Thursday, June 3, 2010

Jurisdictional Rules and Considerations in the News

We've pointed to updates and news regarding lawyer mobility, cross-jurisdictional practice -- both across US state borders and internationally -- and related, unfolding trends . A few recent stories and opinions further highlight the need for firms with distributed offices and lawyers to pay attention to these evolving opinions and rules:
  • Via the Legal Ethics Blog: The ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20, a group that's undertaking a multi-year review of professional rules, is exploring and evaluating the extent to which the Model Rules should apply to foreign lawyers practicing in the United States. A Working Group developed some preliminary findings and framed questions "illustrating why and how foreign lawyers could be included within the current ABA Model Rules." At this point, the Commission has opted to solicit further public input before taking an official position. More detail and instructions for comment on their web site.
  • The ABA Journal has published an interesting story regarding physical presence and bar membership: "A lawyer can keep her membership with the bar of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland in spite of a local rule that would seemingly disqualify her because she's been telecommuting from Massachusetts since August 2007 but isn't licensed in that state." One analyst suggests that such rules are "outdated," but recent decisions, such as one issued in New Jersey, suggest that these matters are far from settled.

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