With hundreds of thousands of people crossing the Hudson River between New York City and New Jersey each day by car, train, boat, bus, shuttle or bicycle, there is an ever expanding demand for New York attorneys to represent their clients in New Jersey and vice versa. This article outlines the Pro Hac Vice process in New Jersey and provides some important tips.
1. Select trial experienced local counsel. Why?? A condition of admission is that NO adjournments (or even requests for adjournments) of discovery, motions, trial or any other proceeding are permitted due to out of state counsel not being able to attend. You or your client may be in a position where you need to rely for something important on local counsel so "choose wisely". A quality local counsel respected by the courts, defense counsel and known by the insurance carriers can prevent mishaps resulting in legal malpractice or revocation of your PHV licensure and provide genuine help in securing a better result. They also can assist in selecting qualified local experts, investigators, mediators and arbitrators.
2. Obtain a current certificate of good standing from your state bar association. This is required as part of the PHV motion submission. Some bar associations take weeks to provide this documentation so start the process early and avoid delays.
3. File a motion. The motion must be filed by local counsel pursuant to court rules NJSA 1:21-2(b), as all documents filed with the court must be signed by local counsel. A certification of the attorney to be admitted and an order detailing the terms and continuing requirements of admission must be submitted along with the notice of motion.
4. Submit certification of attorney requesting PHV admission. The certification must confirm that the attorney is in good standing admitted to practice in his/her jurisdiction, accompanied by a certificate of good standing, the office address and contact information in that jurisdiction. It should include confirmation that the client has requested their representation and any other reasons why it is appropriate for them to be admitted (long term relationship, specially area of practice, existing familiarity with the case, etc.), and confirmation that the attorney will pay the NJ Lawyers Fund for Client Protection required by Court Rules NJSA 1:28-2 & 1:20-1(b) along with the other continuing requirements set forth in the order section below.
5. Submit the PHV order with your motion. The order should specify the terms of admission below or it will likely be rejected.
Abide by NJ Court Rules
Notify the court of any matter affecting standing at the Bar of any jurisdiction
PHV cannot be “designated trial counsel”
all pleadings, briefs and other papers filed with the court signed by an attorney of record authorized to practice in New Jersey
No discovery, motion, trial or any other proceeding delay shall occur or be requested by reason of the inability to be in attendance
pay the fees required by R. 1:20-1(b) and R. 1:28-2 and submit an affidavit of compliance
Pro hac vice admission will automatically terminate for failure to make the initial and any annual payment required by R. 1:20-1(b) and R. 1:28-2
6. Win your case! No instructions necessary!
Mr. Murphy welcomes your questions regarding PHV admission, co-counsel and trial consulting on your NJ cases.
Ray Murphy is a Certified Civil Trial Attorney involved with over 100 jury trials and with more than 25 years trial experience in commercial litigation, personal injury & medical malpractice. He's worked with New York attorneys in New Jersey as a co counsel and a consultant on litigation & trial matters. He has also tried cases in NY State & Federal Courts (SDNY & EDNY)