In addition to the Multijurisdictional Practice Rules (MJP), attorneys should consult the Louisiana Pro Hac Vice page to view provisions permitting out-of-state attorneys to engage in certain legal practices related to out-of-state proceedings, potential Louisiana and out-of-state proceedings, and alternative dispute resolutions matters. Those provisions overlap, or relate to, MJP. For general information about MJP, please see the MJP General page.
Rule 5.5 (Unauthorized Practice of Law; MJP Practice of Law) and Rule 8.5 (Disciplinary Authority; Choice of Law) of the Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct encompass the MJP rules in Louisiana.
Rule 5.5 provides safe harbors for legal practices that out-of-state attorneys may perform in Louisiana without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. Rule 8.5 recognizes that attorneys practicing in more than one jurisdiction will likely be subject to conflicting admission rules, court rules, or rules of professional conduct. Attorneys should consult both of the MJP rules, as well as the other Louisiana admission rules and the rules regulating the attorney’s home jurisdiction, in order to avoid the unauthorized practice of law.
Rule 5.5, particularly 5.5(c) and (d), allow active attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions who regularly practice law, and who are not disbarred or suspended from the practice of law, to practice in Louisiana on a temporary basis and to practice as Louisiana House Counsel.
Louisiana’s MJP Rule 5.5 is substantially similar to the ABA Model Rule 5.5. Louisiana’s Rule 5.5 contains additional provisions that are not included in this summary which relate to attorney suspension and disbarrment.
Rule 5.5 generally prohibits attorneys from practicing law in a jurisdiction in a way that would violate the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction. Out-of-state attorneys cannot establish an office or other systematic and continuous presence in Louisiana for the practice of law and cannot represent or hold himself or herself out to the public as being admitted to practice in Louisiana.
The temporary practices include:
House attorneys may practice under the Louisiana House Counsel Rules. Louisiana’s MJP rule also exempts registered house attorneys from the unauthorized practice of law and the prohibition against establishing an office or other systematic and continuous presence in Louisiana.
Attorneys may also render services in Louisiana authorized by Louisiana or federal law. (5.5(d)(2)). Practice under this MJP rule exempts attorneys from the prohibition against establishing an office or other systematic and continuous presence in Louisiana.
Disciplinary Authority. A lawyer admitted to practice in Louisiana is subject to the disciplinary authority of Louisiana, regardless of where the lawyer’s conduct occurs. A lawyer not admitted in Louisiana is also subject to the disciplinary authority of Louisiana if the lawyer provides or offers to provide any legal services in Louisiana. A lawyer may be subject to the disciplinary authority of both Louisiana and another jurisdiction for the same conduct. (8.5(a)).
Choice of Law. The Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct are applied as follows:
For conduct in connection with a matter pending before a tribunal, the applicable rules are those of the jurisdiction where the tribunal sits, unless the rules of the tribunal provide otherwise. (8.5(b)(1)).
For any other conduct, the applicable rules are those of the jurisdiction where the lawyer’s conduct occurred, or, if the predominant effect of the conduct is in a different jurisdiction, the rules of that jurisdiction will be applied to the conduct. A lawyer is not subject to discipline if the lawyer’s conduct conforms to the rules of a jurisdiction where the lawyer reasonably believes the predominant effect of the lawyer’s conduct will occur. (8.5(b)(2)).