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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of August 13, 2013

LawBiz(r) newsletter

We left home last week, traveling north to Canyonville, OR (north of Medford) to join 65 other Airstream rigs from around the country for a week. Seven Feathers, the site of the gathering, is by far one of the best RV sites in the country. I'm pleased to say the group went there because of our recommendation.

My wife stayed with the group while I flew to San Francisco for the ABA annual meeting, after which I will return to the Airstream and continue our travel to the Oregon coast before heading south to return home by the end of the week.

There are 6 major wild fires in Oregon and one in Southern California. It feels like the world is on fire. Yet, in parts of our country, there is major rain and flooding. There seems to be little or no control over the forces of Nature ... The supply and demand for water is inconsistent ... as is the supply and demand for legal services, a fact our leaders should consider before making further changes in the rules of professional conduct. Adding a new licensing level as California is considering merely weakens the value of the law license without addressing the issue. Rather, help the many un- and under-employed lawyers help the people be served.
Ed signature

A Motion that Improves Lawyer Mobility

Before they start to make a living as lawyers, law school graduates must pass the bar examination in one specific state and begin their legal practice there. If the young lawyer has the opportunity to move to another state and practice, passing the bar exam there is required. However, there is a way around this difficulty. It is called admission by motion, in which an experienced lawyer applies for admission to the state bar association of a new state "by motion," provided that the lawyer has graduated from an accredited law school and has passed the bar in at least one state.

Admission by motion procedures now exist in about 40 jurisdictions, most of them requiring that a lawyer's previous state reciprocally allow the practice. However, the states that allow admission by motion typically require seven years of fulltime practice in another jurisdiction, including five of the most recent years preceding application. This obviously restricts the lawyer who is new in practice and has the chance to move to different state and practice law.

This situation is changing, though. In 2012 the ABA House of Delegates approved a revision to a model ethics rule makes it easier for young lawyers to be admitted in new jurisdictions without taking the bar exam. This was formally referred to as Resolution 105E, the change to the ABA Model Rule for Admission by Motion. As a result of the amendment, lawyers seeking to practice in a new jurisdiction through admission by motion need to have actively practiced law for only three of the past five years rather than five of the last seven years. An accompanying resolution passed by the House urges jurisdictions that have not adopted the model rule governing admission by motion to do so.

Ultimately not just young lawyers but lawyers in solo or small practice should benefit from this change. Small firm lawyers typically cannot afford engaging local counsel in another jurisdiction, and their only other option is a pro hac vice admission for a single matter by the local court - never a guaranteed thing. Greater use of admission by motion could make the whole admission process more flexible - meaning both lawyers and clients benefit.

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In this issue:

A Motion that Improves Lawyer Mobility

Secrets of The Business of Law® - 40% OFF!

Video: Getting Started as a Solo

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What Clients Are Saying:

"Ed Poll created and presented your three-day workshop "Starting, Operating, Growing and Profiting from the Practice of Law" for our Law School, the Continuing Legal Education Committee and the Washington Law School Foundation. Ed's professional management skills and presentation talents provided our alumni and students with an outstanding program. The evaluations, both oral and written, were excellent and demonstrated that his audience agreed. One evaluator was particularly appreciative of the thought-provoking and interesting new concepts. Another said, "I have a much better understanding of what I'm to do -- I'm energized. Thank you!" Ed had a major impact on the future of our attendees; this is a unique quality and we are most appreciative of his efforts to create such an interesting and informative program. I enjoyed working with him and look forward to doing so again."

John F. Rapp
Director, CLE
University of Washington

"Ed Poll's efforts resulted in the success of our Mid Year CLE Program event. During the planning stages of this Mid Year Program, the Section's leadership indicated that if 75 lawyers attended the program, it would be considered a success. With our program attendance at over 100 attendees, the leadership clearly is very pleased with our efforts and want to continue bringing programs to the solo and small firm practitioner. We look forward to this challenge of making the Mid Year Program a regular event."

Lee S. Kolczun, Chair
Sole Practitioners and Small Firms Committee
American Bar Association

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