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USA - New Jersey International Trade in Legal Services

United States of America - New Jersey International Trade in Legal Services

HOME COUNTRY LICENSING QUESTIONS

Is there legislation governing the legal sector

NEW JERSEY PERMANENT STATUTE,  TITLE 2A ADMINISTRATION OF CIVIL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE, 53A-26: Definition of  ""Licensed person"

Under what title do lawyers practise?

Attorney at law

How does an individual lawyer obtain a "licence" to practise law? How often must this be renewed?

An individual must have a bachelor’s degree and a JD from an ABA approved law school, satisfy character and fitness to practice requirements, and have passed the bar exam.

Does this entitle the holder to practise throughout the country? If the law license only permits one to practice on a sub-national level, please explain the jurisdictional limits

This only automatically entitles the holder to practise in New Jersey. The right to practise on a temporary basis in another state or to appear pro hac vice in another state depends on the explicit permission of that state.

Are there certain activities that are "reserved" to those who are licensed to practise law in the jurisdiction?

 

 

 

 

The New Jersey Committee on the unauthorised practice of law has described UPL in pragmatic terms: Practically all of the cases in this area are relatively recent. They consistently reflect the conclusion that the determination of whether someone should be permitted to engage in conduct that is arguably the practice of law is governed not by attempting to apply some definition of what constitutes that practice, but rather by asking whether the public interest is disserved by permitting such conduct. The resolution of the question is determined by practical, not theoretical, considerations; the public interest is weighed by analysing the competing policies and interests that may be involved in the case; the conduct, if permitted, is often conditioned by requirements designed to assure that the public interest is indeed not disserved.

Do you need to hold local nationality to be eligible to practise law?

No

What legal forms can lawyers work in? (e.g. self employment, partnership, limited liability partnership, multi-disciplinary partnership, incorporation)

A lawyer may practise as a sole practitioner, in a general or limited liability partnership. Fee sharing with non-lawyers is prohibited.

What other ethical or regulatory requirements must a licensed lawyer comply with? 

The New Jersey code of professional conduct which is modelled on the ABA model code (see:http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/rules/apprpc.htm)

Do law firms need to receive a "license" (or permission/approval) to practice law?

Not from the Court but may be subject to other notification requirements depending on the form taken (e.g. limited liability company) and the local State code.

Which authority issues licences? Are there different authorities for individuals and firms? 

Licences to practise in New Jersey are issued through the Supreme Court which can be found at https://www.njbarexams.org

   

INDIVIDUAL FOREIGN LAWYERS

Are there any explicit rules or restrictions other than visas on fly in fly out practice of law? Ie. Do you need to obtain a licence for temporary practice?

Foreign lawyers are not permitted to provide fly-in fly-out services, this is only permitted to lawyers from other US states (see Professional Conduct rule 5.5 on Unauthorized Practice of Law)

Can a foreign lawyer obtain a visa to visit clients or to market but not to practice?

 

 

 

Under the WTO commitments of the USA, an individual wishing to practise law on a fly in fly out basis in New Jersey would need to be fully admitted to the New Jersey Bar or to the Bar of another US State. 'Service salespersons' are permitted to enter the USA for periods of up to 90 days. "Service salespersons" are "persons not based in the territory of the United States and receiving no remuneration from a source located within the United States, who are engaged in activities related to representing a services supplier for the purpose of negotiating for the sale of the services of that supplier where: a) such sales are not directly made to the general public and b) the salesperson is not engaged in supplying the service" Entry for persons named in this section is limited to a ninety-day period.

