Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Out-of-State Attorneys Challenge District Court Admission Rules
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A Los Angeles-based group of attorneys licensed in other states who want to practice in federal courts in California has filed suit challenging the constitutionality of local rules limiting admission privileges to members of the State Bar.
The complaint, filed Thursday by the National Association for the Advancement of Multijurisdiction Practice and three individuals, alleges that the local rules improperly discriminate “among otherwise equally qualified applicants in bar admission…on the basis of citizenship or residency.”
These rules serve to “enlarge the substantive rights of California licensed attorneys” and “provide them with a monopoly,” while “correspondingly shrink[ing] and abridig[ing] the substantive rights of Plaintiffs and all American citizens to choose their own counsel…,” the complaint contends.
Plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment “invalidating all U.S. District Court ‘local’ rules in the Ninth Circuit that deny them and other licensed attorneys District Court general bar admission pribileges under the Rules Enabling Act, the Supremacy Clause, the First Amendment, the Fifth amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision holding bar admission on motion is a constitutionally protected privilege and immunity,” Supreme Court of Virginia v. Friedman (1988) 487 U.S. 59.
The group and seven other attorneys who are licensed to practice in other states but have been denied admission to the California State Bar, filed a complaint in the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of California against the California Supreme Court last month, seeking the invalidation of the state’s rules barring attorneys from practicing without bar admission in California.
The case is NAAMJP v. United States, CVC11-05481
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