Rule 46(e) of the Mississippi Rules of Appellate Procedure allows attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions who are serving or are employed in the armed services to obtain a certificate as a Registered Military Legal Assistance Attorney in Mississippi. Attorneys may represent clients eligible for legal assistance in Mississippi courts and tribunals while the attorney is employed, stationed, or assigned within Mississippi.
Attorneys must be authorized to provide legal assistance pursuant to 10 U.S. Code § 1044.
Practice is subject to the limitations of 10 U.S.C. § 1044 and the regulations of the lawyer’s military service. Practice is further limited to:
- Name Changes
- Paternity matters
- Child Custody, Visitation, Child and Spousal Support
- Landlord-Tenant Disputes on Behalf of Tenants
- Consumer Advocacy cases involving alleged breaches of contract or warranties, repossessions, or fraud
- Garnishment Defenses
- Enforcement of Rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. App. § 501 et seq.)
- Enforcement of rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (38 U.S.C. § 4301 et seq.)
- Such other cases within the discretion of the court or tribunal before which the matter is pending.
All pleadings filed by the attorney must cite this military certificate rule and include the name, address, and telephone number of the military legal office representing the client. The pleadings must also include the name, grade, and armed service of the lawyer registered under this rule providing representation.
- Represent any person other than eligible legal assistance clients before a Mississippi court or tribunal.
- Offer to provide legal services in Mississippi to any person other than authorized by his or her military service.
- Hold himself or herself out in Mississippi to be authorized to provide legal services to any person other than authorized by his or her
Attorneys practicing under a military certificate are engaged in the practice of law and are subject to the rules governing the practice of law in Mississippi.
Attorneys must be registered with the Mississippi Bar as an active member and are subject to the same membership obligations as other active members of the Mississippi Bar other than the payment of dues, assessments, and CLE Requirements. Attorneys registering under a military certificate must use his or her address of record with the Mississippi Bar, the military address in Mississippi of the commanding officer, staff judge advocate, or chief legal officer that filed the required affidavit.
Attorneys must promptly report to the Mississippi Bar any changes in employment or military service, any change in bar membership status in any jurisdiction where admitted, or the imposition of any disciplinary sanction in any jurisdiction where admitted.
Application and Certification
Attorneys are required to file with the Clerk of the Mississippi Supreme Court:
- An application on a form furnished by the Clerk.
- A certificate stating the applicant is licensed to practice law and is an active member in good standing of the bar of the jurisdiction where
- An affidavit, on a form furnished by the Clerk of the Mississippi Supreme Court, from the commanding officer, staff judge advocate, or chief
legal officer of the military base in Mississippi where the applicant is employed, stationed, or assigned. The affidavit must attest that:
- The applicant is serving as an attorney to provide legal services exclusively for the military.
- The nature of the applicant’s employment or service conforms to the requirements of the military certificate rules.
- The commanding officer, staff judge advocate or chief legal officer, or his or her successor, must notify the Clerk of the Supreme Court
immediately upon the termination of the applicant’s employment or service at the military base.
Upon satisfaction of the Clerk, the Clerk will notify the applicant. The applicant will take the oath and will be issued the certificate.
The certification is automatically terminated when any of the following events occur:
- The attorney is no longer, employed, stationed, or assigned at the military base in Mississippi where the required affidavit was filed;
- The attorney has been admitted by exam to the Mississippi Bar or pursuant to any other provision of the Rules Governing Admission to the
- The attorney fails to comply with any provision of the military certificate rules
- The attorney fails to maintain current good standing as an active bar member in at least one state or territory of the United States; or
- When suspended or disbarred for disciplinary reasons in any jurisdiction where the attorney is admitted.