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TCL > January 1998 Issue > Court Business

January 1998       Vol. 27, No. 1       Page  93
From the Courts
Court Business

Court Business

Hearing to be Held
Tuesday, February 10, 1998, 1:30 P.M.

The Supreme Court will conduct a hearing on proposed amendments to the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar: C.R.C.P. 201.3; 201.5; 221; and 221.1. The hearing will occur on Tuesday, February 10, 1998, at 1:30 P.M. in the Colorado Supreme Court Courtroom, 2 E. 14th Ave., Denver, Colorado. An original and eight copies of any written comments to the court concerning the proposals should be submitted to Mac V. Danford, Clerk of the Supreme Court, no later than Friday, January 20, 1998. Persons wishing to participate in the hearing by presenting oral comments should so notify Mr. Danford no later than January 20, 1998.


Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure
Chapter 18. Rules Governing Admission to the Bar
Proposed Amendments

Following are proposed amendments to the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar.

Rule 201.3. Classification of Applicants

(1) - (3) [No change]

(4) A LAWYER WHO, AS DETERMINED BY THE BAR COMMITTEE, HAS BEEN ADMITTED TO THE BAR OF ANOTHER STATE, TERRITORY, OR DISTRICT OF THE UNITED STATES SHALL OBTAIN A LIMITED LICENSE TO PRACTICE LAW IN THE STATE OF COLORADO WHEN THE LAWYER IS EMPLOYED IN THIS STATE AS A LAWYER FOR: A CORPORATION, ITS SUBSIDIARIES, OR ITS AFFILIATES; AN ASSOCIATION; A BUSINESS OR GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY WHOSE BUSINESS CONSISTS OF ACTIVITIES OTHER THAN THE PRACTICE OF LAW OR THE PROVISION OF LEGAL SERVICES.

(A) THE LAWYER, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF AN ORGANIZATION SPECIFIED IN THIS RULE, MAY PROVIDE LEGAL SERVICES IN THE STATE OF COLORADO ONLY TO THE LAWYER'S EMPLOYER; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT SUCH SERVICES SHALL BE LIMITED TO: (I) GIVING LEGAL ADVICE TO THE DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AND AGENTS OF THE EMPLOYER WITH RESPECT TO THE EMPLOYER'S BUSINESS AND AFFAIRS; (II) NEGOTIATING AND DOCUMENTING ALL MATTERS FOR THE EMPLOYER; AND (III) REPRESENTING THE EMPLOYER IN ITS DEALINGS WITH ANY ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY HAVING JURISDICTION; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE LAWYER SHALL NOT BE PERMITTED TO MAKE APPEARANCES AS COUNSEL IN ANY COURT, ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL, OR AGENCY SITUATED IN THE STATE OF COLORADO UNLESS THE RULES GOVERNING SUCH COURT OR BODY SHALL OTHERWISE AUTHORIZE, OR THE LAWYER IS SPECIALLY ADMITTED BY SUCH COURT OR BODY AS PROVIDED IN RULE 221 OR 221.1.

(B) A LAWYER WHO EXCEEDS THE SCOPE OF PRACTICE AS SPECIFIED IN THIS RULE, OR A LAWYER WHO PRACTICES LAW OR PROVIDES LEGAL SERVICES FOR AN EMPLOYER AS SPECIFIED IN THIS RULE WITHOUT FIRST OBTAINING A LIMITED LICENSE, SHALL BE CITED FOR THE UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW.

(C) A LAWYER WHO OBTAINS A LIMITED LICENSE PURSUANT TO THIS RULE SHALL NOT HOLD HIMSELF OR HERSELF OUT AS AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE LAW IN THE STATE OF COLORADO.

(D) THE LIMITED LICENSE ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS RULE IS AUTOMATICALLY SUPERSEDED IF THE LAWYER IS ADMITTED TO THE BAR OF COLORADO PURSUANT TO PROVISIONS GOVERNING THE ADMISSION OF CLASS A OR CLASS B APPLICANTS AS PROVIDED IN THESE RULES.

(E) THE LIMITED LICENSE IS AUTOMATICALLY SUSPENDED IF THE LAWYER'S EMPLOYMENT PURSUANT TO WHICH HE OR SHE HAS APPLIED UNDER THIS RULE IS TERMINATED; HOWEVER, IF THE LAWYER IS EMPLOYED BY ANOTHER ELIGIBLE EMPLOYER WITHIN THIRTY DAYS, THE LIMITED LICENSE SHALL BE REINSTATED PROVIDED ALL THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS RULE CONTINUE TO BE MET WITH REGARD TO THE NEW EMPLOYER.

