Virginia

Rule 5.5 MJP/UPL Current

(a)   A lawyer, law firm or professional corporation shall not employ in any capacity a lawyer whose license has been suspended or revoked for professional misconduct, during such period of suspension or revocation, if the disciplined lawyer was associated with such lawyer, law firm, or professional corporation at any time on or after the date of the acts which resulted in suspension or revocation.

(b)   A lawyer, law firm or professional corporation employing a lawyer as a consultant, law clerk, or legal assistant when that lawyer’s license is suspended or revoked for professional misconduct shall not represent any client represented by the disciplined lawyer or by any lawyer with whom the disciplined lawyer practiced on or after the date of the acts which resulted in suspension or revocation.

(c)   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.

(d)   Foreign Lawyers:

(1)     “Foreign Lawyer” is a person authorized to practice law by the duly constituted and authorized governmental body of any State or Territory of the United States or the District of Columbia, or a foreign nation, but is neither licensed by the Supreme Court of Virginia or authorized under its rules to practice law generally in the Commonwealth of Virginia, nor disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction.

(2)      A Foreign Lawyer shall not, except as authorized by these Rules or other law:
(i) establish an office or other systematic and continuous presence in Virginia for the practice of law, which may occur even if the Foreign Lawyer is not physically present in Virginia; or

(ii) hold out to the public or otherwise represent that the Foreign Lawyer is admitted to practice law in Virginia.

(3)     A Foreign Lawyer shall inform the client and interested third parties in writing:

(i) that the lawyer is not admitted to practice law in Virginia;

(ii) the jurisdiction(s) in which the lawyer is licensed to practice; and

(iii) the lawyer’s office address in the foreign jurisdiction.

(4)      A Foreign Lawyer may, after informing the client as required in 3(i)-(iii) above, provide legal services on a temporary and occasional basis in Virginia that:

(i) are undertaken in association with a lawyer who is admitted to practice without limitation in Virginia or admitted under Part I of Rule 1A:5 of this Court and who actively participates in the matter;

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

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

(iv) are not within paragraphs (4)(ii) or (4)(iii) and arise out of or are reasonably related to the representation of a client by the Foreign Lawyer in a jurisdiction in which the Foreign Lawyer is admitted to practice or, subject to the foregoing limitations, are governed primarily by international law.

(5) A foreign legal consultant practicing under Rule 1A:7 of this Court and a corporate counsel registrant practicing under Part II of Rule 1A:5 of this Court are not authorized to practice under this rule.

Rule 5.5 and Comments

While Virginia’s rule 5.5 does not contain the ABA model’s provisions regarding in-house counsel, the state’s corporate counsel registration rules (Part II of Rule 1A:5 of the Virginia Supreme Court Rules) are referenced and do allow out of state counsel to provide services to their employers, upon certification by the Virginia Bar.

Rule 8.5 was also adopted, extending disciplinary jurisdiction to out of state lawyers engaging in practice in Virginia. It deviates from the ABA model rule, however, in that it applies disciplinary rules of the jurisdiction in which the misconduct occurred.

The foreign legal consultant rule, Rule 1A:7, allows a foreign attorney to practice as a foreign legal consultant, “only with regard to matters involving the law of foreign nation(s) in which the person is admitted to practice or international law”. Among other things, a foreign attorney must establish that he or she has been a member in good standing of the bar of a foreign country for five of the prior seven years.

In-house Counsel Rule

Virginia Supreme Court Rule 1A:5 allows the house counsel to either be a regularly admitted active member of the Virginia State Bar; be issued a Corporate Counsel Certificate and thereby become an active member of the Virginia State Bar with his or her practice limited as provided therein; or register with the Virginia State Bar as provided in Part II of this rule; provided, however, no person who is or has been a member of the Virginia State Bar, and whose Virginia License, at the time of application, is revoked or suspended, shall be issued a Corporate Counsel Certificate or permitted to register under this Rule. For further information and forms please see the Virginia State Bar’s Site on Corporate Counsel.

Pro Hac Vice

Pro hac vice is governed by Rule 1A:4.

Students may practice with a license or certificate under Virginia Code Section 54.1-3900.

Admission on Motion

Virginia Supreme Court Rule 1A:1 governs admission without examination and requires reciprocity.

For further information please see the Virginia Board of Bar Examiner’s site on Admission Without Examination.

Contact

Virginia State Bar
1111 E. Main Street
Suite 700
Richmond, Virginia 23219-3565
Phone (804) 775-0500

Virginia Board of Bar Examiners
2201 West Broad Street
Suite 101
Richmond, VA 23220
Phone (804) 367-0412
Fax (804) 367-0416