• Illinois Adopts Unauthorized Practice of Law and Multijurisdictional Rule That Carves Safe Haven for Foreign Lawyers
  • October 14, 2009
  • Law Firm: Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP - Chicago Office
  • Brief Summary
    Illinois will soon have a “temporary practice” rule based on ABA Model Rule 5.5.

    Complete Summary
    Effective January 1, 2010, the present Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct will be repealed and replaced by the new Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct of 2010.

    Illinois RPC 5.5 will then provide in part:

    (c) A lawyer admitted in another U.S. jurisdiction, and not disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legal services on a temporary basis in this jurisdiction that:

    (c)(1) are undertaken in association with a lawyer who is admitted to practice in this jurisdiction and who actively participates in the matter;

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

    (c)(3) are in or reasonably related to a pending or potential arbitration, mediation or other alternative dispute resolution proceedings in this 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

    (c)(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 U.S. jurisdiction and not disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction may provide legal services in this jurisdiction that:

    (d)(1) are provided to the lawyer’s employer or its organizational affiliates and are not services for which the forum requires pro hac vice admission; or

    (d)(2) are services that the lawyer is authorized to provide by federal law or other law of this jurisdiction.

    Not surprisingly, foreign lawyers who practice under subsection Illinois RPC 5.5(b) will be subject to Illinois disciplinary authority.

    Significance of Rule Change
    By amending Illinois RPC 5.5, the Illinois Supreme Court has aligned itself with numerous jurisdictions that have carved out “safe havens” for the temporary practice of law in Illinois by lawyers who are licensed and in good standing in other U.S. jurisdictions.