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Most restrictions gone from latest ‘waived-in’ rules proposal

The Supreme Court of Virginia is asking for comments on a revised set of proposed rules for “waived-in” lawyers.

The latest proposal would remove many of the practice restrictions for out-of-state lawyers who take advantage of Virginia’s reciprocity rules for bar admission without examination.

Gone from the new proposed rules is a requirement that a waived-in lawyer practice predominantly in Virginia. There is no requirement for full-time practice or for regular certification that the lawyer is complying with the rules.

The threshold requirement for “admission on motion,” as it’s sometimes called, would require an out-of-state lawyer to have practiced law for at least three of the immediately preceding five years. The last proposed rule change would have required a history of full time law practice for at least five of the preceding seven years.

The proposed rules do not go so far as to remove the reciprocity requirement, despite the urging of the American Bar Association. Admission without examination would still be available only for lawyers licensed in states that offer the same privilege to Virginia lawyers.

The previous version of the rules was issued for public comment in October, with a variety of responses from Virginia lawyers and others. Comments on the new proposed amendments should be sent to the Supreme Court by May 31.

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