New Jersey Provisional Admission Following a Major Disaster
Rule 1:21-10 of the New Jersey Court Rules – Rules of General Application allows temporary admission for out-of-state attorneys following a major disaster.
In rare circumstances, the New Jersey Supreme Court may declare a major disaster has occurred that affects all or part of the New Jersey judicial system, the judicial system in another jurisdiction (as determine by the highest court in that jurisdiction), or has caused persons to be displaced and reside in New Jersey. In cases of another jurisdiction, attorneys in the affected area may be allowed to temporary practice in New Jersey.
Following such a major disaster, attorneys in good standing (not disbarred, suspended, or otherwise restricted from practice in any jurisdiction) may be granted temporary admission to provide pro bono services. The pro bono legal services are assigned and supervised by a non-profit bar association, pro bono program, legal services program, or through such organizations specifically designed by the New Jersey Supreme Court. In addition, displaced attorneys in good standing may provide temporary legal services in New Jersey that reasonably relate to the attorney’s practice in his or her home jurisdiction.
Attorneys allowed to practice under this rule may not make court appearances except as otherwise provided under New Jersey’s Pro Hac Vice requirements or the court grants blanket permission under this major disaster rule.
Attorneys are subject to disciplinary procedures and the New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct. Attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions must also notify clients in New Jersey of where they are licensed to practice law, the limits of their authorization, and that they are not licensed to practice law in New Jersey except under the major disaster rule. Attorneys cannot state or imply that they are otherwise authorized to practice in New Jersey.
The temporary practice ends when the New Jersey Supreme Court determines that the conditions causing the major disaster in New Jersey have ended. Attorneys may continue to provide legal services as reasonably necessary to complete the representation, but attorneys cannot accept new clients. The authority to practice for major disasters in another jurisdiction ends 60 days after the Supreme Court declares the conditions that caused the major disaster in the affected jurisdiction have ended.
Within 30 days of the commencement of the provision of legal services in New Jersey, attorneys must file a registration statement with the Clerk of the New Jersey Supreme Court. Attorneys are not required to pay annual assessment and registration fees.