Rule XVII, Section 13 (Pro Hac Vice Admission) provides the rule regarding admission for attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions who are seeking pro hac vice admission to a Louisiana court or administrative agency.
Louisiana’s pro hac vice rules also permit out-of-state attorneys to engage in certain legal practices related to out-of-state proceedings, potential Louisiana and out-of-state proceedings, and alternative dispute resolutions matters.
Eligible attorneys are not admitted in Louisiana but are members in good standing of the bar of any United States District Court or of the highest court of any state, territory, or insular possession of the United States or of the District of Columbia.
Attorneys must meet one of the following classifications:
- The attorney lawfully practices solely on behalf of the attorney’s employer and its commonly owned organizational affiliates, regardless of where the attorney may reside or work; or
- The attorney does not reside and is not regularly employed at an office in Louisiana; or
- The attorney resides in Louisiana but lawfully practices from offices in one or more other states and practices only temporarily in Louisiana, whether through pro hac vice admission or in other lawful ways.
Attorneys must associate with a duly licensed local Louisiana lawyer. The Louisiana lawyer remains responsible for the client and for the conduct of the proceeding. The Louisiana lawyer must also advise the client of his or her independent judgment if that judgment differs from the out-of-state attorney.
Attorneys submit to the authority of the courts of Louisiana and the Louisiana Disciplinary Board for all conduct relating in any way to the proceeding.
Attorneys are required to file an Application for Pro Hac Vice Admission and a motion. The application is filed first with the Louisiana Attorney Discipline Board with the $250 fee. The fee may be waived for pro bono representation when the attorney is employed or associated with a pro bono project or non-profit legal services organization in civil cases and for criminal cases or habeas proceeding for indigent clients. Both the out-of-state attorney and the Louisiana lawyer verify the application.
The Attorney Disciplinary Board will forward the application to the Disciplinary Counsel, and the Disciplinary Counsel will issue a letter either approving or disapproving the application.
After receiving the Disciplinary Counsel’s letter, the Louisiana lawyer files a written ex parte motion with the court or agency. The motion requests that the out-of-state attorney be admitted pro hac vice and must include the letter from the Disciplinary Counsel. The motion and letter are served on all parties who have appeared in the matter and should include a proof of service. Within 20 days of service, The Disciplinary Counselor or any party may object to the motion, request modification of it, may request a hearing, or may request the permission be withdrawn if already granted. Courts and agencies will not accept motions that are filed within 30 days of the scheduled trial or hearing date. If the Disciplinary Counsel has disapproved the application, the subsequent ex parte motion for pro hac vice admission must be served on the Disciplinary Counsel.
The court or agency has the discretion to grant or deny the motion. The motion should ordinarily be granted unless the court or agency finds reason to believe:
- The admission may be detrimental to the prompt, fair and efficient administration of justice;
- The admission may be detrimental to legitimate interests of the 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 frequent appearances as to constitute regular practice in this state;
- The applicant attorney is not competent or ethically fit to practice; or
- The applicant has failed to otherwise comply with the requirements of these rules.
The court or agency may revoke the permission for any of the reasons stated above or for any other reason the court or agency deems appropriate.
Out-of-State Proceedings, Potential In-State and Out-of-State Proceedings, and All Alternative Dispute Resolution
Out-of-state attorneys are not engaged in the unauthorized practice of law for these practices included under this rule, even if ultimately no proceeding is filed or if pro hac vice admission is ultimately denied. Out-of-state attorneys cannot hold himself or herself out, to non-lawyers who have not requested the attorney’s presence, as available to assist in potential suits.
Louisiana Ancillary Proceeding Related to a Pending Out-of-State Proceeding
In connection with proceedings pending outside of Louisiana, an out-of-state attorney admitted to appear in that proceeding may render in Louisiana legal services regarding or in aid of that proceeding.
Consultation by Out-of-State Attorney
Out-of-state attorneys may consult in Louisiana with a Louisiana lawyer concerning the Louisiana lawyer’s client’s pending or potential proceeding in Louisiana.
Out-of-state attorneys may, at the request of a person in Louisiana contemplating a proceeding or involved in a pending proceeding, irrespective of where the proceeding is located, consult with that person in Louisiana regarding that person’s possible retention of the out-of-state lawyer in connection with the proceeding.
Preparation for Louisiana Proceeding
The out-of-state attorney may render legal services in Louisiana to prepare for a potential proceeding to be filed in Louisiana. The out-of-state attorney must reasonably believe he or she is eligible for admission pro hac vice.
Preparation for Out-of-State Proceeding
In connection with a potential proceeding to be filed outside of Louisiana, an out-of-state attorney may render legal services in Louisiana for a client or potential client located in Louisiana. The out-of-state attorney must be admitted or reasonably believe that he or she is eligible for admission generally, or via pro hac vice, in the jurisdiction where the proceeding is anticipated to be filed.
Services Rendered Outside of Louisiana for a Louisiana Client
Out-of-state attorneys may render legal services while the attorney is physically outside of Louisiana when the services are requested by a client in Louisiana in connection with a potential or pending proceeding filed, or to be filled, in or outside of Louisiana.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR” ) Procedures
Out-of-state attorneys may render legal services to prepare for and participate in an ADR procedure regardless of where the ADR procedure is expected to take place or actually takes place.
Out-of-state attorneys rendering services in Louisiana and complying with the pro hac vice rules are not authorized to hold himself or herself out, to non-lawyers who have not requested the out-of-state lawyer’s presence, as available to assist in potential suits. Out-of-state attorneys cannot solicit, advertise, or otherwise hold himself or herself out in publications directed solely to Louisiana as being available to assist in litigation in Louisiana.
Out-of-state attorneys will only be eligible for admission pro hac vice, or to practice in another lawful way, temporarily in Louisiana.