On February 8, 2024, the Colorado Supreme Court adopted changes to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, including Rule 5.5 on Unauthorized Practice of Law and Multijurisdictional Practice of Law.

In particular, the Court adopted a change to comment [1] to Colorado Rule 5.5, expressly authorizing lawyers who are not admitted or otherwise authorized to practice in Colorado to work remotely here. The change creates a safe harbor for such lawyers from charges of unauthorized practice in violation of Colorado Rule 5.5(a)(1).

The change adds the following sentence at the end of comment [1]:

"Lawyers who are physically present in Colorado and provide legal services under the authority of another jurisdiction do not violate Rule 5.5(a)(1), provided such lawyers do not solicit or accept clients in Colorado for services to be performed in Colorado and do not hold themselves out, directly or impliedly, as authorized to practice law in Colorado."

Rule Change 2024(06) to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct is available here.

With this change, Colorado joins more than a dozen States that have authorized remote practice in their respective jurisdictions, either by changes to their Rules or comments or through ethics opinions.

However, despite this safe harbor regarding unauthorized practice, lawyers who work remotely in Colorado may be subject to the disciplinary jurisdiction of the Colorado Supreme Court. See C.R.C.P. 242.1(a).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.