Can a foreign lawyer obtain a licence to establish and practise as a foreign legal consultant and what is the scope of this limited licence?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Yes - A foreign lawyer can obtain a licence to become a foreign legal consultant in New Jersey. A person licensed as a foreign legal consultant under this rule may render and be compensated for the performance of legal services within the State, but specifically shall not:
(1) appear for another person as attorney in any court or before any other judicial officer or administrative agency in the State, or sign or file in the capacity of a lawyer or legal advisor any pleadings or any other papers in any action or proceeding brought in any such court or before any judicial officer or administrative agency; or
(2) prepare any deed, mortgage, assignment, discharge, lease, agreement or contract of sale or any other instrument for purposes of recordation which may affect title to real estate located in the United States of America, its territories, districts or possessions; or
(3) prepare: (A) any will or trust instrument effecting the disposition of any property located in the United States of America, its territories, districts or possessions and owned by a resident thereof; or (B) any instrument relating directly to the primary administration of a decedent's estate in the United States of America, its territories, districts or possessions; or
(4) prepare any instrument in respect of the marital relations, rights or duties of a resident of the United States of America, its territories, districts or possessions or the custody or care of the children of such a resident; or
(5) render professional legal advice on the laws of this State or the United States of America or any other state, territory, district or possession of the United States of America or any foreign country other than a country to the bar of which the foreign legal consultant is admitted as an attorney or counsellor at law or the equivalent (whether rendered incident to the preparation of legal instruments or otherwise), except on the basis of advice from a person admitted to the practice of law as an attorney of this State or such other state, territory, district or possession or as an attorney or counsellor at law or the equivalent in such other foreign country, who has been consulted by the foreign legal consultant in the particular matter at hand and who has been identified to the client by name; or
(6) in any way represent that such person is licensed as an attorney at law of this State, or as an attorney at law or foreign legal consultant of another state territory or district, or as an attorney or counsellor at law or the equivalent of a foreign country, unless so licensed; or
(7) use any title other than ""foreign legal consultant""; provided that such person's authorized title and firm name in the foreign country in which such person is admitted to practice as an attorney or counsellor at law or the equivalent may be used, provided that the title, firm name, and the name of such foreign country are stated together with the title ""foreign legal consultant"" and further provided that such use does not create the impression that the foreign legal consultant holds a plenary license to practice law in this State. This entitles the FLC to practise home country law and international law to the extent this is incorporated in home-country law. The practice of 3rd-country law and New Jersey State law is permitted provided that the FLC obtains advice from an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction and identifies that person to the client.

Are there any conditions that must be fulfilled once a foreign lawyer has been granted a limited licence (e.g. residency requirement)

Under rule 1:21-9, A foreign legal consultant must "associate and consult with a New Jersey attorney and the associating New Jersey attorney shall assume full responsibility for the conduct of the foreign legal consultant".

Are there any conditions that must be fulfilled for a foreign lawyer to qualify for a limited licence? (e.g. prior practice)

In order to be eligible to become a foreign legal consultant, a foreign lawyer must: (1) for a period of not less than 5 of the 7 years immediately preceding the date of application have been admitted to practice and be in good standing as an attorney or the equivalent in a foreign country and have engaged either (A) in the practice of law in such country or (B) in a profession or occupation which requires as a prerequisite admission to practice and good standing as an attorney or the equivalent in such country; and (2) possess the good moral character customarily required for admission to the practice of law in this State.

Are foreign lawyers permitted to undertake arbitration and mediation?

 

Are foreign lawyers allowed to appear in court under any circumstances?

 

Foreign lawyers are not covered by the provisions for appearing pro hac vice contained in the Rules Governing the Courts of State of New Jersey (Rule 1.21-2)

Can foreign lawyers requalify as local lawyers?

A foreign lawyer cannot requalify as a New Jersey lawyer but must complete the full State admission requirements in order to be admitted.

FOREIGN LAW FIRMS

Can a foreign law firm obtain a licence to open an office?

There are no separate requirements on law firms. An FLC is permitted to open an office.

Even if a foreign law firm does not require a legal licence must they register in some form in order to set up an office? (e.g. with a ministry of company affairs etc)

 Not applicable

Are there different types of foreign law firm 'licence'  (e.g. Joint Law Venture, stand alone foreign licence etc)

Not applicable

Is there a quota on the number of licences available?

Not applicable

Are there geographical restrictions on foreign firm licences or on the number of branches a foreign firm can have?

No

Are there "scope of practice" rules that apply directly to foreign law firms (as opposed to lawyers themselves)? (e.g. home, host, international law), if so, what are they? No
Are there restrictions on the corporate form a foreign law firm can take? Not applicable
Are there rules about the name a foreign law firm can take? Foreign name is permitted
What entity grants a 'license' to a foreign law firm? If that entity is on the Internet, please provide the URL Not applicable

EMPLOYMENT AND PARTNERSHIP

Are there restrictions on the ownership share of foreign lawyers in a law firm?

Not applicable

May a domestic lawyer be employed by a foreign lawyer or law firm?

Yes - this is explicitly mentioned in the USA's schedule of specific commitments on legal services

Can a domestic lawyer enter into partnership with a foreign lawyer?

Yes - this is explicitly mentioned in the USA's schedule of specific commitments on legal services

Can a domestic lawyer or domestic law firm employ a foreign lawyer?

Yes

   

OTHER USEFUL LINKS/SOURCES

Other useful sources or comments or links

 

Verified by

New Jersey Board of Bar Examiners (February 2014)