Established 1958 ~ Hardball Business Litigation & Complex Negotiations

Local Counsel is Required in Federal Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

The Local Rules of Civil Procedure for the U.S. District for the Easter District of Pennsylvania require that any attorney who is not a member of the Eastern District must hire an attorney that is a member as associate counsel of record.  Local Civil Rule of Procedure 83.5.2, titled “Associate Counsel,” states that unless appearing on behalf of the U.S. Government or a department or agency of the U.S. Government, any attorney who is not a member of the bar of the Eastern District, shall have a local counsel of record whom all pleadings, motions, notices and other papers can be served.  See, L.R.Civ.P. 83.5.2(a).

Non-member attorneys, who wish to appear in a case, must have local counsel file a Motion for their Pro Hac Vice Admission, pursuant to L.R.Civ.P. 83.5.2(b). The cost of filing such a motion is currently $40.  A sample form for a Motion for Pro Hac Vice Admission to the Eastern District is provided by the Clerk of Court and can be found on the Court’s website.  This form requires the applicant to state, inter alia, where he/she is currently licensed to practice, that the applicant affirms that he/she is in good standing of those state and/or federal bars, and that the applicant pledges to act in accordance with the law.  The local counsel, acting as sponsor for the applicant, must certify that, inter alia,  the applicant’ “private and personal character is good.”

Although the sample form provided by the Clerk is generally accepted by the judges of the Eastern District, it is important that local counsel be familiar with the preferences of each judge, because the form is not accepted by all.  For example, the Honorable Joel H. Slomsky provides in his “Policies and Procedures for Scheduling and Motion” that the form application provided by the Clerk is “inadequate.”  Judge Slomsky requires that counsel moving for the pro hac vice must explain why the party desires the attorney to participate and why the attorney is especially qualified to do so.

The attorneys at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green are capable of acting as local counsel and appear regularly in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; they are familiar with the local rules of courts, trial practice, discovery procedures, and the preferences of the local judges.  Please contact an attorney at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, with offices located in Philadelphia, if you have a need for local counsel.