Local Counsel

The Sierra Crest Business Law Group welcomes opportunities to serve as local Nevada counsel. We assist out-of-state counsel in becoming admitted pro hac vice in a specific Nevada case. We also share our knowledge and experience of local rules and practice.

An out-of-state attorney may not appear in a Nevada federal court case without the court’s permission. Local Rule IA 11-2(a) and (b) outline the requirements for such an appearance. The out-of-state attorney files a Verified Petition for Permission to Practice in this Case Only by Attorney Not Admitted to the Bar of this Court and Designation of Local Counsel using the court’s form. To apply for permission, the out-of-state attorney must meet the following conditions:

 

  • The attorney is not a member of the State Bar of Nevada
  • The attorney is not a resident of the State of Nevada
  • The attorney is not regularly employed in the State of Nevada;
  • The attorney is a member in good standing and eligible to practice before the bar of another jurisdiction of the United States; and
  • The attorney associates an active member in good standing of the State Bar of Nevada as attorney of record in the action or proceeding.

Per Local Rule IA 11-2(d), the resident attorney must have authority to sign binding stipulations. Unless the court orders otherwise, the resident attorney need not personally attend all proceedings in court.

Per Local Rule IA 11-2(c), “[a]n attorney whose verified petition is pending must not take action in this case beyond filing the first pleading or motion. The first pleading or motion must state the attorney “has complied with LR IA 11-2” or “will comply with LR IA 11-2 within ___ days.” Until permission is granted, the clerk must not issue summons or other writ. Local IA 11-2(e) states that in civil cases, an attorney must comply with all provisions of the rule within 45 days of his or her first appearance.

As stated in Local Rule IA 11-2(j), failure to comply timely with the rule may result in the striking of any and all documents previously filed by the out-of-state attorney, the imposition of other sanctions, or both.

Nevada Supreme Court Rule 42(1)(a)(3) dictates that an out-of-state attorney must be admitted pro hac vice to participate in “all arbitration, mediation, or alternative dispute resolution procedures in this state that are court annexed or court ordered, or that are mandated by statute or administrative rule.” Likewise, pro hac vice admission is necessary for “all services incident to any of these proceedings including, but not limited to, discovery and settlement negotiations.” SCR 42(1)(a)(4).

Nevertheless, “this rule does not apply to arbitration, mediation, or alternative dispute resolution procedures in which the parties engage voluntarily or by private agreement.” SCR 42(1)(b). Although the rule and exception have some ambiguity, I believe that, at a minimum, an attorney desiring to participate in a Nevada arbitration or mediation that has been ordered by a court should apply for pro hac vice admission.

An out-of-state attorney may not appear in a Nevada state court case without the court’s permission. Obtaining such permission requires a two step process. First, the attorney submits a completed Verified Application for Association of Counsel Under Nevada Supreme Court Rule 42 to the Nevada State Bar together with the attorney’s certificate(s) of good standing, and requests a Statement from the Nevada State Bar. Second, after receiving the requested Statement, the attorney’s local counsel files with the state court or administrative agency a Motion to Associate Counsel. The Motion to Associate Counsel includes a copy of the foregoing verified application, State Bar of Nevada Statement, and the attorney’s certificate(s) of good standing.  The State Bar of Nevada Supreme publishes a form SCR 42 Pro Hac Vice Application.

To apply for permission, the out-of-state attorney must meet the following conditions:

(a) The lawyer is not a member of the State Bar of Nevada;

(b) The lawyer is not a resident of the State of Nevada;

(c) The lawyer is not regularly employed in the State of Nevada;

(d) The lawyer is not engaged in substantial business, professional, or other activities in the State of Nevada;

(e) The lawyer is a member in good standing and eligible to practice before the bar of any jurisdiction of the United States; and

(f) The lawyer associates an active member in good standing of the State Bar of Nevada as counsel of record in the action or proceeding.

The granting or denial of a motion to associate counsel under SCR 42 rule is discretionary. And The court, arbitrator, mediator, or administrative or governmental hearing officer may revoke the authority of the person permitted to appear as counsel under SCR 42 to make continued pro hac vice appearances. SCR 42(6).

During the proceeding, the out-of-state attorney must renew his or her pro hac vice admission annually by paying the applicable fee to the State Bar of Nevada. SCR 42(9).

SCR 42(16) states that “[t]he Nevada attorney of record shall be responsible for and actively participate in the representation of a client in any proceeding that is subject to this rule.” In addition, “[t]he Nevada attorney of record shall be present at all motions, pre-trials, or any matters in open court unless otherwise ordered by the court.”

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