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K. William Gibson Letter to Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice - Center for Professional Responsibility

November 7, 2001


Wayne J. Positan
John Holtaway
Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice
541 Fairbanks Court, 14 th Floor
Chicago, IL 60611

Dear Mr. Positan:

At our October 27, 2001, Fall Meeting, the ABA Law Practice Management Council voted unanimously to endorse what has been denominated "A Common Sense Proposal for Multijurisdictional Practice" (the "Common Sense Proposal"), initially submitted to the ABA Board of Governors Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice (the "MJP Commission") by the American Corporate Counsel Association (ACCA); The National Organization of Bar Counsel (NOBC); and The Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL) as an alternative to the position taken by Ethics 2000 concerning Model Rule 5.5 concerning the use of "safe harbors" and the apparent "safe harbor" direction being taken by the Commission.

The Law Practice Management Section, ACCA, NOBC, and APRL have come together to embrace a single position on what we view as a critical issue facing the profession - multijurisdictional practice. Many of us have already expressed positions to you. Although we represent lawyers from many different practice settings and with many different perspectives – we have concluded that we share a common belief that what we agree upon is far greater than what divides us by way of differences.

Without abandoning any of our previously stated positions, we recognize that there must be a single rule under which our clients, profession, and practices can flourish. This rule is necessarily one that must be simple, easy to define, hard to amend, and capable of enforcement. We believe that achieving a broad consensus on this approach will not be hard - as evidenced by our own agreement to the following rule. The essence of our approach is to authorize multijurisdictional practice, making appropriate exceptions and providing appropriate protections for the public and the profession, rather than forcing lawyers through the sieve of unauthorized practice rule and numerous "safe harbors".



K. William Gibson, Chair

cc: Alan T. Dimond
Peter D. Ehrenhaft
Joanne M. Garvey
Stephen Gillers
W. Anthony Jenkins
Charles E. McCallum
Cheryl I. Niro
Larry Ramirez
Hon. Randall T. Shepard
Marna S. Tucker
Diane C. Yu
Bruce A. Green
Anthony Davis
Ann MacNaughton
Rosemary Shiels, Director

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