From the Blog

Multi-jurisdictional Practice in Connecticut

Not every matter requires admission pro hac vice in Connecticut. For those other circumstances, and they are more often than you think, enrollment and notification of multi-jurisdictional practice (“MJP”) to the Connecticut Statewide Bar Counsel is mandatory. See Rule of Professional Conduct 5.5(c).

What is MJP?

Multi-jurisdictional practice is the delivery of legal services in jurisdictions other than where a lawyer is formally admitted to practice. The growing ease of interstate travel and communication, coupled with the fact that many law firms and corporations conduct business on a regional or national scale have given rise to rules that better define and regulate cross-border practice. And don’t forget the internet.

The Applicable Rule!

Pursuant to Rule 5.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, originally effective January 1, 2008 and amended as recently as 2015, only attorneys from United States jurisdictions that accord similar multi-jurisdictional practice privileges to Connecticut attorneys may use Connecticut’s MJP rule to provide temporary legal services in Connecticut. Rule 5.5(c) provides:

A lawyer admitted in another United States jurisdiction which accords similar privileges to Connecticut lawyers in its jurisdiction, and provided that the lawyer is not disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legal services on a temporary basis in this jurisdiction…

Rule of Professional Conduct 5.5(c)

Which States Grant Similar Privileges?

This is the easy question. Can you do this? The short answer: almost every jurisdiction is reciprocal to Connecticut. The handful of non-reciprocal states are Hawaii, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, and Texas. The Statewide Grievance Committee publishes a list of reciprocal jurisdictions.

I’m from a Reciprocal State, what is next?

Well, the easy part is governed by Rule of Professional Conduct 5.5(f). Enroll at the Judicial Branch website, provide the required notification of temporary legal services and pay the fee, currently $100 per notification. When finished, make another notification. How do you know when to enroll and/or notify? All that turns on the meaning of “temporary legal services” and conduct for which pro hac vice admission is not needed or required.

What do you mean by temporary legal services?

Rule 5.5(c)(3) and (4) are not exactly the model of clarity:

(3) are in or reasonably related to a pending or potential mediation or other alternative dispute resolution proceeding in this or another jurisdiction, with respect to a matter that is substantially related to, or arises in, a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted to practice and are not services for which the forum requires pro hac vice admission; or

(4) are not within subdivisions (c) (2) or (c) (3)and arise out of or are substantially related to the legal services provided to an existing client of the lawyer’s practice in a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted to practice.

Rule of Professional Conduct 5.5(c)

So the $64,000 question is the meaning of temporary legal services? Yes, and more. It also depends on the number of clients, and matters. Is enrollment and notification limited to presence in Connecticut? Those issues and more will be discussed in Part 2.

Questions?

If you have a question about multi-jurisdictional practice in Connecticut, appearing pro hac vice in state court or federal court in Connecticut, local counsel services, or appearing as a visiting lawyer before a state agency, municipality or in an arbitration proceeding, please feel free to call Attorney John Radshaw in New Haven today at (203) 654-9695. For more information about Attorney Radshaw and his practice, visit www.jjr-esq.com.