William J. O'Connor II Comments on Multijurisdictional Practice - Center for Professional Responsibility

Dear Sir,

I practice in Montana and have on occasion handled cases in other jurisdictions, most recently Wyoming.  I also serve as local counsel with counsel for other states who wish to argue a case in this state.  I see no problem with the present state of the rules governing cross boarder practice.  There is little problem being admitted pro hoc vice for a case.  Some states have a limit on the number of times this can be done, but that does not present itself very often.  If it does, as it may in some of the towns closer to a state boarder, then dual bar admissions may be appropriate.  I would in those instances support a provision that admission to the bar of a state not require residency in that state. 

However, that said, it is important for the client that the counsel representing him have a significant knowledge of the local practice and local judiciary.  To simply be so arrogant as to believe that your knowledge of the national law is sufficient to best represent your client in court is naive, and a disservice to the client.

William J. O'Connor II
wjocii@juno.com