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Pro Hac Vice

As the world goes digital, there is an ever increasing need to practice across state lines. Yet the courts must ensure that the attorneys who practice before them are qualified to advise their clients on local laws and comply with local rules and customs. The method by which out of state attorneys may practice in Tennessee courts is pro hac vice admission.

What is Required

Most courts and bar associations require one or both of the following as a condition of pro hac vice admission: (1) that local counsel vouch for the pro hac vice attorney with respect to his or her ability to learn the local law and comply with the manner of local practice, and (2) that pro hac vice applicant swear to abide by the written rules and make a proactive effort to learn them.

The terms and conditions for a pro hac vice attorney are outlined in Rule 19 of the Supreme Court of Tennessee. The attorney seeking admission must: (1) be licensed, in good standing, and admitted to practice before the court of last resort in another state or territory of the United States in which the attorney maintains a residence or office, (2) be in good standing in all jurisdictions in which the attorney is licensed to practice, and (3) be retained by a client to appear in a proceeding pending before that Tennessee court.

If you are seeking admission pursuant to Rule 19, you must file a motion in the relevant court either before or on the first occasion in which you file something with the court or appear in person. The motion and supporting documents must contain the information required by Rule 19(d).

In addition to filing with the court, you will need to file a copy of the motion, an affidavit, and certificate of good standing to the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility (TBPR). You must file with the TBPR before filing with the court. The board requires that you pay the annual registration fee, currently $170, each year while you actively participate in the proceeding. Unfortunately, you will not be eligible to practice in Tennessee until the fee is paid in full.

Visit www.tbpr.org for more information.

Finally, you must partner with a licensed Tennessee attorney in good standing. Finding an attorney in a different state can be extremely difficult without good connections. If you are seeking pro hac vice admission for purposes of conducting a jury trial on your client’s behalf, you need to partner with reputable Tennessee trial attorneys. Our former prosecutors have substantial trial experience, good relationships with local District Attorneys and Judges, and in state resources to assert a dynamic and effective defense.

Contact Baker Associates today at (615) 622-0595.