Proposed Rules ArchivesRPC 5.5 - Unauthorized Practice of Law; Multijurisdictional Practice of Law
RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT (RPC)
Submitted by the Board of Governors of the Washington State Bar Association
Purpose: At its September 24, 2010 meeting the Board of Governors of the Washington State Bar Association unanimously adopted the recommendation of the Rules of Professional Conduct Committee described as follows:
The purpose of the suggested amendment to Comment  is to clarify the meaning of “admitted” as defined by subsections (c) and (d). RPC 5.5(c) permits lawyers “admitted” in another United States jurisdiction to practice on a temporary basis in Washington if specified conditions are met. RPC 5.5(d) permits lawyers “admitted” in another U.S. jurisdiction to provide in-house legal services in Washington if specified conditions are met. Comment  to the rule states that “admitted” under paragraph (c) means that “the lawyer is authorized to practice in the jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted and excludes a lawyer who while technically admitted is not authorized to practice, because, for example, the lawyer is on inactive status.” The comments do not define “admitted” for purposes of applying paragraph (d), raising a potential ambiguity regarding whether paragraph (d) might permit an inactive lawyer in another jurisdiction to serve as in-house counsel in Washington under RPC 5.5. The Rules of Professional Conduct Committee believes that “admitted” was intended to have the same meaning in both paragraphs, and suggested amending the language in Comment  to reflect that intent. This suggested amendment is not intended to be a substantive change.
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