November 24, 2009
Mediation Representation Not Unauthorized Practice
The Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board has dismissed ethics charges against an attorney admitted in New York and administratively suspended in Louisiana:
The issue is whether Respondent engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by participating as counsel for a party in mediation in Louisiana while she was certified as ineligible to practice law in Louisiana, but was licensed and eligible to practice law in New York, where she resides and operates a law practice.
The board agreed that the representation in an alternative dispute resolution process was permitted by an exception to Louisiana's rule governing unauthorized practice. The attorney was admitted elsewhere, was not disbarred or suspended ("Respondent's ineligibility in Louisiana does not qualify as a suspension or disbarment.") and was providing legal services on a temporary basis in Louisiana. The services provided did not require pro hac vice admission. The conduct involved "at most, two phone calls to the [worker's compensation office] in Louisiana." (Mike Frisch)
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