[cabfpub] Professional Opinion Letters - Allowed Jurisdictions

Ben Wilson ben at digicert.com
Mon May 13 11:16:10 MST 2013

A question has been presented about sections 11.10.1 and 11.10.2 of the EV
Guidelines.  Section 11.10.1 specifies that the opinion letter by authored
by a legal practitioner licensed in the country of the Applicant's
Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Registration or any jurisdiction where the
Applicant maintains an office or physical facility.  Section 11.10.2 for
accountants is slightly different.  It states that the accounting
professional must be licensed within the Applicant's Jurisdiction of
Incorporation, Jurisdiction of Registration, or the jurisdiction where the
Applicant maintains an office or physical facility.  (For some reason,
"country" is not present in the accounting practitioner section 11.10.2 like
it is for attorneys in the previous section.)


An accountant, who is a member of the AICPA and Wisconsin Institute of
Certified Public Accountants, has contacted the CABF and stated "I believe
that this limitation is unreasonable as the amount of business owners living
in another state increases. I prepare tax returns for clients across this
country and overseas. While any change would not benefit my client I believe
that you should review your requirements."


Discussion on this issue today is being moved from the management list to
the public list.   


Comments so far are as follows:


Rich Smith - "Any attorney or accountant licensed in any U.S. state should
be acceptable from the standpoint of the Guidelines."


Ryan Koski - "Please see the thread I started on the Public list back on
January 11, 2013, subject: "EVG - Accounting Practitioner Jurisdiction".
The issue is that 11.10.2.(1).(A) deviates from the definition of
"Accounting Practitioner", and removes the phrase "the country of"."


Jeremy Rowley - "What added protection is it supposed to give? As
telecommuting for in-house attorneys becomes increasingly common and as the
number of virtual law firms/accounting firms continues to grow, having a
requirement that limits the jurisdictional scope of the opinion letter makes
the document seem archaic."


Ben Wilson - "One of the issues that originally influenced the current
language was the concern that a few lawyers and/or CPAs would set up online
shops solely for the purpose of providing "EV Opinion Letters" as a business
model.   I agree with Jeremy that we ought to revisit the language and bring
it up to date based on the collective wisdom we've developed so far with

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