The rules governing pro hac vice admission vary state-by-state and often court-by-court. I am currently admitted pro hac vice in several courts across the country. In addition, from time to time, I serve as local counsel in Tennessee for out-of-state attorneys. The following is a general overview of the rules governing pro hac vice admissions in Tennessee courts.
Middle District of Tennessee
In the Middle District of Tennessee, Local Rule 83.01 requires that non-resident attorneys either become admitted to the bar of the Court, or seek admission pro hac vice and associate themselves with local counsel who are admitted to practice in the Middle District of Tennessee. The Rule requires local counsel to be admitted in the Middle District, and be a resident of Tennessee or have a principal law office in Tennessee. The Middle District provides instructions for pro hac vice admission and a proposed form Pro Hac Vice Motion.
Tennessee State Courts
Rule 19 of the Tennessee Supreme Court governs pro hac vice admissions in Tennessee state courts. The Rule provides that a court, in its discretion, may deny a pro hac vice motion only for 1) the out-of-state lawyer’s conduct raises reasonable doubt that the lawyer will comply with the Rules of Professional Conduct or 2) the out-of-state lawyer “has engaged in such frequent appearances as to constitute regular practice in this state.” Rule 19 also sets forth the requirements for local counsel, which includes, among other things, that local counsel be licensed in Tennessee, maintain an office in Tennessee, sign all pleadings, and appear in all proceedings. Importantly, a copy of a motion for admission pro hac vice must filed with the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility, and the applicant must register with the Board and pay the required fees. The Board provides information on pro hac vice admissions here.
Tennessee Administrative Proceedings
The rule governing out-of-state lawyers appearing before Tennessee administrative law judges was recently revised by the Tennessee Supreme Court. Rule 19 of the Tennessee Supreme Court, described above, requires non-resident attorneys to be admitted pro hac vice in order to appear as counsel of record before an administrative law judge, hearing officer or other state entity having authority to resolve controversies.
Should you require counsel for a local matter or need to commence or defend litigation in Tennessee, please contact us to learn more about our firm.