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Appearing “Pro Hac Vice” in the Eastern District of North Carolina

Posted by Inez de Ondarza Simmons | May 29, 2012 | 0 Comments

Need to appear in the EDNC but not an NC State Bar Member?

Someone may have sued your client in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina (the “EDNC”), or your client may need to file a case in the EDNC. Either way, the clock is ticking; your deadline to respond to the complaint may be looming or the statute of limitations for your client's claim may be about to run.

The problem is, you are not a member of the EDNC. If you are a member of the North Carolina State Bar, it is fairly easy to get admitted to the EDNC. But if you are not a member of the State Bar, you cannot be admitted to the EDNC, except as a special appearance attorney, the EDNC's version of pro hac vice counsel.

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This post sets out the main rule for appearing in the EDNC as special appearance attorney, but there are host of local rules, preferences, and customs that you will want to know about. To make sure you get the rest of that key information, you should subscribe to our North Carolina Local Counsel newsletter.

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Appearing in the Eastern District of North Carolina as Special Appearance Attorney

North Carolina state courts permit attorneys to appear pro hac vice if they meet certain requirements, including retaining local counsel. The EDNC, of course, has its own rules. The main one is Local Civil Rule 83.1, which is set out below.

Local Rule 83.1 – Special Appearance Attorneys & Local Counsel

Local Civil Rule 83.1 governs which attorneys may practice before the EDNC. Local Civil Rule 83.1(e) governs the appearance of “special appearance attorneys” (out-of-state attorneys). Subsection (e) reads as follows:

(1) Attorneys who are members in good standing of the bar of a United States District Court and the bar of the highest court of any state or the District of Columbia may practice in this court for a particular case in association with a member of the bar of this court. By filing a Notice of Appearance, completing an Electronic Filing Attorney Registration Form, and complying with Section J.(1) of the Policy Manual, an attorney agrees that:

(a) the special appearance attorney will be responsible for ensuring the presence of an attorney who is familiar with the case and has authority to control the litigation at all conferences, hearings, trials and other proceedings;

(b) the attorney submits to the disciplinary jurisdiction of the court for any misconduct in connection with the litigation in which the attorney is specially appearing; and

(c) for purposes of FED. R. CIV. P. 11, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Local Civil Rules of this court, the special appearance attorney's electronic signature shall carry the same force and effect as an original signature.

(2) An attorney who is not a member of the bar of this court will not receive electronic notification until the attorney becomes a registered CM/ECF filer with this court and files a Notice of Appearance.

(3) A member of the bar of this court who accepts employment in association with a special appearance attorney is responsible to this court for the conduct of the litigation of the proceeding, must be a CM/ECF registrant and shall review for submission by the special appearance attorney all pleadings and papers electronically filed in compliance with Section J.(1) of the Policy Manual. The responsibility of the member of the bar who accepts employment in association with a special appearance attorney and designates him or herself as Local Civil Rule 83.1 local counsel shall be governed by Local Civil Rule 83.1(d).

(4) Any document filed by a special appearance attorney that does not comport with associated Local Civil Rule 83.1 counsel's standards may be objected to. Any such objection must be filed within seven (7) days of the issuance of the NEF for the document.

de Ondarza Simmons offers you more

Local Rule 83.1 Local Counsel

If you are looking for Local Rule 83.1 Local Counsel so that you can appear in the EDNC, you should contact us. We will set up an appointment to discuss your client's matter and your current filing deadlines. We offer a variety of local counsel services tailored to your needs. We enjoy working with other attorneys, and we look forward to helping you help your client here in North Carolina. To contact us now, you should click here.

Subscribe to our North Carolina Local Counsel newsletter today

In the meantime, you should subscribe to our quarterly North Carolina Local Counsel newsletter. We will keep you apprised of the key local laws, including updates on the Local Civil Rules and the District Judges' preferences. With each issue, we will also highlight a different, specific service we offer to all of our special appearance attorney clients.

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About the Author

Inez de Ondarza Simmons

Exceptional Legal Services since 2005 Inez de Ondarza Simmons founded de Ondarza Simmons, PLLC, which handles civil litigation cases in Raleigh and throughout North Carolina in State and Federal courts, including Business and Real Estate Litigation Estate Planning Eminent Domain and Loca...


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