Academic journal article Defense Counsel Journal

New Jersey Opens a Crack for Out-of-State Lawyers

Academic journal article Defense Counsel Journal

New Jersey Opens a Crack for Out-of-State Lawyers

Article excerpt

While disagreeing with the flat-out ban that its unauthorized practice committee wanted to impose, the New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that lawyers not admitted to practice in New Jersey may perform legal services for New Jersey public entities in connection with bond issues-- but only in limited circumstances. In the Matter of Opinion 33 of the Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law, No. A76, July 21, 1999.

The committee concluded that "attorneys who are not admitted to the practice of law in New Jersey are engaged in the unauthorized practice of law when they advise New Jersey governmental bodies in connection with the issuance of state and municipal bonds." This sweeping declaration did not please everyone, including the New Jersey state treasurer and attorney general, both of whom sought review.

The supreme court agreed that the committee's formulation was "overbroad and not adequately reflective of the variety of factors that affect the public interest in the regulation of bond counsel services." For the court, Justice Stein pointed out that the court's approach to unauthorized practice issues has been to consider the public interest as paramount. …

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