February 23, 2015 Articles

Ethics Issues in Pro Hac Vice Admissions

Both pro hac vice counsel and local counsel need to be aware of potential ethical pitfalls.

by David L. Finger

Attorneys seeking to appear pro hac vice in other jurisdictions is an increasingly common occurrence. For example, in Delaware, more attorneys appear pro hac vice each year in the Delaware state courts alone than there are members of the Delaware Bar.

The overwhelming majority of attorneys appearing pro hac vice do so without a problem. But there have been notable instances of ethical lapses connected with such appearances. This article highlights some red flags to help you avoid those problems. The first step is to always check the rules of the forum court, whether a U.S. district court or state court, because each typically sets forth the requirements and qualifications needed for pro hac vice admission, affecting both the out-of-state attorney seeking admission and the local counsel sponsoring that admission.

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