California Pro Hac Vice

Rule 9.40 of the California Rules of Court provides the rule regarding admission for attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions who are seeking pro hac vice admission.

The California pro hac vice rules do not preclude the California Supreme Court or a Court of Appeal from permitting argument in a particular case from a person who is not a member of the California State Bar, but who is licensed to practice in another jurisdiction and who possesses special expertise in the particular field affected by the proceeding.

Eligibility
Eligible attorneys are not members of the State Bar of California but are members in good standing of a bar of any United States court or the highest court in any state, territory, or insular possession of the United States. Attorneys cannot be California residents, regularly employed in California, or regularly engaged in substantial business, professional, or other activities in California.

Repeated pro hac vice appearances may be cause for denial, unless special circumstances are established.

Practice
Attorneys must associate with an active California Bar member. Attorneys are subject to the jurisdiction and disciplinary system of the California courts with respect to the law governing the conduct of attorneys and are required to familiarize themselves and comply with the standards of professional conduct.

Application
Attorneys are required to file an application and pay the applicable fee to the State Bar of California together with a copy of the application and notice of hearing. The California Bar does not provide a form application and recommends that attorneys speak with the clerk prior to applying for pro hac vice admission.

The application will state and declare:

  • The case name, number, and the court number.
  • The attorney’s residence and office address;
  • The courts to which the applicant has been admitted to practice and the dates of admission;
  • That the applicant is a member in good standing in those courts;
  • That the applicant is not currently suspended or disbarred in any court;
  • The title of court and cause in which the applicant has filed an application to appear as counsel pro hac vice in California in the preceding two years, the date of each application, and whether or not it was granted; and
  • ┬áThe name, address, and telephone number of the active member of the State Bar of California who is attorney of record.

Attorneys will receive a confirmation, either by mail or fax, that their application has been processed. It is within the court’s discretion whether to grant pro hac vice admission.

Application in California Superior Court
Attorneys are required to file a verified application with the superior court. The application includes a proof of service, copy of the application, and a notice of hearing on all parties who have appeared in the action and the State Bar of California at its San Francisco office.

Application in the California Supreme Court or California Court of Appeal
Pro hac vice applications must be made in accordance with Rule 8.54 (Motions) of the California Appellate Rules with proof of services on all parties who have appeared in the case and on the State Bar of California at its San Francisco office.