Rhode Island

Rule 5.5 MJP/UPL Current

New Rule 5.5 entered on February 18, 2007, allows the multijurisdictional practice of law and is identical to the ABA’s Model Rule 5.5

(a) A lawyer shall not practice law in a jurisdiction in violation of the regulation of the
legal profession in that jurisdiction, or assist another in doing so.

(b) A lawyer who is not admitted to practice in this jurisdiction shall not:

(1) except as authorized by these Rules or other law, establish an office or other
systematic and continuous presence in this jurisdiction for the practice of law; or

(2) hold out to the public or otherwise represent that the lawyer is admitted to practice law in this jurisdiction.

(c) A lawyer admitted in another United States jurisdiction, and not disbarred or
suspended from practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legal services on a temporary
basis in this jurisdiction that:

(1) are undertaken in association with a lawyer who is admitted to practice in this
jurisdiction and who actively participates in the matter;

(2) are in or reasonably related to a pending or potential proceeding before a tribunal in this or another jurisdiction, if the lawyer, or a person the lawyer is assisting, is authorized by law or order to appear in such proceeding or reasonably expects to be so authorized;

(3) are in or reasonably related to a pending or potential arbitration, mediation, or other alternative dispute resolution proceeding in this or another jurisdiction, if the services arise out of or are reasonably related to the lawyer’s practice in a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted to practice and are not services for which the forum requires pro hac vice admission; or

(4) are not within paragraphs (c)(2) or (c)(3) and arise out of or are reasonably related to the lawyer’s practice in a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted to practice.

(d) A lawyer admitted in another United States jurisdiction, and not disbarred or
suspended from practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legal services in this
jurisdiction that:

(1) are provided to the lawyer’s employer or its organizational affiliates and are not
services for which the forum requires pro hac vice admission; or

(2) are services that the lawyer is authorized to provide by federal law or other law of this jurisdiction.

Comments to Rule 5.5

In-House Counsel Rule

The Rhode Island Supreme Court adopted Article II Rule 9 governing in house counsel. An in house lawyer admitted in another state but who is not a member of the RI Bar may practice law for his or her company and its subsidiaries (including directors, officers and employees in their company capacities) other than in contested legal proceedings. Such attorneys must register with the Court and will be subject to RI’s disciplinary procedures, CLE requirements and rules of professional conduct.

Pro Hac Vice

Rhode Island Supreme Court Article II Rule 9 allows any nonresident attorney who is a member in good standing of the bar of any other state, upon special and infrequent occasion and for good cause shown upon written motion presented by a member of the bar of this state, permission in the discretion of the court to participate to such an extent as the court may prescribe in the presentation of a cause or appeal in any court of this state, however, that a member of the bar of this state must sign all pleadings, briefs and other papers filed with the court and assume full responsibility for them and for the conduct of the cause and of the attorney to whom such privilege is accorded. In order to expedite the implementation of a uniform policy for pro hac vice admission, pending adoption by the courts of Pennsylvania, Provisional Order No. 20 is implemented for use in the Superior Court, Family Court, District Court and Workers’ Compensation Court.

Admission on Motion

Rhode Island Supreme Court Rules Article II Rule 2 requires all applicants for admission without examination to pass the essay portion of the Rhode Island bar examination. Applicants seeking to take the abbreviated examination must be admitted to practice law in a U.S. state, territory, or district, and have practiced for at least five of the ten years preceding application.

Contact

The Rhode Island Bar Association
115 Cedar Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02903
Phone (401) 421-5740
Fax (401) 421-2703
TTY (401) 421-1666
Extensions

Ethics 2000 Contact
Andrea Krupp
Rhode Island Supreme Court
250 Benefit Street
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-7691
akrupp@courts.state.ri.us