A recent Law360 article covers the ongoing lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania reciprocity rules, which deny attorneys admission to the bar if they come from states that lack reciprocity agreements. The lawsuit alleges that Pennsylvania’s “tit-for-tat” bar reciprocity rules violate the U.S. Constitution. U.S. District Judge Gerald McHugh will hear oral arguments in September on the case, which was brought on by the National Association for the Advancement of Multijurisdictional Practice’s (NAAMP).

The NAAMP used a football metaphor in their complaint stating:

“Assume the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles wants to retain the best quarterback. He chooses either San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick or Baltimore Raven Joe Flacco to be his quarterback, the representative face of his franchise. Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick are free to play for the Eagles or the Pittsburgh Steelers or any other professional football team. But if they are lawyers by profession, they cannot play or represent clients in the Keystone State under Pa. B.A.R. 204."

Many attorneys are skeptical of the NAAMP’s argument. Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s Pittsburgh Office Head, Peter S. Russ, told the publication that “just as states can impose taxes on football players, they hold the right to regulate the attorneys that practice there. Otherwise, Pennsylvania might lose its ability to enforce rules of professional conduct and protect citizens.”

“These rules and regulations have traditionally been reserved for the states, and I think there’s a good rationale for that to continue,” Russ continued. 

Read the full article – “Attack on Pa. Bar Reciprocity Rules Faces Uphill Battle” (Law360, August 14, 2014) Subscription required.