Can an out of state lawyer send letters when not licensed?

UPDATED: Sep 12, 2011

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Can an out of state lawyer send letters when not licensed?

I am a contractor in OR who billed clients in OR for work done here. Instead of payment I received a letter from the client’s lawyer (based in WA; not licensed in OR) stating her clients would only pay a small portion of what was owed. The address on the attorneys “letterhead” is OR though? Is this legal?

Asked on September 12, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Oregon


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Licensed attorneys are licensed within the states where they have passed that aprticular state's bar examination and are sworn in to practice. Such attorneys are allowed to practice law in the state they are sworn in to practice providing thay are in good standing.

Many times I have written letters to people located out of the State of California which is allowable in that I am sending these letters from my California office through the United States mail which is allowable.

What the Washington State lawyer did in writing you a letter from his presumed office is Washington is allowable. He is not practicing law in Oregon. Potentially this Washington State lawyer may also be licensed in the State of Oregon as well since you have written that the address on the letterhead states Oregon.

Good question.

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