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Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice of Law


To:  Bar Leaders

From:  Harriet E. Miers, Chair, Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice

Date:  September 14, 2000

Re:  Public Hearing on the Multijurisdictional Practice of Law, ABA Midyear Meeting, February 14-20, 2001, San Diego, California

President Martha Barnett has appointed an eleven-member Commission to examine the ethical and legal burdens imposed on lawyers who represent clients across state lines, and to issue a report and recommendation on how to regulate the multijurisdictional practice of law in a way that will best serve the public interest.

In taking up issues surrounding MJP, the Commission will not address MDP.

The Commission has been directed to file a report and recommendation with the ABA House of Delegates at the August 2001 Annual Meeting. In order to meet this deadline, the Commission must prepare its report, with any recommendations by late Spring. As you can see, we have our work cut out for us and we are asking your cooperation and help.

I am writing to request that your entity or organization begin now to determine what input you would like to provide at least by the Midyear 2001. If you have not yet begun to study the issues surrounding the multijurisdictional practice of law, I hope you will consider starting that process so you can participate fully in the forging our Commission’s recommendations concerning this very important subject. I know some entities are already hard at work. I also know that several entities have continued in place the same group that studied MDP to study this issue.

The Commission will be conducting a public hearing at the ABA 2001 Midyear Meeting in San Diego, CA and we invite a representative of your entity to attend the hearing and report to the Commission on your entity’s position on the regulation of the multijurisdictional practice of law. Further details regarding the meeting will be forthcoming. I am urging that you act quickly because to meet our deadline we must complete our report and recommendations by late Spring. For those reasons, input from those interested at the Midyear will be the most helpful. However, please feel free to send us information now or through the course of the year. The Commission intends to meet on September 16, 2000, October 13, 2000 and other times as necessary and possible between now and the Midyear.

To assist you in your work, the ABA has established a website on multijurisdictional practice: The website contains written materials and a report on multijurisdictional practice from a March 2000 symposium held at Fordham University School of Law. These materials are very helpful to provide insight into the issues and to identify areas of concern. The Symposium materials are very helpful in providing background and identifying issues. You may find additional materials at and

The members of the Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice are: Alan T. Dimond, Miami, FL; Joanne M. Garvey, San Francisco, CA; Professor Stephen Gillers, New York University School of Law; W. Anthony Jenkins, Detroit, MI; Charles E. McCallum, Grand Rapids, MI; Cheryl I. Niro, Chicago, IL; Wayne J. Positan, Roseland, N.J.; Larry Ramirez, Las Cruces, N.M.; Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard; and Diane C. Yu, St. Louis, MO. I will Chair the Commission and Professor Bruce A. Green of Fordham University School of Law will serve as the Commission Reporter. The Commission has liaisons from several critical entities to assist it in its work.

The liaisons are: John L. McDonnell, Jr., Oakland, CA (ABA Board of Governors); M. Peter Moser, Baltimore, MD (Standing Committee on Ethics & Professional Responsibility); Lucian T. Pera, Memphis, TN (Commission on Evaluation of the Rules of Professional Conduct); James E. Towery, San Jose, CA (Standing Committee on Client Protection); Ralph G. Elliot, Hartford, CT (Standing Committee on Professional Discipline); Erica Moeser, Madison, WI (National Conference of Bar Examiners); Burnele V. Powell, Kansas City, MO (Coordinating Council of the Center for Professional Responsibility); Susan Hackett, Washington D.C. (American Corporate Counsel Association); William P. Smith, III, Atlanta, GA (National Organization of Bar Counsel); Anthony E. Davis (Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers).

Thank you for your cooperation. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (214) 740-8450, [email protected] or the Commission’s counsel, John Holtaway at (312) 988-5298, [email protected]


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