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                                         98 N.J.L.J. 822
                                        September 25, 1975


Appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court


Foreign Attorney Practicing in New Jersey
Attorney's Name Before Immigration Judge

    The inquirer is an attorney who practices primarily in the field of immigration and naturalization law, appearing almost exclusively before federal administrative bodies and by correspondence with U.S. consuls in foreign countries. He has a substantial number of Spanish-speaking clients, although he does not speak Spanish. The inquirer has, therefore, hired an attorney admitted to practice in another state, who is now a resident of New Jersey, to act as an interpreter for him. He asks whether it would
be proper to permit this out-of-state attorney to appear in the inquirer's name at hearings before the Immigration Judges at the Immigration Service in Newark or at deportation or exclusion hearings.    The inquirer has also submitted a copy of 8 C.F.R. 292.1 and 8 C.F.R. 1.1, which, read together, provide that any member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of any state, possession, territory, commonwealth or the District of Columbia, who is not under any order of any court suspending, adjoining, restraining, disbarring, or otherwise restricting him in the practice of law, may represent persons before the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Board of Immigration Appeals.

    It is obvious that, under the supremacy clause of the federal constitution and the constitutional power of the federal government to control immigration and naturalization, Congress and the Department of Justice have the power to regulate procedures before the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Board of Immigration Appeals. The issue in this case is not whether the foreign attorney may appear before an immigration judge but rather
whether permitting him to practice in the name of the New Jersey attorney violates the canons of ethical standards regulating the conduct of the New Jersey attorney.
    R. 1:21-1 provides in part that no attorney authorized to practice in this State shall permit another person to practice in this State in his name or as his partner, employee, or associate unless the other person is an attorney holding a plenary license to practice in New Jersey, is in good standing, and is either domiciled or maintains his office in this State.
    The inquirer states that the employee does not represent himself to any client as being licensed to practice in this State and that all correspondence to government agencies or to clients is in the inquirer's name and signed by the inquirer. It seems clear to the Committee that it would be an inescapable conclusion to the
client that the foreign attorney was practicing in New Jersey in the name of the New Jersey attorney.
    In our Opinion 223, 94 N.J.L.J. 1197 (1971), we said that, "[w]here partnerships are formed between lawyers who are not all admitted to practice in the courts of the state, care should be taken to avoid any misleading name or representation which would create a false impression as to the professional position or privileges of the member not locally admitted.'" In Opinion 254, 96 N.J.L.J. 463 (1973), the Committee held that it would not even be
permissible for a New Jersey attorney to lease space to an out-of- state law firm because "the general public would be justified in regarding the premise as constituting the New Jersey office of the out-of-state law firm, particularly where the inference of association between the New Jersey practitioner and the out-of-state law firm would be inescapable."
    We, therefore, conclude in this case that the inference of professional association between the New Jersey practitioner and the out-of-state attorney would be inescapable and that the foreign
attorney would be practicing law in the name of the New Jersey attorney which would be an ethical notation by the New Jersey attorney, although the foreign attorney is expressly permitted under federal law to appear before the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

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