(F) THE PERIOD OF TIME THAT A LAWYER PRACTICES LAW IN COLORADO WITH A LIMITED LICENSE ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS RULE MAY BE USED TO FULFILL THE REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION OF CLASS A APPLICANTS TO THE BAR OF COLORADO AS PROVIDED IN RULE 201.3(1).

(G) A LAWYER ADMITTED PURSUANT TO THIS RULE SHALL (I) COMPLY WITH RULE 227 IN ALL RESPECTS, EXCEPT THAT THE LAWYER MAY NOT REGISTER AS INACTIVE. THE LIMITED LICENSE ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS RULE IS AUTOMATICALLY SUSPENDED IF THE LAWYER FAILS TO REGISTER AS REQUIRED BY RULE 227 OR REGISTERS AS INACTIVE; (II) MEET THE CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS AS SET FORTH IN RULE 260; AND (III) BE SUBJECT TO THE DISCIPLINARY AND DISABILITY JURISDICTION OF THE SUPREME COURT IN ALL MATTERS RELATING TO THE PRACTICE OF LAW.

(5) A LAW PROFESSOR MAY BE TEMPORARILY ADMITTED TO THE BAR OF COLORADO, UPON APPLICATION SUPPORTED BY THE CERTIFICATION OF EMPLOYMENT BY HIS OR HER DEAN. SUCH ADMISSION SHALL BE SOLELY FOR SO LONG AS THE PROFESSOR SHALL SERVE AS A FULL-TIME MEMBER OF THE FACULTY OF SUCH COLORADO LAW SCHOOL. AS USED HERE, "LAW PROFESSOR" MEANS A LAW SCHOOL GRADUATE WHO, AS DETERMINED BY THE BAR COMMITTEE, HAS BEEN EMPLOYED AS A FULL-TIME TENURED OR TENURE TRACK TEACHER OF LAW AT A COLORADO LAW SCHOOL APPROVED BY THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION.


Rule 201.5. Educational Qualifications

(1) Every Class A applicant, AND EVERY APPLICANT SEEKING LIMITED ADMISSION UNDER RULE 201.3(4), shall have obtained a first professional law degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association.

(2) Class B applicants shall meet the following educational requirements:

(a) Every Class B applicant shall have received at the time of the examination (i) a first professional law degree from a law school approved by the American Bar Association pursuant to Sections 301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306 and 308 of the Standards for Approval of Law Schools Approved by the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association, which Standards are incorporated herein by reference (see appendix to Rule 201 for the text of the Standards); or (ii) a first professional law degree from a state accredited law school, provided that such applicant shall have been admitted to the bar of another state, territory, or district of the United States and shall have been actively and substantially engaged in the practice of law, as defined by Rule 201.3(2), for five of the seven years immediately preceding application for admission to the Bar of Colorado; or (iii) a first professional law degree from a law school in a common law, English-speaking nation other than the United States, provided that such applicant shall have been admitted to the bar of the nation where he/she received his/her first professional law degree and shall have been actively and substantially engaged in the practice of law, as defined by Rule 201.3(2), for five of the seven years immediately preceding application for admission to the bar of Colorado.

(3) Effective July 1, 1992, ALL both Class A and Class B applicants shall be required to pass the Multi-State Professional Responsibility Examination ("MPRE"). A passing score will be valid if it was achieved at an examination taken not more than two years prior to acceptance of application for admission in Colorado. The Supreme Court shall review and approve, in advance, the general standards of performance that must be met in order to pass the MPRE.


Rule 221. Special Admission OF NONRESIDENT LAWYERS

Any NONRESIDENT LAWYER attorney and counselor at law WHO IS in good standing from any other jurisdiction in the United States, OR ANY LAWYER WHO OBTAINS A LIMITED LICENSE AS PROVIDED IN C.R.C.P. 201.3(4), may in the discretion of any court of record in this Sstate, be permitted to participate PRACTICE before such Ccourt in the trial or argument of any particular cause in which, for the time being, he THE LAWYER is employed; provided that a member in good standing of the Bar of this THE SUPREME Court OF COLORADO, WHO REGULARLY MAINTAINS A LAW OFFICE IN COLORADO FROM WHICH THE MEMBER REGULARLY PRACTICES LAW, is associated AS CO-COUNSEL WITH THE LAWYER in such cause at all stages thereof. ANY LAWYER WHO PRACTICES IN STATE COURTS PURSUANT TO THIS RULE SHALL CERTIFY TO THE COURT THAT THE LAWYER IS APPEARING IN NO MORE THAN [FIVE] CAUSES AT ANY ONE TIME. IF THE COURT FINDS THAT SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES EXIST, THE COURT MAY PERMIT THE LAWYER TO APPEAR IN MORE THAN FIVE CAUSES.

