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May 12, 2006

China, California, and "Foreign" Influences In Both.

See the post, China's Foreign Law Firms Under Seige?, by Dan Harris at China Law Blog. It's about a Chinese government memorandum discussing a crackdown on "foreign" lawyers engaging in a range of "illegal" practices in China, including what amounts to unauthorized practice of law. As Dan notes, this may be part of a greater movement by Chinese authorities to combat foreign influences. This is unfortunate, as Westerners try to mix in the new Chinese markets. However, I agree with Dan that it's not all that remarkable. China is no more insular, territorial and medieval toward "foreign" business lawyers than the 50 states are toward China lawyers. Moreover, several American states in particular are arguably more backward and restrictive than China. For example, California, one of four jurisdictions where I am licensed, is supposedly a progressive state with a huge and vibrant economy. But it still has a non-reciprocity bar admission policy with respect to licensing out-of-state lawyers--as if it refuses to recognize that business is done across both state and international borders. Massachusetts' Alan Dershowitz would have to take the 2-day "lawyers" California bar exam--a world-class waste of time and money--along side hundreds of 25-year-olds named Justin, Brandon and Brittany to argue more than one appellate case a year here. So would Florida's Roy Black and New York's David Boies in the trial courts. So China and California (and other non-reciprocity states) are about even on the anti-business and general madness meters.

Posted by JD Hull at May 12, 2006 10:24 PM


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