WSR 11-05-014

RULES OF COURT

STATE SUPREME COURT


[ February 3, 2011 ]

IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF THE AMENDMENTS TO RPC 5.5-UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW; MULTIJURISDICTIONAL PRACTICE OF LAW-COMMENT 7 )

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ORDER

NO. 25700-A-976


The Washington State Bar Association having recommended the adoption of the proposed amendments to RPC 5.5-Unauthorized Practice of Law; Multijurisdictional Practice of Law-Comment 7, and the Court having approved the proposed amendments for expedited publication;

Now, therefore, it is hereby

ORDERED:

(a) That pursuant to the provisions of GR 9(g), the proposed amendments as shown below hereto are to be published for comment in the Washington Reports, Washington Register, Washington State Bar Association and Administrative Office of the Court's websites expeditiously.

(b) The purpose statement as required by GR 9(e), is published solely for the information of the Bench, Bar and other interested parties.

(c) Comments are to be submitted to the Clerk of the Supreme Court by either U.S. Mail or Internet E-Mail by not later than April 30, 2011. Comments may be sent to the following addresses: P.O. Box 40929, Olympia, Washington 98504-0929, or Camilla.Faulk@courts.wa.gov. Comments submitted by e-mail message must be limited to 1500 words.

DATED at Olympia, Washington this 3rd day of February, 2011.
For the Court

Madsen, C.J.
CHIEF JUSTICE

GR 9 COVER SHEET


Suggested Amendment

RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT (RPC)

Rule 5.5-Unauthorized Practice of Law;

Multijurisdictional Practice of Law


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 [7] 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 [7] 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 [7] to reflect that intent. This suggested amendment is not intended to be a substantive change.


RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT (RPC)


RULE 5.5. UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW;

MULTIJURISDICTIONAL PRACTICE OF LAW



(a) - (e) [Unchanged.]


Comment


[1] - [6] [Unchanged.]

[7] Paragraphs (c) and (d) apply to lawyers who are admitted to practice law in any United States jurisdiction, which includes the District of Columbia and any state, territory or commonwealth of the United States. The word "admitted" in paragraph (c) contemplates 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.

[8] - [22] [Unchanged.]

Reviser's note: The brackets and enclosed material in the text of the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appear in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office