North Dakota Pro Hac Vice

Rule 3(a) of the North Dakota Supreme Court Rules provides the rule regarding admission for attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions who are seeking pro hac vice admission.

Eligible attorneys are not licensed in North Dakota but are admitted and licensed to practice law in another state or the District of Columbia.

Pro hac vice admission is required for nonresident attorneys that appear in person, sign pleadings, or are designated as counsel in actions filed in state courts, administrative agencies, or tribunals. Attorneys seeking to take a deposition in North Dakota for an action pending in another jurisdiction must comply with the North Dakota Multijurisdictional Practice Rules (“MJP”). Please also see the registration requirements for attorneys seeking to appear in an Alternative Dispute Resolution proceeding, which are located under the North Dakota House Counsel Rules.

Attorneys must designate an associate lawyer who is admitted and licensed to practice law in North Dakota. The name and address of the associate lawyer must be shown on all papers served and filed. The associate lawyer is required to appear personally and remain in attendance with the nonresident attorney in all appearances, unless excused by the court, hearing officer, or presiding officer.

For appeals of actions where the attorney already obtained permission to appear pro hac vice, the attorney only needs to file an updated affidavit with the Clerk of the North Dakota Supreme Court. The attorney does not need to submit an additional fee to the Board, unless it is a new calendar year. If the attorney was not admitted pro hac vice in the original proceeding, the attorney must file the required motion and affidavit with the Clerk of the Supreme Court.

A separate permission to appear is required for each action where the nonresident attorney appears in a North Dakota state court proceeding, administrative agency proceeding, or before another tribunal in North Dakota.

Attorneys are required to file a motion with the clerk of the trial court, hearing officer, or presiding officer of the matter requesting permission to appear pro hac vice with an affidavit in support of the motion. The pro hac vice motion must be filed not later than 45 days after service of the pleading, motion, or other paper. For actions commenced by service, the action must be filed before seeking pro hac vice admission. If the action settles before it is filed, a motion requesting permission to appear does not need to be filed.

The attorney affidavit includes:

  • The jurisdiction where the attorney is admitted to practice law and the number of years admitted.
  • Whether the attorney is presently subject to a disciplinary proceeding in any jurisdiction.
  • Whether the attorney is under any restriction or probation in the practice of law in any jurisdiction where the attorney is licensed.
  • Whether the attorney is now or has ever been suspended or disbarred from a court in any jurisdiction.
  • The number of North Dakota actions where the nonresident attorney has appeared during the previous three years, and whether the attorney has ever registered under this rule.

A copy of the motion and affidavit must be filed with the State Board of Law Examiners at the same time the documents are filed with the appropriate court or tribunal. Attorneys are required to pay to the Board the fee required for an attorney who has been licensed in North Dakota for five years or certify that the attorney has paid the fee to the Board during the calendar year.