NJ Clarifies Permissible Role of Out of State Lawyers

OTHERWISE: NJ Clarifies Permissible Role of Out of State Lawyers.

The New Jersey Supreme Court’s Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law has in Opinion 49 clarified issues of cross-border/multi-jurisdictional practice under the State’s version of RPC 5.5. The Committee replied expansively to an inquiry – `Can an out-of-state lawyer representing an out-of-state client in a commercial real estate transaction for the purchase of commercial real estate in New Jersey negotiate the terms of the transaction, and prepare the contract and other related documents?’


The short answer is NO.  “Preparing real estate sale and lease contracts for a third person is the practice of law.”  But the `third person’ qualification leaves in-house counsel free to do that – assuming compliance with NJ’s limited licensure rule)


And New Jersey’s version of ABA Model Rule 5.5 contains a number of exceptions to the broad “NO”, the last of which does not appear in the ABA rule and is particularly noteworthy – the “occasional”, non-recurring representation and its consideration of the client’s interests…