Pro Hac Vice in Connecticut Federal Court
Admission as a visiting lawyer in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut is a straight-forward process so long as you meet the requirements of the applicable local rule. Admission is considerably less costly and less burdensome than admission pro hac vice in state court. Details on state court admission are found here and here. Admission of “visiting attorneys” is governed by D.Conn.Local Rule 83.1(d).
The Pro Hac Vice Process
In order to be admitted, a candidate must be in good standing of another Federal or State Court. The admission process requires a motion, an affidavit attesting to the visiting attorney’s qualification, pre-payment of the required fee and a current certificate of good standing. See D.Conn.L.R. 83.1(d).
The candidate must submit an affidavit, duly sworn and executed by the proposed visiting attorney which includes (a) stating the proposed visiting attorney’s office address, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address; (b) identifying the bar of each court of which said attorney is and has ever been a member, and the corresponding bar identification number(s); or if no such numbers have been assigned, so stating;(c) stating that said attorney: (i) has no pending disciplinary complaints as to which a finding has been made that such complaint should proceed to a hearing; and (ii) has not been denied admission to, been disciplined by, resigned from, surrendered a license to practice before, or withdrawn an application for admission to practice while facing a disciplinary complaint before, this Court or any other court; . . . (d) stating that said attorney has fully reviewed and is familiar with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (for an attorney seeking admission in a civil case) or Criminal Procedure (for an attorney seeking admission in a criminal case), the applicable Local Rules of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, and the Connecticut Rules of Professional Conduct; and (e) designating the sponsoring attorney as his or her agent for service of process and the District of Connecticut as the forum for the resolution of any dispute arising out of said attorney’s admission under this Local Rule 83.1(d).D.Conn.L.R. 83.1(d)(1).
Don’t Forget to Read the (Local) Rules!
Having local counsel is important. Aside from the direct need to file the required motion, local counsel is a valuable resource. When you sign that affidavit in support of your admission, many lawyers forget to read the Local Rules for the District of Connecticut and the Connecticut Rules of Professional Conduct which are contained in the Connecticut Practice Book, the state court rules of procedure. More often than you’d expect, visiting lawyers have assumed local customs mirror their home jurisdiction with unfortunate results.
Make the Motion for Admission Early
Don’t delay, get admitted today! The local rule permits the district court to deny admission if the visiting lawyer needs to get up to speed and consequently seeks modification of the existing scheduling order. See D.Conn.L.R. 83.1(d)(2) .
Local Office Required
You may be thinking that someone in your office in your home jurisdiction will sponsor you as a visiting attorney in the District of Connecticut from your office in another state. You could be wrong. D.Conn.L.R. 83.1(c) requires that the sponsoring lawyer maintains an office within the District of Connecticut. Although relief is available “for good cause shown,” the additional expense of local counsel is not sufficient. Id. The District Court has concluded that local counsel “enhances cooperation between counsel and thereby reduces overall litigation expense to the parties, and otherwise facilitates the business of the Court.” Id.
Don’t Forget Your Local counsel
Unless excused by motion, local counsel must attend all court appearances and all matters involving court personnel. See D.Conn.L.R. 83.1(d)(2). A visiting attorney admitted may participate in depositions, Rule 26(f) conferences, and other conferences with other parties not involving Court personnel without the presence of local counsel. However, as we’ve discussed, local counsel is helpful.
PACER and E-Filing
After the motion for admission has been granted, the visiting attorney will receive an email with instructions on how to request e-filing privileges in this district. N.B. D.Conn. is a Next Gen PACER system. Once you have been admitted, you may need to upgrade your account and learn how to “connect the accounts” in order to have e-filing privileges. Your home federal jurisdiction may not be Next Gen PACER and additional delay in e-filing access can occur unless you have updated PACER credentials.
What are the filing fees?
For the longest time, the PHV fee was $75 dollars. Effective June 1, 2020, the PHV fee is $200 dollars.
If you have a question about appearing pro hac vice in state court or federal court in Connecticut, local counsel services, or appearing as a visiting lawyer before a state agency or in an arbitration proceeding in Connecticut, please feel free to call Attorney John Radshaw in New Haven today at (203) 654-9695. For more information about Attorney Radshaw and his practice, visit www.jjr-esq.com.