Friday, April 9, 2004
Court Adopts Multijurisdictional Practice Rules
a MetNews Staff Writer
state Supreme Court has adopted rules allowing attorneys admitted in other
states to practice in
new rules, which take effect Nov. 15, were proposed by the Multijurisdictional
Practice Implementation Committee appointed by the high court. They were adopted
after more than three years of study, first by a task force that included four
former State Bar presidents and then by the Supreme Court committee.
rules establish four categories of permissible practice by out-of-state
Legal Services Attorneys”—Lawyers from other states who meet all requisites
for admission in California other than the examination requirement may work for
a “qualifying legal services provider,” such as a legal aid agency or a law
school clinic, under supervision of a licensed California attorney. Attorneys in
this category must apply for a determination of moral character by the State
Bar, but may practice while awaiting word on those applications.
attorney who has failed the
In-House Counsel”—Lawyers residing in California and employed full-time as
in-house counsel by a corporation, partnership, or similar entity employing at
least 10 persons in this state, if found to be of good character, may practice
on behalf of those employers other than in litigation.
is no limit as to how long an attorney may practice in this category, but
registration must be completed annually, and the registrant must notify the
State Bar within 30 days of leaving his or her employment and must re-register
upon taking an in-house position with a new employer.
practicing law temporarily in
attorneys may currently be admitted to appear pro hac vice, but this can only
happen once suit is filed.
litigating attorneys temporarily in California to provide legal
services”—This codifies the existing practice of allowing out-of-state
lawyers temporarily present in California to advise existing clients or
undertake similar tasks in connection with matters, other than litigation, in
which a “material aspect” is taking place in another jurisdiction.
rules are the culmination of a process which began with the passage of
legislation sponsored by Sen. Bill Morrow, R-San Juan Capistrano.
had initially pushed for legislation that would have allowed any lawyer licensed
in another state and in good standing for at least three years to practice in
task force concluded that opening up full State Bar membership to out-of-state
lawyers who haven’t taken the bar exam would require resolution of difficult
questions such as whether to require reciprocity—particularly in light of the
fact that many states will not admit California lawyers who have graduated from
non-ABA accredited law schools.
rules announced yesterday largely track the task force’s recommendations.