South Dakota Pro Hac Vice

Rule 16-18-2 of the South 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 South Dakota but are licensed to practice law in another jurisdiction within the United States.

An appearance in an administrative hearing under Chapter 1-26 must comply with the pro hac vice requirements, and the appearance is subject to the approval of the circuit court for the county where the hearing takes place or the circuit court for Hughes County, South Dakota.

Attorneys may participate in the trial or hearing of any particular case in South Dakota.  Attorneys must associate with a practicing South Dakota lawyer and resident who personally participates with the nonresident attorney. Attorneys are subject to South Dakota’s disciplinary rules.

Attorneys are required to submit a motion for pro hac vice admission to the court where he or she seeks admission together with a fee and a local counsel motion. The nonresident attorney’s motion includes:

  • The post office address of the nonresident attorney.
  • The office address of the associated South Dakota attorney.
  • A statement that the nonresident attorney is a member in good standing of the bar of the state of his or her residence.
  • A statement that the nonresident attorney has not been the subject of disciplinary action by the bar or courts of the state of his or her residence or of any other state during the past five years.
  • A statement that the nonresident attorney has not been denied admission to the courts of any state or federal court during the past five years.
  • A statement that the attorney is familiar with the rules of the South Dakota Bar governing the conduct of South Dakota Bar members and will abide by their provisions at all times so long as the hearing or trial is pending and he or she has not withdrawn as counsel.
  • A statement that the nonresident attorney:
    • Has completed an application for a South Dakota Sales and Use Tax License or that such a license has been issued by the South Dakota Department of Revenue; or
    • Is not in private practice and is appearing on behalf of an employer for whom the nonresident attorney is employed on a full-time basis and the appearance in South Dakota is part of the nonresident attorney’s duties without additional compensation being paid for the appearance.

The local South Dakota lawyer’s motion must contain a statement that the resident attorney finds the applicant to be a reputable attorney and recommends his or her admission to practice before the court.

The judge may examine the nonresident attorney in order to ensure the nonresident attorney is aware of and will observe the ethical standards required by South Dakota attorneys.  The judge may deny the motion in his or her discretion. If denied, the clerk will refund the fee.

If the attorney engages in professional misconduct after pro hac vice admission, the judge may revoke the admission to practice. The judge may also hold the attorney in contempt and refer the attorney to the disciplinary board.