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Rees Morrison’s Morsels #153: posts longa, morsels breva

Emic and etic descriptions of law department activities. These are terms used by social scientists to refer to two kinds of descriptions of human behavior. An “emic” account is a description of behavior or a belief in terms meaningful (consciously or unconsciously) to the actor; that is, an emic account comes from a person within the culture. An “etic” account is a description of a behavior or belief by an observer, in terms that can be applied to other cultures; that is, an etic account attempts to be ‘culturally neutral’. The terms were coined in 1954 by linguist Kenneth Pike as a way around philosophic issues about the very nature of objectivity (See my post of Dec. 16, 2005: ethnographers identify patterns in behavior; June 24, 2007: what a cultural anthropologist could glean about law departments; Jan. 8, 2008: how ethnography could help us understand law departments; Nov. 19, 2008: a way to understand practices in law departments; Sept. 30, 2009: a lawyer’s individual office; and April 14, 2011: reading cultural behavior as if it were a text.).

New York joins 43 other states and the District of Columbia in special admission rules for in-house lawyers. According to Met. Corp. Counsel, June 2011 at 63, New York State recently adopted a rule that “allows attorneys who are admitted to practice in other states to serve as in-house counsel to businesses, not-for-profit organizations and other entities in New York, without needing to pass the New York bar exam and without meeting practice requirements otherwise required for admission.” Those out-of-state attorneys who practice in-house in-state have to register and are subject to New York’s professional conduct and disciplinary rules (See my post of May 31, 2005: obligation of legal department to track admission status of its lawyers; Oct. 24, 2005: specter of unauthorized practice of law if not admitted; March 19, 2006: service that checks accuracy of resumes; Dec. 17, 2007: hullabaloo in New Jersey over in-house bar admissions; March 29, 2010: 50-state survey of admission requirements for in-house lawyers; and Jan. 12, 2011: Gucci case and admission to practice of in-house attorneys.).

This blog honored by Corporate Counsel as one of the best blogs for in-house counsel. Recently, reached out to its reporters and @CorpCounsel Twitter followers to ask, “What are the best law blogs for in-house counsel?” As of June 20, 2011, there were ten reported in an article, including this one and GC’s Eye View, In-House Blog, and Reliance on Counsel.

The rain of in-house lawyers in Spain. In an insert called “European briefings” to the ACC Docket, June 2011 at 16, the author (Maggy Baccinelli) gives some background on in-house counsel in Spain. She startled me with one statement. “It is common for medium-sized companies (those with 50 or more employees) to have in-house counsel, and large multinationals have several counsel in each country.” It would be rare in the United States for a company with only 50 employees to include a practicing lawyer. She points out that Spain is one of the European Union members “that extends legal professional privileges to in-house counsel in all national matters.” The Netherlands does likewise and “France is also under mobilization by in-house in this same direction” – moving that way, as I understand her comment (See my post of Dec. 31, 2011: estimates of total number of worldwide law departments with 9 references from 2010.).