Rule 4.4 (Admission Pro Hac Vice) of the Uniform Rules of the Superior Court of Georgia provides the rule regarding admission for attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions who are seeking pro hac vice admission.
Attorneys cannot be admitted to practice law in Georgia but must be admitted in another state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia. Attorneys cannot be disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction. Such attorneys are referred to as “Domestic Lawyers.”
Domestic Lawyers are eligible for pro hac vice admission if that lawyer:
- Lawfully practices solely on behalf of the lawyer’s employer and its commonly owned organizational affiliates, regardless of where the lawyer may reside or work; or
- Neither resides nor is regularly employed at an office in Georgia; or
- Resides in Georgia but lawfully practices from offices in one or more other states, and practices no more than temporarily in Georgia, whether pursuant to pro hac vice admission or in another lawful way.
Domestic attorneys may act as co-counsel or act in an advisory or consultant role.
Domestic Lawyers must associate with a local Georgia lawyer. The Georgia lawyer who is co-counsel or counsel of record remains responsible to the client and the conduct of the proceeding. The Georgia lawyer has to advise the client of his or her independent judgment or contemplated action in the proceeding if that judgment differs from that of the Domestic Lawyer’s judgment.
Domestic Lawyers submit to the authority of the courts and the Office of General Counsel of the State Bar of Georgia for all conduct that occurs within Georgia while the proceeding is pending or arises out of or relates to the application or the proceeding. This authority includes the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, contempt and sanction orders, and court policies and procedures.
The conflicts of the Domestic Lawyer shall not delay any deadlines, depositions, mediation, hearings, or trials in connection with the case for which admission has been granted.
Domestic Lawyers are required to file a verified application with the court where the litigation is filed. The application should include the information listed in Appendix A. The Domestic Lawyer may include any other matter supporting admission pro hac vice. Attorneys must also send a copy of their Motion to the State Bar of Georgia.
The $200 application fee is nonrefundable and should be paid to the State Bar of Georgia with a copy of the application. The fee is not required if the applicant will not charge an attorney fee to the client and the Domestic Lawyer is employed or associated with a pro bono project or non-profit legal services organization in a civil case involving the clients of such a program; or the Domestic Lawyer is involved in a criminal case or a habeas proceeding for an indigent defendant.
The application will be served on all parties who have appeared in the case and the Office of General Counsel of the State Bar of Georgia with a proof of service.
The Office of General Counsel or a party to the proceeding may file an objection or modification to the application or seek the court’s implementation of conditions to the petition being granted. The objection must contain a factual basis for the objection. If the application was already granted, the Office of General Counsel or objecting party may move that the pro hac vice admission be withdrawn.
It is within the court’s discretion whether to allow the pro hac vice admission. Applicants should ordinarily be granted, unless the court or agency finds reason to believe that such admission:
- May be detrimental to the prompt, fair and efficient administration of justice.
- May be detrimental to legitimate interests of parties to the proceedings other than the client the applicant proposes to represent.
- One or more of the clients the applicant proposes to represent may be at risk of receiving inadequate representation and cannot adequately appreciate that risk.
- The applicant has engaged in such frequent appearances as to constitute regular practice in this state.
- Should be denied, if that applicant had, prior to the application, filed or appeared in an action in the courts of Georgia without having secured approval pursuant to the Uniform Superior Court Rules.
The court may also revoke the pro hac vice admission for the same reasons.