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National Association for the Advancement of Multijurisdictional Practice (Naamjp) v. Castille

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

December 11, 2014

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF MULTIJURISDICTIONAL PRACTICE (NAAMJP), et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
HON. CHIEF JUSTICE RONALD D. CASTILLE, et al., Defendants

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For NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF MULTIJURISDICTION PRACTICE (NAAMJP), RICHARD H. ROSARIO, PAUL J. RIVIERE, Plaintiffs: JOSEPH ROBERT GIANNINI, LEAD ATTORNEY, LOS ANGELES, CA.

For HON. CHIEF JUSTICE RONALD D. CASTILLE, HON. THOMAS G. SAYLOR, HON.J. MICHAEL EAKIN, HON. MAX BAER, HON. DEBRA MCCLOSKEY TODD, HON. SEAMUS P. MCCAFFERY, HON. CORREALE F. STEVENS, Defendants: MICHAEL DALEY, LEAD ATTORNEY, SUPREME COURT OF PA, ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF PA COURTS, PHILADELPHIA, PA.

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MEMORANDUM

Gerald Austin McHugh, United States District Judge.

Summary of the Facts

This lawsuit is a constitutional challenge to Pennsylvania's reciprocal bar admissions rule. The rule in question, Rule 204, Pennsylvania Bar Admission Rules, provides that the Pennsylvania bar will allow experienced lawyers admitted in other states to join the Pennsylvania bar without taking the Pennsylvania bar exam, subject to certain additional requirements. The particular additional requirement at issue here limits admission by motion to lawyers practicing law in states that also allow Pennsylvania lawyers to gain admission by motion. In other words, Rule 204 only allows admission by motion for lawyers admitted in states with reciprocal admission-by-motion policies. Plaintiffs contend that this reciprocity policy infringes the rights of lawyers who wish to practice in Pennsylvania but now practice only in a state that does not have a reciprocal admission policy.

Plaintiffs are two individuals and an organization. Mr. Rosario, an attorney, graduated from an accredited law school in Maryland and is admitted to practice law in Maryland and Washington, D.C. He applied for admission to the Pennsylvania bar, but Pennsylvania rejected his application because Maryland is not a reciprocal state, and he had gained admission to the D.C. bar by motion rather than exam. Mr. Rosario asserts that he would apply for reciprocal admission in Pennsylvania again if the rules changed.

Mr. Riviere is admitted to the New Jersey bar. He asserts that he would apply for reciprocal admission in Pennsylvania, but that he would be rejected because New Jersey does not grant admission by motion to Pennsylvania lawyers.

The National Association for the Advancement of Multijurisdictional Practice (NAAMJP) describes itself as " a public benefit corporation organized under California ...


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