There is no clear national answer to the question of whether lawyers may handle arbitrations in jurisdictions in which they are not licensed. Some jurisdictions consider appearance at arbitrations to be the practice of law, such that advocates in ADR proceedings must be licensed in the forum state or affiliated with local counsel. For example, California permits out of state lawyers to appear in arbitrations, provided they seek written approval from the arbitral forum and file a certificate with the state bar. On the other hand, authorities in several states do not even consider arbitration the practice of law. The 2002 amendments to ABA Model Rule 5.5(c) opened the door to a broader scope of multijurisdictional practice in furtherance of alternative dispute resolution proceedings. However New York, in its 2009 overhaul of its own Rules of Professional Conduct, missed a golden opportunity to clarify the scope of permissible multijurisdictional practice in ADR proceedings. As a result, whether lawyers' appearances in ADR proceedings run afoul of the unauthorized practice of law regulations of individual states will continue to be resolved on a case by case basis.
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