COMMITTEE NOTE

This rule typically applies in situations where nonresident lawyers, who are sometimes called "out-of-state" or "unlicensed" lawyers or attorneys, which to appear in state court. With the exception of lawyers who have a limited Colorado license, the rule does not apply to lawyers who, regardless of where they reside, are licensed to practice in Colorado, provided that they have otherwise met the registration requirements of C.R.C.P. 227. The rule is intended to permit lawyers from other jurisdictions to appear occasionally in state court as the needs of their clients may require. In other words, the rule is designed to offer to lawyers a means to appear in state court on an infrequent and irregular basis in cases where the lawyers: (1) are not admitted or licensed to practice in Colorado; and (2) live and practice in other jurisdictions. The rule is also designed to offer to lawyers who have a limited Colorado license a means to appear in state court on an infrequent and irregular basis.

The rule is not intended to offer to "out-of-state" or "unlicensed" lawyers who have relocated to Colorado or who might be here temporarily a means to appear in state court on behalf of others, even on an irregular or infrequent basis. It certainly is not intended to permit such lawyers to practice law generally in this state, even while their applications for admission to the bar might be pending with the board of law examiners.

Nothing, however, in the rule or in C.R.C.P. 221.1, infra, is intended to limit what federal law might permit.

Nonresident lawyers who wish to represent clients in matters that relate to but precede possible litigation in Colorado often ask whether they may do so in light of this rule. For example, an out-of-state lawyer's client of long standing, who has recently relocated to Colorado, may have suffered injuries in an automobile accident in Colorado. The client wants the lawyer to negotiate with the other driver, who also lives in Colorado, or the driver's insurance carrier before litigation might be commenced here. The rule does not authorize the lawyer to do so. Another common question pertains to business transactions, where a client, who wants to purchase mountain property, also wants to be represented by a nonresident lawyer. The rule does not authorize the lawyer to handle the matter. Indeed, there is no practical way in either example to "admit" the lawyer temporarily.

The number of causes in which a lawyer's appearance is permitted should be limited, subject to the state court's discretion to make an exception should special circumstances exist. Special circumstances would not exist, however, where a nonresident lawyer moved to Colorado and began a general trial practice, including the representation of persons accused of some crime, while awaiting the results of the bar examination. The supreme court may, of course, change the number.


Rule 221.1. Special Admission OF NONRESIDENT LAWYERS
Before State Agencies

Any NONRESIDENT lawyer and counselor of law WHO IS in good standing from any other jurisdiction in the United States, OR ANY LAWYER WHO OBTAINS A LIMITED LICENSE AS PROVIDED IN C.R.C.P. 201.3(4), may, in the discretion of an administrative hearing officer in this Sstate, be admitted PERMITTED to practice before such state agency in the hearings or arguments of any particular cause in which, for the time begin, he THE LAWYER is employed. ANY LAWYER WHO PRACTICES BEFORE STATE AGENCIES PURSUANT TO THIS RULE SHALL CERTIFY TO THE HEARING OFFICER THAT THE LAWYER IS APPEARING IN NO MORE THAN [FIVE] CAUSES AT ANY ONE TIME. IF THE HEARING OFFICER FINDS THAT SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES EXIST, THE HEARING OFFICER MAY PERMIT THE LAWYER TO APPEAR IN MORE THAN [FIVE] CAUSES.

COMMITTEE NOTE

This rule, the corollary to C.R.C.P. 221, uses the word "practice," whereas C.R.C.P. 221 uses "participate." This rule also uses "admitted," whereas C.R.C.P. 221 uses "permitted." The reasons for the potentially confusing differences are not apparent, and so changes are offered to C.R.C.P. 221, supra, and C.R.C.P. 221.1. Also, this rule omits the requirement that an out-of-state lawyer associate with local counsel. The basis for the omission is lost to history; it may have had something to do with the fact that many matters resolved administratively involve small sums, such that the hire of two lawyers would be too costly to clients.

© 1998 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved. Material from The Colorado Lawyer provided via this World Wide Web server is protected by the copyright laws of the United States and may not be reproduced in any way or medium without permission. This material also is subject to the disclaimers at http://www.cobar.org/tcl/disclaimer.cfm?year=1998.


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