If RPA Attorney and Client Live in Different States

If you are living in Oklahoma, for example, and are wondering if you could use an attorney having his/her office in another state (or even in a distant city in Oklahoma), the answer is YES.

Let me explain. Most lawsuits need a local lawyer to handle the case for many good reasons, including the (comparatively small) size of the case, the number of court appearances required, the importance of having a local lawyer appear before the court and local jurors, the taking of depositions of various persons in the community, and the lower out-of-pocket expenses of local representation.

But these factors change when certain types of major litigation are concerned, such as antitrust litigation. There is less need for the action to be brought locally, in the home town of the plaintiff, and more need for the action to be brought in the city of (or selected by) the attorney retained by the plaintiff to commence the action.

Antitrust defendants are more apt to be based (with their principal place of business) in a city other than the one in which the plaintiff resides, which gives the plaintiff the choice of bringing the action locally (in the plaintiff's own federal court) or in the federal court in the district in which the defendant has its principal place of business, or even in one of the main cities for antitrust litigation such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, regardless of whether the defendant or plaintiff resides.

The number of times in which the attorneys have to appear in court is about two or three times per year, and finally for a two or three week trial, unless the action is settled or dismissed without any trial.

Many federal courts, including the district judges and magistrate judges, will be accommodating and permit out-of-state (or out-of-city) counsel to appear by conference telephone call, which reduces the number of times a foreign lawyer would have to appear in person in the court.

Many law firms for defendants are national, appearing in major cases in any city and state in the United States, even though the firm may have only one, two or three offices in the United States.

The defendants' law firms are able to represent clients in jurisdictions where the law firm has no office, and the plaintiffs in RPA litigation can do the same thing, which is to retain a lawyer living in another city or state to commence the action in a U.S. District Court deemed most appropriate under the circumstances.

The real problem is to find good RPA counsel who is willing to take the case, regardless where the attorney may have his/her office. Of course, it would be foolish not to look for and use a local attorney, unless it is determined that the action should be brought in another city or state.

If you want to talk about the reasons for choosing one city or state over another for the commencement of an RPA lawsuit, please call or send a fax to attorney Carl E. Person. You may be surprised at some of the reasons why a particular court is selected.

Carl E. Person may be reached in NYC by telephone call to 212-307-4444 or by fax to 212-307-0247. Please do not send e-mail because it is guaranteed to result in a slower response.

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Copyright © 1997 by Carl E. Person