Memo Re: Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice on Fast Track - Center for Professional Responsibility


To: Bar Leaders

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

Date: November 1, 2000

Re: Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice on Fast Track

On behalf of the American Bar Association Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice, we are writing to request the help of your organization and you in the work of the Commission. In my memorandum dated September 14, 2000, I advised you that the Commission has been directed to file a report and recommendation with the American Bar Association House of Delegates at the August 2001 Annual Meeting. I also requested that your entity immediately begin to study the issues surrounding multijurisdictional practice. To further assist you, the Commission has prepared a memorandum outlining numerous multijurisdictional practice issues. The memorandum also contains a few simple hypothetical situations and twelve possible solutions to resolve the issues. These proposals are not meant to foreclose or discourage anyone from suggesting other proposals, nor does the Commission endorse these specific proposals. Also attached to this memorandum is a short survey entitled Survey: Practicing Law Across State Lines. The survey is meant to be a catalyst for discussion but will also serve to provide data on multijurisdictional practice.

At its October 2000 meeting, the ABA Board of Governors Operations Committee approved increasing the size of the Commission to twelve members. They also added to the jurisdictional statement a sentence as follows: "The Commission shall also review international issues related to multijurisdictional practice in the United States." I believe the intent is to give the Commission any needed flexibility to address multijurisdictional issues for American lawyers.

We would appreciate it if you would confer with members of your bar association’s relevant committee(s) and let us know your views on these matters in time to participate in a two-day hearing to be held at the ABA Midyear Meeting in San Diego. Currently, plans are being finalized to have a hearing on these very important issues on Friday, February 16, 2001 and Saturday, February 17, 2001, at times yet to be fixed. Further details will be forthcoming. In addition, for those entities that cannot attend the meeting in San Diego, the Commission is planning to hold public hearings, in late January or February 2001, in New York, Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago.

In any event, will you please tell us your organizations’ plans to participate in this debate and the name of a contact person? If you already have considered these issues and have positions at this time, we would greatly appreciate hearing those. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you on these very important issues. We would very much appreciate hearing from you as soon as possible but before January 12, 2001, if at all possible. Thanks for your efforts on behalf of our profession.

Respectfully yours,


Harriet E. Miers, Chair, and the members of the
Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice
( Membership and Liaison List, with Biographies, Attached)

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