PROPOSED RULE ______. LICENSING OF LEGAL CONSULTANTS
A. General Regulation as to Licensing. In its discretion, the Supreme Court may license to
practice in this State as a legal consultant, without examination, an applicant who:
1. is a member in good standing of a recognized legal profession in a foreign country, the members of which are admitted to practice as attorneys or counselors at law or the equivalent and are subject to effective regulation and discipline by a duly constituted professional body or a public authority;
2. for at least five of the seven years immediately preceding application has been a member in good standing of such legal profession and has actually been engaged in the practice of law in the foreign
country or elsewhere substantially involving or relating to the rendering of advice or the provision of legal services concerning the law of the foreign country;
3. possesses the good moral character and general fitness requisite for a member of the bar of this State;
4. is at least twenty-six years of age; and
5. intends to practice as a legal consultant in this State and to maintain an office in this State for that
B. Proof Required. An applicant under this Rule shall file with the Clerk of the Supreme Court:
1. a certificate from the professional body or public authority in the foreign country having final jurisdiction over professional discipline, certifying as to the applicant's admission to practice and the date thereof, and as to the applicant's good standing as an attorney or counselor at law or the equivalent;
2. a letter of recommendation from one of the members of the executive body of the professional body or public authority or from one of the judges of the highest law court or court of original jurisdiction of the foreign country;
3. a duly authenticated English translation of the certificate and letter if, in either case, it is not in English; and
4. such other evidence as to the applicant’s educational and professional qualifications, good moral
character and general fitness, and compliance with the requirements of Section A of this Rule as the Supreme Court may require.
C. Reciprocal Treatment of Members of the Bar of this State. In considering whether to license an applicant to practice as a legal consultant, the Supreme Court may in its discretion take into
account whether a member of the bar of this State would have a reasonable and practical opportunity to establish an office for the giving of legal advice to clients in the applicant's country of admission. Any member of the bar who is seeking or has sought to establish an office in that country may request the court to consider the matter, or the Supreme Court may do so sua sponte.
D. Scope of Practice. A person licensed to practice as a legal consultant under this Rule may render
legal services in this State subject, however, to the limitations that the person shall not:
1. appear for a person other than himself or herself as attorney in any court, or before any magistrate
or other judicial officer, in this State (other than upon admission pro hac vice pursuant to Rule 3A of the Admission to Practice Rules);
2. prepare any instrument effecting the transfer or registration of title to real estate located in the United States of America;
(a) any will or trust instrument effecting the disposition on death of any property located
in the United States of America and owned by a resident thereof, or
(b) any instrument relating to the administration of a decedent's estate in the United States of America;
4. prepare any instrument in respect of the marital or parental relations, rights or duties of a resident of the United States of America, or the custody or care of the children of the resident;
5. render professional legal advice on the law of this State or of the United States of America (whether rendered incident to the preparation of legal instruments or otherwise) except on the basis of advice from a person duly qualified and entitled (otherwise than by virtue of having been licensed under this Rule) to render professional legal advice in this State;
6. be, or in any way hold himself or herself out as, a member of the bar of this State; or
7. carry on the person's practice under, or utilize in connection with such practice, any name, title or designation other than one or more of the following:
(a) the person's own name;
(b) the name of the law firm with which the person is affiliated;
(c) the person's authorized title in the foreign country where admitted to practice, which may be used in conjunction with the name of the country; and
(d) the title "legal consultant," which may be used in conjunction with the words "admitted to the practice of law in [name of the foreign country where admitted to practice]".
E. Rights and Obligations. Subject to the limitations set forth in Section D of this Rule, a person
licensed as a legal consultant under this Rule is considered a lawyer affiliated with the bar of this State and is entitled and subject to:
1. the rights and obligations set forth in the Rules of Professional Conduct or arising from the other conditions and requirements that apply to a member of the bar of this State; and
2. the rights and obligations of a member of the bar of this State with respect to:
(a) affiliation in the same law firm with one or more members of the bar of this State,
(1) employing one or more members of the bar of this State;
(2) being employed by one or more members of the bar of this State or by any partnership or professional corporation which includes members of the bar
of this State or which maintains an office in this State; and
(3) being a partner in any partnership or shareholder in any professional corporation which includes members of the bar of this State or which maintains an office in this State; and
(b) attorney-client privilege, work-product privilege and similar professional privileges.
F. Disciplinary Provisions. A person licensed to practice as a legal consultant under this Rule is subject to professional discipline in the same manner and to the same extent as members of the bar
of this State and to this end:
1. Every person licensed to practice as a legal consultant under these Rules:
(a) is subject to control by the Supreme Court and to censure, suspension, removal or revocation of the person's license to practice by the Supreme Court and is otherwise governed by the Rules of Professional Conduct; and
(b) shall execute and file with the Supreme Court, in such form and manner as the court
(1) the person's commitment to observe the Rules of Professional Conduct and the all other conditions and requirements that apply to a member of the bar of this State to the extent applicable to the legal services authorized under
Section D of this Rule;
(2) a written undertaking to notify the court of any change in the person's good
standing as a member of the foreign legal profession referred to in
SectionA(1) of this Rule and of any final action of the professional body or public authority referred to in Section B(1) of this Rule imposing any disciplinary censure, suspension, or other sanction upon the person; and
(3) a duly acknowledged instrument, in writing, setting forth the person's address in this State and designating the Clerk of the Supreme Court as the person's
agent upon whom process may be served, with like effect as if served
personally upon that person, in any action or proceeding thereafter brought against the person and arising out of or based upon any legal services rendered or offered to be rendered by the person within or to residents of this State, whenever after due diligence service cannot be made upon the person at the address or at such new address in this State as the person shall have filed in the office of the clerk by means of a duly acknowledged supplemental instrument in writing.
2. Service of process on the clerk, pursuant to the designation filed under Section F (1)(b)(3), must be made by personally delivering to and leaving with the clerk, or with a deputy or assistant authorized by the clerk to receive such service, at the clerk's office, duplicate copies of such process together with a fee of $10. Service of process is complete when the clerk has been so served. The clerk shall promptly send one of the copies to the legal consultant to whom the process is directed, by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the legal consultant at the address specified under Section F (1)(b)(3).
G. Application and Renewal Fees. An applicant for a license as a legal consultant under this Rule shall pay an application fee equal to the fee required to be paid by a person applying for admission as a member of the bar of this State. A person licensed as a legal consultant shall pay renewal fees equal to the fees required to be paid by a member of the bar of this State for renewal of a license to engage in the practice of law in this State.
H. Revocation of License. In the event that the Supreme Court determines that a person licensed
as a legal consultant under this Rule no longer meets the requirements for licensure set forth in Section A(1) or Section A(3) of this Rule, it shall revoke the license granted to the person under this
I. Admission to Bar. In the event that a person licensed as a legal consultant under this Rule is subsequently admitted as a member of the bar of this State under the provisions of the Rules governing admission, the license granted to the person under this Rule is deemed superseded by the license granted to practice law as a member of the bar of this State.
J. Application for Waiver of Provisions. The Supreme Court, upon application, may in its discretion vary the application or waive any provision of this Rule where strict compliance will cause undue hardship to the applicant. The application must be in the form of a verified petition setting forth the applicant’s name, age and residence address, the facts relied upon and a prayer for relief.