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WHITE APPEAL. (06/01/64)

June 1, 1964

WHITE APPEAL.


Appeals, Nos. 168 and 169, Jan. T., 1964, from decision of State Board of Law Examiners, in re application of Bernard H. White for admission to Bar of Montgomery County. Decision affirmed.

COUNSEL

Cassin W. Craig, with him William F. Dannehower, Aaron S. Swartz, Jr., Thomas E. Waters, Roland J. Fleer and Roger B. Reynolds, for appellants.

Lewis H. Van Dusen, Jr., with him R. Philip Steinberg, and Drinker, Biddle & Reath, for appellee.

Before Bell, C.j., Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Roberts, JJ.

Author: Cohen

[ 414 Pa. Page 500]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE COHEN

Bernard H. White submitted his application for admission to the Montgomery County Bar to the Montgomery County Board of Law Examiners. The application set forth in detail White's qualifications, including his admission to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on November 11, 1957; to the Courts of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County on July 16, 1957; to the Orphans' Court for the County of Philadelphia on July 10, 1957; to the Municipal Court of Philadelphia on August 15, 1957; and to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on August 28, 1957.

White stated in his application that he intended to practice permanently in Montgomery County, and that his principal office in that county would be at the Valley Forge Space Technology Center of General Electric Company where he would act as counsel for the Missile and Space Vehicle Department.

On January 20, 1963, the Montgomery County Board of Law Examiners rejected White's application

[ 414 Pa. Page 501]

    on the ground that the office provided him by the Missile and Space Vehicle Department of General Electric Company was not the office of the applicant as an individual practicing attorney. White appealed to the State Board of Law Examiners which Board reversed the Montgomery County Board and ordered that a certificate be issued by the Montgomery County Board recommending his admission to the Montgomery County Courts. This appeal followed.

Rule 14 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania provides: "Admission to the bar of this Court shall entitle anyone so admitted to admission to the bar of any other court of this Commonwealth, subject, however, to the right of the County Board of the county in which his application for admission to the bar is filed to pass upon the applicant's fitness and general qualifications (other than scholastic), notwithstanding any prior certification to such effect by the County Board of the county of his original registration, and subject, further, to the applicant's filing with the County Board, if local rules so require, his written promise to establish and maintain his principal office and place of law practice in the county to whose bar he seeks admission."

There is nothing in Rule 14 which precludes the establishment and maintenance of a law office on the premises of the corporation which employs a lawyer as "house counsel." Hence, it was error for the Montgomery County Board ...


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