Did you know it is possible to become a North Dakota attorney, and win a state Supreme Court case, without ever stepping foot in the state? I did just that.
As part of my QDRO practice, I serve clients in a number of states. And because I comply with the ethics rules surrounding unauthorized practice of law, I only practice where I am licensed – which means I needed to join a few different state bars. Seven bars, in fact.
Shortly after getting my North Dakota bar card, a fellow New York City attorney defending himself in a North Dakota state malicious prosecution lawsuit reached out and asked if I’d be willing to be his pro hac vice counsel in the matter. I happily accepted, and so was born my new favorite service for other attorneys: pro hac vice counsel.
The Terms, In Short
I’m absolutely happy to help fellow attorneys who need pro hac vice counsel. I do ask that they agree to a few conditions:
- Have a clean ethics record;
- Commit to proactive communication: many states will require me to sign on as co-counsel on all briefs and make appearances alongside you in court. Obviously, that means keeping me in the loop as frequently as possible.
- Prepare any required application or paperwork so I don’t have to bill you for it.
In terms of payment, I’d like to do things flat-fee but it will depend on the case, the state requirements, and the level of involvement. Some states will require me to be actively involved and present for hearings, so I will have to bill by the hour and travel costs and lodging for anywhere outside of the New York City area must be covered.
California Pro Hac Vice Counsel
The requirements for pro hac vice in California are pretty standard: an application, a $50 fee, and some extra paperwork. The local court may have other requirements, especially regarding whether or not I would have to appear at hearings, co-sign briefs and motions, etc.
New York Pro Hac Vice Counsel
The requirements in New York are more extensive: there’s a petition, certificates of good standing and disciplinary records for all states in which you are admitted, and even (for the appeals courts) a certificate reflecting graduation from law school.
New Jersey Pro Hac Vice Counsel
New Jersey’s requirements are relatively simple: a form and an annual fee.
Iowa Pro Hac Vice Counsel
Iowa’s requirements are also straightforward: an application and a $250 fee, good for five years.
Missouri Pro Hac Vice Counsel
My dear home state requires a petition to be filed (sample here) with a $410 fee, as detailed here. The rules on pro hac vice admission do require me to sign on to all briefs and appear in court, unless excused by the judge.
Kansas Pro Hac Vice Counsel
On the bright side, Kansas has a very detailed list of instructions for applying pro hac vice. There’s the petition, of course. And a relatively light $100 fee.
Also, rule 116(b) states that the Kansas “attorney of record under subsection (a)” must:
be actively engaged in the case;
sign all pleadings, documents, and briefs;>
be present throughout all court or administrative appearances; and
attend a deposition or mediation unless excused by the court or tribunal or under local rule.
North Dakota’s PHV rules are pretty standard: file a motion with the court AND the State Board of Law Examiners and pay a fee of $380 (annually). The approval process, in my experience, is very quick.
Why associate with Willie Peacock?
I’m located in New York City. For cases in the NYC area, in NY or NJ courts, I’m confident you won’t find a more reasonable and friendly co-counsel to sponsor your pro hac vice admission. If the case is outside of the NYC area, obviously, a local attorney closer to the court is probably a cheaper option (depending on my involvement in the case). Nonetheless, I built a flexible practice run primarily online and maintain a flexible schedule, so feel free to give me a call and we’ll talk it through: 562-774-1529.