The Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct provide specific provisions for attorneys practicing in more than one jurisdiction. Rule 5.5 (Unauthorized Practice of Law; MJP Practice of Law) and Rule 8.5 (Disciplinary Authority; Choice of Law) encompass the Multijurisdictional Practice Rrules (MJP) (not including rules relating to attorneys licensed in foreign countries). Please see the about Bar Reciprocity MJP General page for additional information.
Overall, Rule 5.5 provides various safe harbors for out-of-state attorneys. Rule 8.5 recognizes that attorneys practicing in more than one jurisdiction will likely be subject to conflicting admission rules, court rules, and rules of professional conduct. Rule 8.5 attempts to minimize such conflicts by clarifying the set of rules governing the attorney’s conduct. In order to avoid the unauthorized practice of law, attorneys should consult the MJP rules, Oregon’s admission rules, and the rules regulating the attorney’s home jurisdiction. The comments to the MJP rules further clarify and provide examples of permitted practice.
Permitted temporary practices include:
House attorneys may practice under the Oregon House Counsel Rules. Oregon’s MJP rule also exempts house attorneys from the unauthorized practice of law, but the applicable MJP rule is under the heading allowing only temporary legal services.
Attorneys may also render services in Oregon authorized by Oregon or federal law. (5.5(d)).
Disciplinary Authority. A lawyer admitted to practice in Oregon is subject to the disciplinary authority of Oregon, regardless of where the lawyer’s conduct occurs. A lawyer not admitted in Oregon is also subject to the disciplinary authority of Oregon if the lawyer provides or offers to provide any legal services in Oregon. A lawyer may be subject to the disciplinary authority of both Oregon and another jurisdiction for the same conduct. (8.5(a)).
Choice of Law. The Oregon 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)).