Monday, March 29, 2010

Gotta Love the Legal Industry




The NJ Ethics Committee submarined solo practicioners on Friday, ruling that virtual offices do not meet the "bona fide" office requirement.

"In an action that could affect large numbers of New Jersey practitioners, two court regulatory committees said on Friday that "virtual offices" staffed by receptionists who are mere answering services do not satisfy New Jersey's bona fide office rule."

So, basically if you can't get a job at a firm and you don't have enough resources to rent a real brick and mortar office, you can't practice. For those who ran up debt in law school and didn't finish high enough in your class for a legal job, I heard bartending school's reasonably priced. And they have loans for that too!

As justification for a useless rule that other states have already jettisoned, the article points out that it was formed to "keep out-of-state practitioners at bay" and (ok, you can laugh) "partly to put a stop to lawyers who ran their businesses out of saloons, social clubs and pay-phone booths."

:-/

9 comments:

  1. bartending schools are useless, apply for a barback to begin with

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  2. This makes exactly zero sense. Lawyers traffic in words - written and spoken - and research. Why on Earth do you need a physical office for that?

    I once had a lawyer who I'm pretty sure did all his work from his Blackberry while at a strip club. He was effective and I didn't care - not clear to me why the bar would.

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  3. Brutus, isn't it crazy that NJ-licensed lawyers cannot work from virtual offices, but yet foreign attorneys and non-lawyers can engage in American legal discovery work? ABA "Ethics" Opinion 08-451 has hurt contract lawyers and helped bring down the wages of U.S. attorneys.

    I guess the bar association pigs are not happy letting solo practitioners fight over scraps. Now, they feel the need to kick them in the stomach too.

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  4. Does a boiler room in Mumbai qualify?

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  5. So, let me get this straight. If use a virtual office that directs calls, that's bad. But, If I get an "of counsel" or rent a conference room and use their receptionist in a brick and mortar office, that's ok?

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  6. Bar Associations often end up with the same types of incentives as the government, so you end up with similar results. Much if not all of what they do to "protect" people is really just to protect themselves and their powerful buddies. Regulations of lawyers are skewed towards big law. That they allow the participation of unlicensed (in the US) aliens is powerful evidence of the goals of such protection.

    ReplyDelete
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