Mississippi Multijurisdictional Practice (MJP)

Mississippi has not adopted a version of ABA Model Rule 5.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct that would allow attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions to practice law in Mississippi without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. (MS RPC 5.5).

Rule 8.5 (Jurisdiction) is not the ABA Model Rule 8.5 granting more leeway for attorneys practicing in multiple jurisdictions but still applies to such practices. Rule 8.5 states:

A lawyer admitted to practice in Mississippi is subject to the disciplinary authority of Mississippi although engaged in practice elsewhere. A lawyer not admitted in this jurisdiction is also subject to the disciplinary authority of Mississippi if the lawyer advertises, provides or offers to provide any legal services to be performed in this jurisdiction. A lawyer may be subject to the disciplinary authority of both this jurisdiction and another jurisdiction for the same conduct.

The relevant portions of the applicable Comment state that reciprocal enforcement of a jurisdiction’s disciplinary findings and sanctions will further advance the purposes of the rule. Nothing in this rule shall be construed to allow an unlicensed individual to engage in the practice of law in Mississippi contrary to any other rule or statute. See also Mississippi Rules of Discipline 1(1.1) and 16.

If the rules of professional conduct in the two jurisdictions differ, principles of conflict of laws may apply. Similar problems can arise when a lawyer is licensed to practice in more than one jurisdiction. When the lawyer is licensed to practice law in two jurisdictions that impose conflicting obligations, applicable rules of choice of law may govern the situation. A related problem arises with respect to practice before a federal tribunal, where the general authority of the states to regulate the practice of law must be reconciled with such authority as federal tribunals may have to regulate practice before them.