July 17, 2001
John A. Holtaway, Esq.
Center For Professional Responsibility
American Bar Association
541 North Fairbanks Court
Chicago, IL 60611-3314
Re: Multijurisdictional Practice Commission; Oklahoma Proposal
In accordance with the request of the MJP Commission, the Board of Governors of the Oklahoma Bar Association, submits herewith its proposal in regard to Multijurisdictional Practice.
The proposal is set out in the form of an Accord in an effort to reach a consensus among as many states as possible, recognizing that each state may have different implementation requirements, i.e. Rules of Professional Conduct, Statute or Supreme Court Rules. For instance, in Oklahoma if Multijurisdictional Practice is addressed in the Rules of Professional Conduct, it would be ineffective since the appropriate Rules are contained in the Rules Governing Admission of Lawyers to Practice and the state Statutes. Nevertheless, states can adopt the Accord as a matter of principle with the implementation left to the individual mechanics of each state.
Each of the exceptions to the required admission within the state of service has been the subject of study and crafting by both a committee established by the Board of Governors and by the Board of Governors. It is the underlying purpose of the Accords to assure that occasional permitted practices are accommodated consistent with today's client requirement and at the same time limited such accommodation so as to prevent abuse or the unauthorized practice of law by entities or lawyers inconsistent with the underlying purpose.
As a supplement to the proposal, I also enclose an Information Report which has also been approved by the Board of Governors for publication to members of the Oklahoma Bar. The purpose of the Information Report is to identify underlying principles and benchmarks which the Board of Governors feel are important in analyzing and crafting the language of the Multijurisdictional Practice exceptions.
Finally, Oklahoma seeks to become a part of a broad consensus of states with specific principles to be discussed and adopted as a body. We do not believe inspecific and academic statements about the issues and problems of modern day practice and multijurisdictional practice necessarily move us towards a consensus unless there is some specific statement to be adopted. Accordingly, we have used the format outlined above. The Informational Report is submitted simply to share our views concerning underlying principles and guideposts in considering specific proposals.
If you require additional information or believe that the information submitted requires further explanation, please do not hesitate to let me know and we will be available.
Very truly yours,