Mississippi Pro Hac Vice

Rule 46(b) of the Mississippi Rules of Appellate Procedure provides the rule regarding admission for attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions who are seeking pro hac vice admission.

Eligible attorneys are not licensed in Mississippi but are licensed to practice law and are in good standing in another state, the District of Columbia, or other United States  jurisdiction. Mississippi refers to such attorneys as Foreign Attorneys.

Foreign Attorneys cannot appear in any cause except as allowed pro hac vice under Rule 46(b). Attorneys must be of good moral character and familiar with the ethics, principles, practices, customs, and usages of the legal profession in Mississippi and may appear in a particular cause before a court or administrative agency.

An “appearance” includes the attorney’s name on any pleading or other paper filed or served, appearing personally before a court or administrative agency, or participating in a deposition or other proceeding in which testimony is given. Presentation of uncontested matters to administrative agencies does not constitute appearances as the term is used in pro hac vice rules. Appearances by foreign attorneys commence with the first appearance
and continue until final determination or withdrawal. An “administrative agency” includes any agency, department, board or commission of Mississippi, or any county, city, public school district, or other political subdivision of Mississippi.

Foreign attorneys cannot appear pro hac vice if he or she maintains an office within Mississippi, unless a member of a firm that maintains an office within Mississippi which are staffed, full time, by Mississippi attorneys, or the foreign attorney has engaged in the general practice in Mississippi without being properly admitted and licensed in Mississippi. “General practice of law” includes appearance in more than five separate unrelated causes or other matters before the courts or administrative agencies of Mississippi within the 12 months immediately preceding the appearance in question.

Foreign attorneys who have been disciplined for advertising services in violation of RPC 7.2, or their firm has violated the advertising rule, are not eligible for pro hac vice admission.

Permission to appear terminates upon the attorney’s suspension or disbarment in any jurisdiction where the attorney has been admitted, and he or she must promptly report to the tribunal any disciplinary action that has been taken in another jurisdiction.

The foreign attorney shall have the duty to promptly report such action to the court or administrative agency.

Attorneys must associate with a local Mississippi lawyer who is in good standing to practice law in Mississippi. The Mississippi lawyer’s name will appear on all notices, orders, pleadings, and other papers filed in the matters. He or she is also required to personally appear and participate in all trials, pretrial conferences, hearings, other proceedings conducted in open court, and all depositions or other proceedings where testimony is given in Mississippi. The tribunal may excuse the local lawyer’s presence for such practices. The Mississippi lawyer accepts joint and several responsibility with the Foreign Attorney for the client, to opposing parties and counsel, and to the court or administrative agency.

If the Mississippi lawyer is suspended, disbarred, or incapacitated for another reason, the Foreign Attorney must associate with a new local attorney and file an amendment to the verified petition. Attorneys representing the United States government in matters are permitted to appear on behalf of the United States government and to represent its interest in any matter in which the United States government is interested without the association of local counsel.

Foreign Attorneys are subject to the jurisdiction of the Mississippi courts for any matter arising out of the attorney’s conduct and must comply with the disciplinary rules and procedures. Violating the pro hac vice rules is deemed the unauthorized practice of law.

Attorneys are required to file with the court or administrative agency, and the Clerk of the Mississippi Supreme Court, a verified application and a statement from the Clerk. The Clerk’s statement identifies all causes or other matters where the attorney previously requested pro hac vice admission and the disposition of each request. The application and statement must be served on all parties. The requirements for the Verified Application are located in the pro hac vice rules.

Attorneys must also certify that the required fee has been paid. The $200 fee should be paid to the Mississippi Bar simultaneously with the filing of the application. The court may waive the fee for cases involving indigent clients. Attorneys are also required to pay the Clerk the miscellaneous docket fee provided in Miss. Code Ann. § 25-7-3.

Attorneys cannot appear until he or she certifies to the court or administrative agency that the Foreign Attorney has provided a copy of the order authorizing the pro hac vice appearance to the Clerk of the Supreme Court.