ETHICS AND THE LAW | by Mark J. Fucile
With this issue NWLawyer welcomes Mark J. Fucile as a regular columnist. “Ethics & the Law” will appear in each
issue. Mark practices with Fucile & Reising LLP, where he handles professional responsibility, regulatory and attorney-client privilege matters, and law-firm-related litigation for lawyers, law firms, and legal departments throughout
the Northwest. He is a former chair of the WSBA Committee on Professional Ethics and is a past member of the
Oregon State Bar (OSB) Legal Ethics Committee. He is a co-editor of the WSBA Law of Lawyering in Washington, the
WSBA Legal Ethics Deskbook, and the OSB Ethical Oregon Lawyer. He also teaches legal ethics as an adjunct for the
University of Oregon School of Law at its Portland campus. He can be reached at 503-224-4895 and Mark@frllp.com.
In an Era of National Litigation
With many kinds of litigation becoming more na- tional in scope, the role of local counsel has also evolved. Gone are the days when a long-lost college
roommate may contact you simply because you are the only
Washington lawyer he or she knows for what will likely be
the only matter he or she ever has in Washington. In today’s
more homogenized market, firms often have specialized expertise with a national reach and have long-standing relationships with local firms throughout the country. The national
firm typically brings the substantive expertise and principal
client contacts, and the local firm contributes its knowledge
of local courthouse personalities and procedures.
In this column, we’ll look at three facets of being local counsel
from the risk management perspective. First, we’ll examine the
mundane but central task of knowing the pro hac vice requirements in both Washington state and federal civil trial courts.
Second, we’ll address how local counsel can document their own
role when they are being hired primarily for their local expertise.
Finally, we’ll discuss the practical importance of documenting the
compensation arrangement involved.