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VA attorneys...can an attorney outside of VA practice law in VA?

Phoenix, AZ |

I could not find this answer on the CA bar site other than relating to foreign attorneys practicing while serving in the military in VA. Are there reciprocation laws?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

YOur question is a bit fuzzy and am not exactly sure what you are wanting to know.

A JAG officer may serve in any capacity in any state so long as he or she has been admitted SOMEWHERE (i.e. some US state). It does not matter where admitted. So a CA barred Navy JAG attorney can be assigned to the Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia and try cases in Norfolk, or Ft Bragg N.C. or Pearl Harbor Hawaii. An New York barred Army JAG may try cases in Norfolk, VA, Ft. Bragg N.C. or Pearl Harbor too.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. His answers to any Avvo question are rooted in general legal principles--NOT your specific state laws. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.

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Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Posted

http://barexam.virginia.gov/motion/motionrules.html

Daniel Gary Rosenthal

Daniel Gary Rosenthal

Posted

The JAG practice however must be for military clients. It does not enable general practice; VA supreme court rule 1A regulates this.

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Posted

indeed

Posted

Active duty military are exempt.
This has nothing to do with California law or licences.
This comes from the VA rules of professional responsibility.
No military foreign attornies are regulated differently.

www.court-martial.com; www.court-martial.us.com; mljucmj@gmail.com 703-298-9562, 800-401-1583. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Daniel Gary Rosenthal

Daniel Gary Rosenthal

Posted

VA professional responsibility rules notwithstanding, he'll need to abide by CA's rules of professional conduct if he is licensed there.

Posted

I am not sure what the precise nature of your question is. The prior posters have covered the process of a JAG officer litigating for the military in a federal court located inside the Commonwealth. However, there are several other potential ways this question could be answered.

First, if the military lawyer is _not_ litigating for the military, but wants to litigate his/her own case or a friend's case, that is possible. The procedure is admission pro hac vice (admission for a single case) and is spelled out in Rule 1A:4 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia. If the Judge allows it, a foreign attorney can practice in a Court of the Commonwealth for a single matter (or series of related matters, since Virginia does not have an effective class action form of action).

Second, a military lawyer who wants to litigate for his or her own private clients in the Courts of the Commonwealth, then a bar admission would be required. The procedures for a reciprocal admission are spelled out in Rule 1A:1, called "Foreign Attorneys - When Admitted to Practice in This State Without Examination."

Third, a military lawyer who wants to litigate as a private practitioner (_not_ for the federal government) in the federal courts located in Virginia would have to pursue some form of admission to practice. The procedures to litigate a single matter is to be admitted pro hac vice in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ("EDVA") is spelled out in Local Civil Rule 83.1(D). If you want to be admitted full-time to the EDVA as a private lawyer, you must first secure admission to the Virginia Bar and then you are good to go upon the completion of a form and payment of a fee. The Rules are very similar for the Western District, but I am not familiar with them.

www.integrityoregon.com

Good luck!

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Daniel Gary Rosenthal

Daniel Gary Rosenthal

Posted

With the caveat that Virginia's motion for admittance without examination has a requirement of a certain amount of time having been admitted in good standing with another state bar -- 5 years, I believe.

Posted

My colleagues have noted the procedures for a military attorney; for general practice in VA you can apply for admission on motion -- this is regulated under Rule 1A of the Virginia Supreme Court. I'm linking it below. There is a requirement of having been licensed by the court of final jurisdiction in your state (or DC) for a certain amount of time. This length of time depends on whether you are admitted in that jurisdiction via passing a general bar examination, or on motion. If it is by a bar exam, you must have been licensed for two years. If it is by motion, it must be five of the last seven years. In either case, you must have been engaged in the active practice of law for five years, remain in good standing in your reciprocal jurisdiction, pass a character and fitness review, and you may not have failed the bar exam in any state more than twice (and not within the past five years). Your J.D. must also be from an ABA accredited law school. JAG time counts as valid for admission on motion.

VA also has a corporate counsel provision, but that doesn't sound like what you're looking for.

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