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Anthony E. Davis Anthony E. Davis

This article addresses a problem that bedevils lawyers and clients, that the admission and regulation of lawyers is principally based on their physical location at any given moment. In an article in the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, the author of this column and others wrote that the current rules restricting the ability of American lawyers to engage in the practice of law on a nationwide basis come to us from a time “when the fastest means of communication was on the back of a horse and when almost all legal matters were ‘local’ by nature and impact…” (See Jones, Davis, Chester and Hart Reforming Lawyer Mobility – Protecting Turf or Serving Clients? 2017 GJLE 125, 128) (the “Mobility article”). These rules are no longer rational or workable, are contrary to the best interests of clients, and are unnecessary to protect the public from harm. Whatever the justifications of such a system at the end of the Eighteenth Century, they are no longer persuasive in a nationwide market where lawyers’ services routinely have impacts across state lines and where information moves at the speed of light.

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