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2007

Supreme Court to consider rules for multijurisdictional practice

Madison, Wisconsin - March 27, 2007

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is now accepting comment on a State Bar of Wisconsin proposal Adobe PDF to change the rules governing lawyers who provide legal services in jurisdictions where they are not licensed to practice. The Court will conduct a public hearing on this proposed amendment to the attorney ethics code on Thursday, April 12 at 9:30 a.m. in the Supreme Court Hearing Room on the second floor of the Capitol’s East Wing.

Providing legal services in a jurisdiction where a lawyer is not licensed to practice is known as multijurisdictional practice (MJP).   

The State Bar Board of Governors maintains that the modern practice of law requires Wisconsin lawyers to transact business across state lines and to advise clients about legal problems encountered outside of Wisconsin. The Board is seeking to make it easier for Wisconsin lawyers to serve clients in other jurisdictions. The proposal also suggests that out-of-state lawyers who are permitted to practice law in Wisconsin should be subject to the same ethics rules that govern Wisconsin lawyers and would only be allowed to participate in the practice of law on an occasional basis under limited circumstances.

The Board of Governors’ proposal tracks a model rule developed by the American Bar Association (ABA) in many respects, but does not recommend the Court adopt ABA Model Rule 5.5(d) (1), which addresses the issue of in-house counsel for national or international corporations who may be licensed elsewhere but asked to serve in the company’s Wisconsin office for a period of time.

Written comment on the proposed changes may be submitted to Assistant Deputy Clerk Carrie Janto at carrie.janto@wicourts.gov or mailed to Wisconsin Supreme Court, Office of the Clerk, PO Box 1688, Madison, WI 53701-1588, Attention: Carrie Janto.

For more information contact:
Amanda K. Todd
Court Information Officer
(608) 264-6256

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