Virginia Pro Hac Vice

Rule 1A:4 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia provides the rule regarding admission for out-of-state attorneys who are seeking pro hac vice admission.

Other Practices

Sometimes legal services occur in Virginia but are related to out-of-state proceedings. Subject to the Virginia Multijurisdictional Practice Rule (MJP) 5.5 of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct, attorneys may provide the following services without the requirement of pro hac vice admission:

  • For proceedings pending outside of Virginia, attorneys admitted to appear in that proceeding may render legal services in Virginia pertaining such proceedings.
  • For cases where the attorney reasonably believes he or she is eligible for admission pro hac vice, the out-of-state attorney may:
    • Consult in Virginia with a member of the Virginia Bar concerning a pending or potential proceeding in Virginia.
    • At the request of the person in Virginia contemplating or involved in a proceeding in Virginia, consult with that person regarding retaining the out-of-state attorney in connection with the proceeding.
    • On behalf of a client residing in Virginia or elsewhere, render legal services in Virginia to prepare for a potential case to be filed in Virginia.
  • May render legal services to prepare and participate in an ADR process, regardless of where the ADR proceeding is expected to take place or actually takes place.

Pro Hac Vice

Eligible attorneys are not members of the Virginia State Bar but are licensed and authorized to practice law in another state, territory, or possession of the United States.

Limitation on Number of Matters
The court or tribunal will deny the motion for pro hac vice admission if the out-of-state attorney has been previously admitted pro hac vice before any court or tribunal in Virginia in 12 cases within the last 12 months preceding the date of the current application. The court or tribunal may consider whether the pending case is a related or consolidated matter for which the attorney previously applied to appear pro hac vice.

Attorneys may appear pro hac vice before any court or tribunal in Virginia after associating with a local Virginia lawyer who is an active member in good standing of the Virginia State Bar. Local counsel must appear on all notices, orders, pleadings, and other documents filed in the case and must personally appear and participate in pretrial conferences, hearings, trials, or other proceedings conducted before a court or tribunal. Local counsel accepts joint responsibility with the out-of-state attorney for the client, to other parties, witnesses, other counsel, and to the court or tribunal. Local counsel must sign all pleadings and other documents or the pleadings are invalid. Any notice of process served on local counsel is valid as if served on the out-of-state attorney.

The court or tribunal has full authority to deal exclusively with local counsel in all matters connected with the case. For good cause shown, a court or tribunal may permit an out-of-state attorney to appear pro hac vice on a temporary basis prior to completion of the application procedures. If allowed, the court or tribunal will specify a time limit regarding when the attorney must complete the application procedure, and any temporary pro hac vice admission is revoked upon failure to complete the application within the deadline.

Attorneys are subject to the jurisdiction and rules of Virginia regarding attorney conduct and discipline to the same extent as an active member of the Virginia Bar.

The out-of-state attorney’s pro hac vice admission continues in the event of a venue transfer or appeal. The new court or tribunal has the discretion to revoke the authority of the pro hac vice appearance.

It is within the court or tribunal’s discretion whether to allow the pro hac vice admission. Attorneys must deliver to the local Virginia lawyer, to file with the court or tribunal, an Original Notarized Application and non-refundable application fee made payable to the Clerk of the Virginia Supreme Court. Local counsel then files a motion with the court or tribunal (with proper service on all parties) to associate the out-of-state attorney as counsel pro hac vice. The motion will include the out-of-state attorney application, a proposed order granting or denying the motion, and the application fee. The court or tribunal then files a copy of the documents and the fee with the Clerk of the Virginia Supreme Court.

Attorneys cannot make an appearance in a case until the court or tribunal enters the order granting the motion, unless temporary admission is approved. The order remains valid until the case is concluded in the court of Virginia or a court revokes the pro hac vice admission. The court or tribunal will advise the Clerk of the Virginia Supreme Court if the tribunal denies or revokes the permission to appear.

Attorneys have a continuing obligation to advise the court or tribunal of any disposition made of a pending disciplinary charge or the institution of any new disciplinary proceeding or investigation.