Notice to Attorneys and Parties Represented by Out-of-State Attorneys

In some jurisdictions, an out-of-state attorney cannot represent a client in arbitration. In these jurisdictions, it is considered the unauthorized practice of law to provide such legal representation without being admitted to the appropriate Bar.1

The following list contains the status of the law addressing the unauthorized practice of law in the states where the regional offices of Dispute Resolution are located. This list may also contain similar information on other states, depending on a state's proximity to FINRA's regional offices as well as FINRA's awareness of relevant changes to applicable laws in that state. This list is for information purposes only.

For states not on this list, please visit the appropriate State Bar's web site for information and guidance on the attorney practice rules for that jurisdiction. You may also visit the American Bar Association's web site for a survey of those states that have adopted the Model Rule 5.5, which permits out-of-state attorneys to appear in dispute resolution proceedings under certain circumstances.


Attorneys not admitted to practice in California may represent a party in FINRA arbitration proceeding in California, provided they satisfy the requirements of Cal. Code of Civil Procedure Section 1282.4(c) (Section 1282.4(c)). Under Section 1282.4(c), out-of-state attorneys must complete a Certification Form (Form) and file it with the FINRA Dispute Resolution, Western Regional Office in Los Angeles, California. The Form also must be filed with the Office of Certification, State Bar of California, in San Francisco, California, and must be served upon all other parties and counsel in the arbitration whose addresses are known to the attorney. See the Form and the FINRA Guidelines for compliance with Section 1282.4(c), as amended, can be found on our Web site.


Effective January 1, 2006, new rules require lawyers from other states who are not members of The Florida Bar to provide certain information to The Florida Bar if they wish to appear in an arbitration proceeding in Florida. A Verified Statement along with a $250.00 fee has to be submitted to The Florida Bar in certain arbitration proceedings pursuant to Rules Regulating The Florida Bar 1-3.11. You should consult that rule as well as rule 4-5.5 of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar to determine whether you need to file the Verified Statement. The rules are available on The Florida Bar's Web site.

See additional information on the arbitration process in Florida.


A person engages in unauthorized practice of law by practicing as an attorney or counselor at law in the state without first obtaining a license from the Supreme Court of the state to practice law. Ill. Comp. Stat., Attorney Act, 705 ILCS 205, §1. The statute also prohibits a person, other than a regularly licensed attorney, from receiving any compensation directly or indirectly for any legal services. Id.

New Jersey

Attorneys not admitted to practice in New Jersey may represent a party in a FINRA arbitration or mediation proceeding in New Jersey, provided they comply with the requirements of the New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct 5.5 (RPC 5.5). FINRA has developed guidelines to assist parties. The guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions can be found on our Web site.

New York

Persons engage in the unlawful practice of law when they practice as attorneys-at-law or as counselors-at-law, or represent a person other than themselves in a court of record in New York without first being licensed and admitted to practice law in the state. N.Y. Jud. Law §478. The New York statutes also prohibit persons who are not attorneys from receiving any compensation directly or indirectly for representing a person other than themselves in any court or before any magistrate in the state. N.Y. Jud. Law §484.


FINRA has received a letter from the Oregon State Bar regarding out-of-state lawyers participating in Oregon arbitration and mediation proceedings. As indicated in the letter, you may contact the Oregon State Bar with any questions.

To notify FINRA of updates to this list, please Contact Us.

1 Each state has the right to determine whether representation by an out-of-state attorney in FINRA's forum violates the state's unauthorized practice of law provisions. FINRA has no rule on out-of-state practice, so any attorney practice issues must be addressed to the appropriate jurisdiction for resolution.