Rules of Professional Conduct

5. Law Firms and Associations

ER 5.5. Unauthorized Practice of Law; Multijurisdictional Practice of Law

(a) A lawyer shall not practice law in a jurisdiction in violation of the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction, or assist another in doing so.

(b) Except as authorized by these Rules or other law, a lawyer who is not admitted to practice in Arizona shall not:

(1) engage in the regular practice of Arizona law; or

(2) hold out to the public or otherwise represent that the lawyer is admitted to practice Arizona law.

(c) A lawyer admitted in another United States jurisdiction, and not disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legal services on a temporary basis in Arizona that involve Arizona law and which:

(1) are undertaken in association with a lawyer who is admitted to practice in Arizona and who actively participates in the matter.

(2) are in or reasonably related to a pending or potential proceeding before a tribunal in Arizona or another jurisdiction, if the lawyer, or a person the lawyer is assisting, is authorized by law or order to appear in such proceeding or reasonably expects to be so authorized;

(3) are in or reasonably related to a pending or potential arbitration, mediation, or other alternative dispute resolution proceeding in Arizona or another jurisdiction, if the services arise out of or are reasonably related to the lawyer's practice in a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted to practice and are not services for which the forum requires pro hac vice admission; or

(4) are not within paragraphs (c)(2) or (c)(3) and arise out of or are reasonably related to the lawyer's practice in a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted to practice.

(d) A lawyer admitted in another United States jurisdiction, or a lawyer admitted in a jurisdiction outside the United States, not disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction may provide legal services in Arizona that exclusively involve federal law, the law of another jurisdiction, or tribal law.

(e) A lawyer admitted in another United States jurisdiction, or a lawyer admitted in a jurisdiction outside the United States, not disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction, and registered pursuant to Rule 38(a) of these rules, may provide legal services in Arizona that are provided to the lawyer's employer or its organizational affiliates and are not services for which  pro hac vice admission is required.

(f) Any attorney who engages in the authorized multijurisdictional practice of law in Arizona under this rule must advise the lawyer's client that the lawyer is not admitted to practice in Arizona, and must obtain the client's informed consent to such representation.

(g) Attorneys not admitted to practice in Arizona, who are admitted to practice law in any other jurisdiction in the United States and who appear in any court of record or before any administrative hearing officer in Arizona, must also comply with Rules of the Supreme Court of Arizona governing pro hac vice admission. See Rule 39.

(h) Any attorney who engages in the multijurisdictional practice of law in Arizona, whether authorized in accordance with these Rules or not, shall be subject to the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Rules of the Supreme Court regarding attorney discipline in  Arizona.

Comment

[1] Paragraph (a) applies to the unauthorized practice of law by a lawyer, whether through the lawyer's direct action or by the lawyer assisting another person. The definition of the practice of law is established by law and varies from one jurisdiction to another. For Arizona's definition, see Rule 31(a)(2)(A). Whatever the definition, limiting the practice of law to members of the bar protects the public against rendition of legal services by unqualified persons. Paragraph (a) does not prohibit a lawyer from employing the services of paraprofessionals and delegating functions to them, so long as the lawyer supervises the delegated work and retains responsibility for their work. See ER 5.3. Likewise, it does not prohibit lawyers from providing professional advice and instruction to nonlawyers whose employment requires knowledge of law, for example, claims adjusters, employees of financial or commercial institutions, social workers, accountants and persons employed in government agencies. In addition, a lawyer may counsel nonlawyers who wish to proceed pro se.

[2] Other than as authorized by these Rules or other law or this Rule, a lawyer who is not admitted to practice in Arizona violates paragraph (b)(1) if the lawyer engages in the regular practice of Arizona law in Arizona. A lawyer who is not admitted to practice in Arizona violates paragraph (b)(2) if the lawyer fails to state in any advertisement or communication that targets or specifically offers legal services to Arizona residents that: (1) the lawyer is not licensed to practice Arizona law and (2) the lawyer's practice is limited to federal legal matters, such as immigration law, tribal legal matters, or the law of another jurisdiction. See ERs 7.1(a) and 7.5(b).

[3] There are occasions in which a lawyer admitted to practice in another United States jurisdiction, and not disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legal services on a temporary basis in Arizona that involve Arizona law under circumstances that do not create an unreasonable risk to the interests of their clients, the public or the courts. Paragraph (c) identifies four such circumstances. The fact that conduct is not so identified does not imply that the conduct is or is not authorized.
 
[4] There is no single test to determine whether a lawyer's provision of legal services involving Arizona law are provided on a “temporary basis” in Arizona, and may therefore be permissible under paragraph (c). Services may be “temporary” even though the lawyer provides legal services in Arizona that involve Arizona law on a recurring basis, or for an extended period of time, as when the lawyer is representing a client in a single lengthy negotiation or litigation.

 




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