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I am intensely disappointed that the State Bar has missed the opportunity to advance the purposes and policy decisions behind the Supreme Court’s rule on multi-jurisdictional practice. Rather, the Bar has introduced a confusing, demeaning and discriminatory label, declined to adopt a reasonable regulation of in-house attorneys and perpetuated the bureaucratic procedures which the Supreme Court sought to eliminate in hopes of integrating into the State Bar in-house lawyers who have not previously been subject to the jurisdiction of the Bar. All the debate and effort put into two commissions has ended in several giant steps backward. For example, the Association of Corporate Counsel and others pointed out the injustice of the ban on pro bono service; but, the State Bar decided to hide behind the mantra that “It’s not in the rule, talk to the Supreme Court.” I always thought, when I was on the Board of Governors, that it was the State Bar’s duty to represent the lawyers of California before the Supreme Court. Unless the State Bar is prepared to exercise its initiative and change its form and, more importantly, affirmatively tell the Supreme Court that the rule is imperfect and needs to be modified, I don’t see what the Association of Corporate Counsel or any of us who are in-house attorneys can do to remedy this sad situation at the State Bar level. When I was on the Board of Governors, the State Bar and its staff did not hesitate to advocate vigorously policies in which they believed. I know that times have changed since the early ’90s, but I can only conclude that the Board of Governors of the State Bar does not believe in multi-jurisdictional practice. Other states will, once again, leave us behind. The Legislature began this process long ago; it seems clear that the only redress here may be to return to Sacramento. John H. McGuckin Jr. San Francisco Editor’s note: John McGuckin is chairman of the board of directors of the Association of Corporate Counsel.

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