Pro Hac Vice for Massachusetts

Within the modern legal system, there are numerous processes that are defined in their original Latin terms. Pro Hac Vice is one of many legal options that are of concern to experienced attorneys who handle complex cases where they might need to seek counsel from an attorney based in another state. Boston Attorney Geoffrey G. Nathan has handled many such cases, and he is dedicated to using all potential advantages to benefit his clients, including Pro Hac Vice.

Pro Hac Vice is only used in some limited types of cases, but those cases usually are very complex. There are certain circumstances when a Boston Criminal Defense Attorney would bring in an out-of-state counsel who is not licensed in a state to support a case in litigation. A main reason for doing this would be to utilize some special knowledge the other attorney has that would enhance the handling of the local case. Under the court’s discretion, this is allowed in Massachusetts, providing that the out-of-state attorney is a member in good standing in their home state, and when that state grants reciprocal privileges to Massachusetts attorneys.

Boston Criminal Defense

Attorney Geoffrey G. Nathan is an experienced Boston Criminal Defense Attorney who is familiar with this legal option, known in the legal industry as Pro Hac Vice. Bringing in another legal professional to support a case is an important strategy, especially in cases that have particular details that require some unique knowledge or experience held by that out-of-state attorney. That knowledge could make a serious difference in the outcome of a case.

When the supporting counsel is an attorney from the same state, in this case, Massachusetts, there is no issue to resolve about validity of using that counsel. However, when the supporting counsel is not licensed to practice law in Massachusetts, the local attorney must present Pro Hac Vice plea to the court in the jurisdiction handling that case. After meeting all requirements to satisfy the court that this counsel’s assistance is needed, the court will rule to accept or deny the Pro Hac Vice request.

Pro Hac Vice

Many legal terms are commonly known by their Latin word origin, primarily because the English and American legal systems have roots dating back to Roman times. Since many languages were derived from Latin, using the Latin terminology helps keep definitions precise and in line with the original concepts. Pro Hac Vice is the Latin term for a particular management procedure used in some legal cases that allows an out-of-state attorney who is not licensed in the case jurisdiction to work on that case with the local attorney in charge.

  • Definition – Pro Hac Vice translates literally as “for one time” or “for one particular occasion.” In the legal system, this term usually refers to the practice of a lawyer obtaining special permission to participate in one specific case in a state where they are not licensed to practice law. The admittance of this attorney to participate in handling a case is left to the discretion of the court in the jurisdiction where the case is heard.
  • Out-of-State Counsel – A Boston Lawyer may want to bring in an attorney from another state to support a case. If that attorney is not licensed to practice law in Massachusetts, the Boston lawyer must first seek permission from the court to allow that counsel to participate in the case proceedings.
  • Judicial Discretion – The court makes the final decision about allowing an out-of-state counsel to participate in a case within their jurisdiction, based on facts presented by the local attorney and the out-of-state counsel.
  • Filing Papers with the Appeals Court – The out-of-state attorney cannot file papers with the Massachusetts Appeals Court until the local attorney seeks Pro Hac Vice. Both attorneys must also file affidavits with the court that sufficiently show facts that meet case law guidelines that allow for judicial discretion for ruling on the motions. They also must show that any required fees have been paid or that paying the fees is exempted.
  • Payment of Registration Fees – A requirement in Massachusetts for acceptance of an out-of-state attorney under Pro Hac Vice is payment of a registration fee required under SSJC Rule 3:15. The fee may be waived if counsel proves they are exempt from paying it because they will provide legal assistance pro bono when the client is indigent. As of 2012, if it is required, this fee is $301 per case in the Superior Court or $101 in any other court. The fee must be paid prior to filing the Pro Hac Vice motion. If the case is later appealed, there would be no additional fee required.

Once the motion for Pro Hac Vice is approved, the out-of-state attorney can participate in the local case. This is an important legal option to use, especially when a case is complex and requires unique knowledge of things the local attorney must know to win the case. Every attorney acquires specific knowledge of different things during their career in law. When outside help can provide the best possible handling of a client’s case, Pro Hac Vice allows the local attorney to get the needed support that can make the difference between winning and losing a complex case.

Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney

A 1984 graduate of Boston College Law School, Geoffrey G. Nathan immediately began his long and esteemed legal career in criminal defense. He has a remarkable background of professional service to the military and has been involved in many notorious cases that were extremely complex. He has been featured on major media outlets, including Fox News, Newsmax and the Boston Globe. Currently he serves as a commentator for Newsmax TV.

When you are facing criminal charges or making an appeal of a prior conviction, Attorney Nathan knows that is essential to not make mistakes. He prepares each case carefully and with as much detail as possible. He uses all tools and options that are available to build a strong case that provides his clients with the best possible outcome.

Handling extremely complex cases and use of all potential legal advantages, including Pro Hac Vice, are not unusual situations for Attorney Nathan. If you are facing criminal charges or want to appeal a prior conviction, contact the law office of Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Geoffrey G. Nathan, in Boston, MA. Contact him now for your free consultation. Call toll free, at 877-472-5775.

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Geoffrey G. Nathan Law Office
132 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116

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