Rule 302. Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License.

 (a)  General Rule. Every attorney not a member of the bar of this Commonwealth, who is employed by and performs legal services in this Commonwealth for a corporation, company, partnership, association or other non-governmental business entity, shall obtain a Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License in order to provide such services if such services are performed in this Commonwealth on more than a temporary basis by the attorney or if the attorney maintains an office or other systematic and continuous presence in this Commonwealth.

 (b)  Scope of Legal Activities. Attorneys issued a Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License may provide advice or legal services to the employer named in the application subject to the following qualifications:

   (1)  The legal services provided to the employer shall be limited to:

     (a)   giving legal advice to the directors, officers, employees, and agents of the business organization with respect to its business affairs;

     (b)   negotiating and documenting all matters for the business organization;

     (c)   representing the business organization in its dealings with any administrative agency or commission if authorized by the rules of the agency or commission.

   (2)  In providing legal services, attorneys practicing under a Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License shall not:

     (a)   represent their employer in any case or matter pending before the courts of this Commonwealth, unless they have been admitted pro hac vice;

     (b)   represent or give advice to any shareholder, owner, partner, officer, employee or other agent with respect to any personal matter or transaction;

     (c)   offer legal services or advice to any third party having dealings with the attorney’s employer; or

     (d)   offer legal services or advice to the public or hold themselves out as authorized to offer legal services or advice to the public.

   (3)  Notwithstanding the fact that the practice of law by a lawyer licensed under this rule is limited to the practice of law for the employer furnishing the statement required by this rule, a lawyer licensed under this rule may participate in the provision of pro bono services offered under the auspices of organized legal aid societies or state/local bar association projects, or provided under the supervision of an attorney licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania who is also working on the pro bono representation.

 (c)  Application. An applicant for a Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License shall file with the board a written application, in the form of a verified statement on the form prescribed by the board, setting forth those matters which the board deems necessary, and pay an application fee fixed by the board. The application shall be processed in accordance with the provisions of Rules 212 through 231.

 (d)  Requirements. The general requirements for issuance of a Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License are:

   (1)  Completion of the study of law at and receipt without exception of an earned Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor degree from a law school;

   (2)  Admission to practice law in another state, territory of the United States or the District of Columbia on active status at the time of filing the application;

   (3)  Absence of prior conduct by the applicant which in the opinion of the board indicates character and general qualifications (other than scholastic) incompatible with the standards expected to be observed by members of the bar of this Commonwealth;

   (4)  Presentation of a certificate of good standing from the highest court or the agency having jurisdiction over admission to the bar and the practice of law in every jurisdiction in which the applicant has been admitted to practice law, stating that the applicant is in good professional standing at the bar of such court or such state. An applicant who is disbarred or suspended for disciplinary reasons from the practice of law in another jurisdiction at the time of filing an application shall not be eligible for a Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License;

   (5)  Presentation of a sworn statement by the applicant certifying that he/she will perform legal services in this Commonwealth solely for the employer identified in the application, and that such employer’s lawful business consists of activities other than the practice of law or the provision of legal services;

   (6)  Presentation of a statement signed by an officer, director or general counsel of the applicant’s employer stating that the applicant is an employee for such employer and performs legal services in this Commonwealth for such employer.

 (e)  Duration. The Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License shall expire if:

   (1)  such attorney is admitted to the bar of this Commonwealth under any other rule,

   (2)  fails to fulfill the obligations required of active members of the bar of this Commonwealth,

   (3)  is suspended or disbarred from the practice of law in another jurisdiction,

   (4)  fails to maintain active status for admission to the practice of law in at least one state, territory of the United States or the District of Columbia; or

   (5)  such attorney ceases to be employed by the employer listed on such attorney’s application; provided, however, that if such attorney, within 30 days of ceasing to be an employee for the employer listed on such attorney’s application, becomes employed by another employer within this Commonwealth for which such attorney shall perform legal services, such attorney may apply for a new certificate recommending the issuance of a Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License under this Rule by filing with the board, within 30 days of commencing the new employment, a statement identifying his or her new employer, and the date on which his prior employment ceased and his new employment commenced, and submitting the documents required by sections (d)(5) and (6) of this rule with respect to the new employer.

 (f)  Issuance of License. At any time within six months of the receipt of a certificate from the board recommending the issuance of a Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License, an applicant may file a motion with the Prothonotary, on a form prescribed by the board for issuance of a Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License. The motion shall be accompanied by the certificate from the board recommending issuance of the license and the fee required by the Prothonotary. Upon receipt of the appropriate documents and fee, the Prothonotary shall enter the name of the applicant upon the docket of persons issued a Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License, notify the Administrative Office of the issuance of a limited license to such attorney and issue an engrossed Limited In-House Corporate Counsel License under seal.

 (g)  Status. When a license is required under this rule for the performance of legal services in this Commonwealth solely for an attorney’s employer, the performance of such services by the attorney shall be considered to be the active engagement in the practice of law for all purposes and shall subject the attorney to all duties and obligations of active members of the Pennsylvania bar including, but not limited to the Rules of Professional Conduct, the Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement and the Rules of Continuing Legal Education. Prior to the effective date of this rule, when an attorney performed legal services in this Commonwealth solely as an employee of a business organization, whose business consisted of activities other than the practice of law or the provision of legal services, the rendering of such legal services shall be deemed for all purposes to have been the authorized active engagement in the practice of law in this Commonwealth, if such attorney, at the time of the performance of such legal services met the requirements set forth in sections (d) (1), (2), (3) and (4) of this rule.

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 302 adopted March 30, 2004, effective in 180 days, 34 Pa.B. 2062.



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