Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Debate as to whether foreign lawyers should be allowed to practice law in the US

The ABA Commission in charge of performing a review of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the U.S. system of lawyer regulation in the context of advances in technology and global legal practice developments has asked for comment on these two proposals:

(a) to allow foreign lawyers (defined as in existing rules, like the foreign legal consultant rule) to gain admission via a US jurisdiction's in house counsel rule for domestic lawyers (as an ABA Model Rule now envisions), which would enable them to practice in house for their employer/client in the US; and

(b) to allow foreign lawyers to be admitted pro hac vice in a matter at a judge's discretion and with the active participation of US counsel. Recall that one of Conrad Black's trial lawyers at his Chicago federal trial was Canadian as is Black.

Here is a link to a debate on these proposals. In particular take a look at the exchange between Stephen Gillers and Larry Fox.

More information on the Commission including documents, transcripts, articles and posted comments can be found here.

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