means to attain such relief, and accordingly the petition is denied.Attachment: Open Document or Opinion