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Ask Legalease Your Own Question

Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14454
Experience:  15 years exp all aspects of general law
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I am a lawyer, licensed in New York and New Jersey, as well

Resolved Question:

I am a lawyer, licensed in New York and New Jersey, as well as the federal district courts of both states. I am and have always been a Virginia resident though. I am thinking about taking a job in Virginia, however it is too late to sit for the Bar and gain admission until the next time (February Bar and subsequent admission)... If I took this Virginia job with a Virginia firm and moved there, would there be any problem with my applications to appear pro hac vice in State as well as federal/Bankruptcy courts??? My potential employer believes there may be a problem with "unauthorized practice of law" because I would be an unlicensed resident of/employee in Virginia. (I guess he thinks for example the Courts wouldn't grant my pro hac vice applications?) I don't think he's right, but I need authority (CASE CITATIONS preferably) to prove him wrong. I haven't found anything exactly on point in Virginia, but I do know I qualify as a "foreign lawyer" under the VA Rules of Professional Conduct, and I believe my district court admissions qualify me for admission pro hac vice in the ED of VA and Bankruptcy court therein.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Legalease :

Hello there -- You can be admitted to the bar in VA by motion (so you do not have to sit for the bar exam) so long as lawyers licensed in VA can be admitted to the NY or NJ bars in the same manner. Its reciprocity -- is there a problem with this?

Customer :

Yes, NY and NJ do not have admission on motion... (Sorry but that's not exactly the question. I am considering pro hac vice b/c I know I do not qualify otherwise unless I sit for the Bar.)

Customer :

(they do not have admission on motion of VA attorneys in my boat -- practicing 2 yrs.)

Customer :

I am basically looking for case law/rules or anything in which a foreign attorney moves to Virginia and applies for pro hac vice -- in the meantime before he/she is able to actually become a licensed atty. in Virginia.

Legalease :

NY will admit you on motion if you have practiced more than 5 years -- so I get the 2 year thing. Hmm. I actually did a lot of work in other states but it was all commercial loan work so I did not go to court -- but I was permitted to practice in other states as a "student" lawyer under another lawyer who was licensed in the state. Let me take a look for you -- I can't guarantee anything but I am wondering how these large firms get away with that? I did it for 10 years

Legalease :

I did not get any other licenses simply because I did not want to pay fees to three or four different states

Customer :

thanks this is a BIG deal, b/c it's a huge salary negotiating point

Customer :

(and whether/not I can negotiate up to what I want determines if I take the job or not... which I really hope to be able to)

Legalease :

Okay/ It seems that youve already checked a number of the regular routes. One thing about the federal courts though -- you have to be licensed in every one of them

Customer :

I'm sure it's the foreign attorney exception... but pro hac vice is about ALSO being able to appear in courts in litigation although you're not licensed in the state in which the cts. are sitting...

Customer :

right you can do pro hac vice though.

Legalease :

The employer does not want to go the pro hace vice route?

Customer :

I'm admitted in federal EDNY and SDNY and District of NJ -- that means as long as one of them allows VA district attys. to be admitted pro hac vice, I can do that in VA -- this is a go in my reading of the Local Rules for the EDVA ...

Customer :

well it's $10,000 we're negotiating, so he's inventing this problem I think haha, he's saying that they won't give me pro hac vice b/c I'd be a (new) VA resident and working with a VA firm

Customer :

-- b/c that would be unauthorized practice of law

Customer :

I think that's bs, but I need legal citations (which he literally asked for)

Legalease :

So he will hire you for 10K less and do the pro hac vice?

Legalease :

ANd isnt the next bar exam in August?

Customer :

not exactly -- I asked for (x + $10k). He said "I will give you x dollars now, and (x + $10k) upon your admission in VA/federal/BR court." I said, I can appear pro hac vice now so give me (x + $10k) now lol.

Customer :

it's in July trust me i confirmed it's too late to apply and sit for it.

Legalease :

Okay -- let me take a look on the student lawyer angle. But if you come up empty then perhaps you can get him to put it in writing that you will get the 10K when you pass the bar.

Legalease :

I don't have to tell you that a written promise is the ONLY kind to get.

Customer :

of course. (but the pay is too low, for me to take the job without the 10k that's the problem. the job is only worth it with the 10k)

Legalease :

Leave it to Georgetown law to have the student practice rules for the federal courts and all 50 states in one place. Unfortunately, it does not help you -- VA requires that you be in the presence of a supervising attorney and get permission from the judge on each case -- here is the link http://www.law.georgetown.edu/library/research/guides/StudentPractice.cfm

Legalease :

Pro Hace vice would probably be easier. I am going to try another search so give me a few more minutes

Customer :

(They are student rules I don't qualify since I'm not a student. -- I know b/c the VA court applications ask you to certify that you are a student right now.)

Customer :

pro hac vice is FINE --- the problem is, he's saying it wouldn't be fine **in my situation** b/c it would constitute unauthorized practice of law..

Customer :

I just need cases where a new foreign attorney moved to Virginia/joined a VA firm and was allowed to do pro hac vice ... can't find any

Customer :

(maybe it hasn't been litigated b/c it's not a legit. concern lol)

Legalease :

I am not finding anything that will help -- I do not think it exists. In fact, VA seems to be touchy about how many cases you can do on the Pro Hac Vice route as well -- if you do more than 12 in the preceding 12 months then they may refuse your continued applications to do it. http://www.courts.state.va.us/courts/scv/forms/pro_hac_vice_rule_inst.pdf I am sure you have reviewed this. Your interviewer knows what he is talking about and I think for 10K if he is not willing to work with you that is pretty petty of him. He could work it so that you are only on a few cases until you pass the bar -- but unless he is willing to do something for you or you are willing to wait until you pass the bar for the 10K, you are probably stuck.

Customer :

Thanks I saw the 12 cases thing. that's the only limitation I can find. and that's VA state, not VA federal (which is what he does)

Customer :

i should mention it to him.

Customer :

I'm sorry you spent time on this and could not find an answer :(

Legalease :

You should mention it to him. I understand how tight things are -- that is one of the reasons why I am working here. I did search the issue for you to try to find something for you and while I realize that you are disappointed that there is nothing to help you, I would still appreciate it if you would press a positive rating before you leave the chat room because I am paid NOTHING unless you do that (and then I only get a small portion of what you paid).

Customer :

Okay let me see what I can do, if I can partially pay or something. Thanks.

Legalease :

As far as I am concerned you just have to press a positive rating and they will pay me for my time. You can ask them to reduce the amount if you want to -- but your pressing a positive rating is the trigger for them to pay me (it will not cost you any more money)

Legalease :

that is a customer service issue --

Legalease :

MARY

Legalease :

By the way, you will hit the 5 years before you know it and be able to be admitted anywhere you want to be that will do it without a bar exam

Customer :

haha i'm not wishing the time away quickly... (I'm not sure if I have to pay $60 (although I didn't get my answer) in order for them to pay you..) I'm looking into this pls. give me a few min.

Legalease :

But there's the rub -- you did get an answer -- just not the one you wanted and needed and I wish you could have a more positive outcome on it. This happens a lot -- when we can't give the answer you want and need -- well you guess what happens. Ask customer service if they will pay me anything if you ask for a refund. Thats how this service works.

Legalease :

Good Luck

Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14454
Experience: 15 years exp all aspects of general law
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