February 15, 2002
John A. Holtaway
ABA Center for Professional Responsibility
541 N. Fairbanks Court, 14 th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Re: Interim Report of the Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice
Comments of Oklahoma Bar Association
Members of the Commission and Staff:
The Board of Governors of the Oklahoma Bar Association commend the Commission and the Staff on the effective conduct of the national debate on mobility of the practice of law and for skillfully drawing from such debate a logical, realistic and well-reasoned proposal for application by the states of a uniform treatment of the extra territorial mobility required of today’s practicing lawyer.
Oklahoma approves and recommends support of the conceptual approach and, for the most part, the specific language utilized in the Commission’s Proposal as embodied in Proposed Model Rule 5.5, appearing at P. 7 of the Interim Report.
Oklahoma continues to believe, as set forth in its Proposed Accord on Multijurisdictional Practice, that certain principles should be identified and included in the Interim Report Proposal and which are not presently included. Oklahoma urges the Commission to further examine and include the following concepts and language:
Implementation Recognition. In most jurisdictions implementation of Multijurisdictional Practice involves more than addressing the Rules of Professional Conduct, including Rules Governing the Admission of Practice of Lawyers and other rules and statutes unique to each state. Accordingly, either the title of the Proposal should be amended to include multifaceted implication or the Commission should include specific "implementation note" recognizing that other rules and/or statutes may require implementation and the language contained in the Proposal is suggested for such implementation.
Multi-Disciplinary Practice Concern. Paragraph (d)(1) of Proposed Model Rule 5.5, appearing at P. 7 of the Interim Report should exclude from the permissible temporary practice situations where the employer/client is delivering legal services to third party. We propose language as follows:
(d)(1) "The lawyer is an employee acting only on behalf of the employer, or on behalf of the employer’s affiliates, in connection with the employer’s matters; provided such matter does not involve delivering legal services to third parties."
Concurrent Jurisdiction. The Interim Proposal does not address, refer to or imply that the lawyer providing extra territorial services on a temporary basis is subject to the jurisdiction of both the admission state and the state of delivery of services. Even though such issues may be addressed separately (i.e. Rule 8.5) nevertheless it is of sufficient importance that it should be addressed as part of this Proposal and should expressly provide:
"A lawyer providing services on a temporary basis as provided herein shall be governed, controlled and may be disciplined by and subject to such statutes and rules of the lawyer’s jurisdiction of admission and the jurisdiction where services are delivered."
The suggestions which we tender do no depreciate or diminish our support for the concepts and the text of the Proposal of the Interim Report which has been crafted by the Commission. Our commendation and support also recognizes the Commission’s study, research and exclusion of many less favorable, less realistic and more burdensome alternatives. We look forward to the Commission’s finished product and an opportunity to support its work.
Gary C. Clark, President
Oklahoma Bar Association
Guy Clark, Chairman
Multijurisdictional Practice Subcommittee
Board of Governors, State of Oklahoma